Oscars Flashback '88: Douglas Exceeds the Shadow


Following in the footsteps of a legendary actor is no doubt a daunting feat for a second-generation actor, especially with the deep impressions that Kirk Douglas' films left in Hollywood. However, when Michael Douglas won his first Best Actor award, he set on his own path.

Although Douglas had won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his first producing gig on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, nothing was more validating for him as an actor than receiving those two awards for Best Actor in 1988 for Wall Street.

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"I don't think I'm going to change a whole lot. This is just a very nice confirmation and it comes at a nice time in my life, and I think I'll try to conduct myself accordingly," Douglas says of winning the honor as he raises his Oscar into camera view.

As he continues on with his press room session, Douglas makes plenty a reference to his successful acting father, Kirk, who had been nominated for three Best Actor awards in his prime but had never received one. Nevertheless, he was anointed with an honorary award in 1996.

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"When...I look back and I realize...the constant encouragement that he gave over the years knowing the difficulty...with comparisons, he--in my life--has been a wonderful father and has played a large point in helping a son step out of a father's shadow, which I think is crucial whether it's this business or any business that the son goes into the same career as his father," he praises.

Douglas has since received nominations but has yet to corral another major award. However, his own path was set that year, and the shadow vanished from the son.