Michael Douglas, 79, says it was 'rough' being mistaken for his kid's grandparent at college Parents' Day

Approaching his 80th birthday this fall, actor Michael Douglas is feeling the limitations and experiencing the stereotypes of his age.

Douglas, who only recently became an “empty nester,” says being an older father to son Dylan, 23, and daughter Carys, 21, whom he shares with Catherine Zeta-Jones, has had its challenges.

In an interview with The Telegraph, the Academy Award winner detailed a particularly awkward scenario when he visited one of his younger children at college for Parents’ Day.


Michael Douglas says being mistaken as one of his children’s grandparents was “rough.” (Getty Images)

“‘This is not grandfather’s day, this is parents’ day.’ I say ‘I am a parent!’,” he remembered exclaiming. “That was a rough one.”

With his two younger children both being young adults, Douglas said he has inevitably slowed down. “I’m just sliding by just now. I’ve reached the point in terms of skiing and a couple of other activities that I’m no longer able to keep up with them on any basis,” he admitted.

Michael Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, right, pose with their daughter, Carys, at the Cannes Film Festival.  (Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic/Getty Images)


Michael Douglas walks the carpet with his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones and their son Dylan, left, in February 2023. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

“But it’s nice having somebody look after you and say, ‘You okay dad?’” he shared.

“I have to thank my kids, Dylan and Carys. They’re just extraordinary beings. I probably certainly have to thank their mum and Catherine. They’ve just been a joy. We’ve had no issues per se. Had a lovely, lovely life together. Dylan is completely out of school now, and Carys has got one more year of college,” he told The Telegraph. “But they brought both Catherine and I just a tremendous amount of joy.”


Michael Douglas will turn 80 in September. (Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

With no more youngsters under his roof, Douglas does say he and Zeta-Jones have more opportunities to do what they want to do. “We’re empty nesters, so we can get around a lot more than we used to raising two children in your 50s, 60s, and into your 70s.”

There has also been time for reflection, as Douglas acknowledges he was not the best parent to his eldest son, Cameron, whom he shares with ex-wife Diandra Luker.

Michael Douglas, right, admits he was not the best parent to his son, Cameron, now 45. (Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images)

“Cameron suffered a lot from that time,” Douglas admitted of a period when he was heavily sought after in Hollywood. “I was just overwhelmed and overloaded by my work. And family was really taking third place after work, our country and then the family, as opposed to when Catherine and I got together,” he explained.

His relationship with Cameron has improved in recent years. The two recently attended the Vanity Fair Oscar Party together.

Caroline Thayer is an entertainment writer for Fox News Digital. Follow Caroline Thayer on Twitter at @carolinejthayer. Story tips can be sent to [email protected].

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