Michael Douglas was born on 25 September 1944, in Brunswick, New Jersey. He studied drama at college, and started his film career in the late 1960s with roles in minor films. His big break actually came as a producer, when his father Kirk Douglas gave him the rights to the novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. He received the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1975 for this, and earned further acclaim in 1979 when he produced and starred in nuclear thriller The China Syndrome alongside Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon. His presence as a Hollywood leading man was assured by 1984's Romancing the Stone, an adventure film that also propelled Robert Zemeckis to success. 1987 had Douglas starring in Fatal Attraction and Wall Street, the latter of which got him the Academy Award for Best Actor. He also starred opposite Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct (1992), and opposite Benicio del Toro and future wife Catherine Zeta-Jones in Traffic (2000). In 2010, Douglas was diagnosed with throat cancer, and had to cancel ongoing projects.