“These days, I am consumed with being a father and with my responsibilities as a husband. I never anticipated starting a family at my age… I cherish this time,” said Michael Douglas after fleeing Hollywood to be a full-time father.

Michael Douglas disappeared from Hollywood to raise his daughter Carys and son Dylan.

His daughter believed her father would die in a month after reading about it in the news.

The 78-year-old actor was called a “fossil,” “frail,” and “dead” after his recent appearance with his 20-year-old daughter.

Michael Douglas was not always a devoted dad. After becoming a father for the first time at 43 during his failed marriage with Diandra Luker, his son Cameron did not receive his father’s attention. Douglas was so immersed in his Hollywood career, that he had no time to raise his son properly.

After his son ended up in prison for dealing drugs, Douglas came to his senses and realized that he could no longer be absent in his son’s life. Thankfully, it wasn’t too late. Cameron started a new chapter in his life with plenty of support from his father, and eventually became a family man after being released from prison.

Michael Douglas, Diandra Douglas, and Cameron Douglas at 8th Red Cross Humanitarian Awards and Dinner Dance | Source: Getty Images

One momentous evening, the actor saw 25-years-younger Catherine Zeta-Jones while relaxing at a bar. They started chatting, and from that moment, the “Wall Street” actor knew he wanted to have kids with her. He decided to be honest with her and said:

“I’m going to be the father of your children.”

His dream to start a family with “The Mask of Zorro” actress came true. The couple married in 2000 and, in the same year, were blessed with a baby boy whom they named Dylan Michael. Three years later, the Hollywood couple expanded their family as baby girl Carys Zeta Douglas entered their lives on April 20, 2003.

After the arrival of his children, Douglas started thinking about what he needed to do to give his newborn girl and her toddler brother a normal upbringing. At that point, he had no idea how becoming a father at a later age would impact little Carys.

Douglas Fled Hollywood to Be Homebound Father
Carys Zeta Douglas and her older brother enjoyed a sun-kissed childhood in the idyllic setting of Bermuda. Shielded from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Carys “honestly” had no idea that her father was the renowned actor Michael Douglas. To her, he was simply a doting dad who whipped up delicious pancakes in the kitchen. Their serene family life allowed Carys and Dylan to thrive in an atmosphere of love and normalcy, oblivious to her father’s fame.

Michael Douglas and children Dylan and Carys at the New York City Ballet & the School of American Ballet's The Nutcracker on December 5, 2009 | Source: Getty Images

Douglas, after having a less-than-ideal start to fatherhood with his eldest child, made a pivotal decision to prioritize his role as a parent. He gave up his blossoming Hollywood career to fully dedicate himself to parenting. It was a conscious choice to give Carys and Dylan the attention and guidance they deserved.

Yet, the “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest producer worried about being in his mid-80s when his youngest children would still be in their teens. He could already sense the mounting pressure to maintain a “fit” physique constantly. Immersed in domestic life, he found genuine happiness in allowing his cherished spouse to pursue her career. He also admitted:

“These days, I am consumed with being a father and with my responsibilities as a husband. I never anticipated starting a family at my age… I cherish this time.”

Carys Believed Her Dad Would Die
The family’s move to the vibrant city of Manhattan significantly changed Douglas’ younger children’s life. 6-year-old Carys “hated” the new place that was teeming with paparazzi.

Michael Douglas and daughter Carys in Manhattan, New York City on October 7, 2010 | Source: Getty Images

Carys was “incredibly smart” and “thoughtful” beyond her age and also had a “mysteriousness” about her. Growing up with her father, the girl became accustomed to hearing, “Your grandpa has come to pick you up.” However, one situation related to her daddy will always be remembered by Carys.

The girl visited a pharmacy alone and saw a tabloid headline that brought tears to her eyes. She shared that this moment was preserved in her memory:

“There’s this picture of my dad and it’s like, ‘Michael Douglas Cancer Again, Dying In a Month.’ I just started crying.”

She didn’t understand anything. Most of all, she didn’t understand why her parents didn’t tell her about such tragic news themselves. This was her first, but not last, experience encountering “snide” words about her dad’s age, condition, and appearance.

Douglas Was Called ‘Dead’ after Appearance with Grown Daughter
Although Carys is not fond of public appearances when the cameras flash from all sides, she recently supported her dad and mom during the Cannes Film Festival. Carys, who has grown into a 20-year-old beauty, held her 78-year-old dad’s hand while her stunning mother did the same on the other side.

Unfortunately, critics swiftly directed their attention towards Douglas, and the actor became the target of their comments. Instead of being praised for his smart tux or dapper hairstyle, the actor was labeled an “old haggard” and called out for looking “frail” and like a “fossil.” However, perhaps the most offensive critic directed towards the 78-year-old dad was the remark that he looks “dead.”

Although the “Wonder Boys” star’s smile was noticeable, the shining eyes of his daughter stood out the most. Gracing the red carpet, Keris donned an exquisite Elie Saab creation – a gossamer-like white dress adorned with subtle floral embellishments. Her voluminous hair was styled into an elegant high bun, while a touch of natural makeup enhanced her innate beauty. The captivating ensemble of this 20-year-old belle was accented with sparkling silver earrings, a bracelet, and a ring.

Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and daughter Carys at the 76th annual Cannes film festival on May 16, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

The young lady was not shy about kissing her dad’s cheek in front of the crowd and proudly looking at him while they posed for photographers on the red carpet. Carys confidently displayed affection for her father in public and stood by him despite the negativity surrounding his age.