In the first episode of Alec Baldwin’s new National Public Radio series, Here’s the Thing, veteran actor Michael Douglas shared the details of the moment he was told he might have cancer, calling it one he would “never forget.”
The 66-year-old Oscar-winning actor, who was diagnosed with stage IV throat cancer in August 2010, eight months after he first complained of soreness in the area, and he admits he “knew” the problem by the way the specialist looked at him.
“He literally opened my mouth, he took a tongue depressor and I’ll never forget that moment,” Douglas recounted to Baldwin. “He looked up at me, he looked back down and then I knew.”
Michael — who has children Dylan, 11 and Carys, 8, with wife Catherine Zeta-Jones as well as grown-up son Cameron, 32, from his first marriage — admits he put off seeing a doctor at the time because he thought he had simply damaged his throat while filming Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
“I thought maybe it was from tension from the part where you haven’t placed your voice and how you are swallowing your words and you are speaking from the back of your throat,” he said.
Douglas’ stage 4 cancer required seven weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, something Baldwin says had him expecting the worst.
“I want to mention that I came to this door… expecting you to look, I’m going to be very honest with you, not as great as you look now,” Baldwin said, and then jokingly added “you look pretty damn good. You’re making me sick to my stomach.”
After taking time to recover from cancer treatments, Michael Douglas will begin work on his next project, HBO Films’ Liberace biopic, “Behind the Candelabra,” a film based on the life of the famous American pianist with Matt Damon playing his on-screen lover.