From her successful debuting roles in The Mask of Zorro (1998) with Antonio Banderas and Entrapment (1999) with Sean Connery to her stellar song and dance performance of “All That Jazz” in Chicago (2002), Catherine Zeta-Jones has beguiled audiences with her striking beauty and screen presence.
But when the star married actor Michael Douglas in 2000, many eyebrows were raised at the age gap between the two. Douglas was 56 years old at the time and Zeta-Jones was 31.
The couple have never let the words of others get in the way of their love, though, and have stayed together ever since, a rare feat by Hollywood standards. These days, however, it’s their beautiful children who are getting the attention as they grow up and bear more than a slight resemblance to their famous parents.
It wasn’t easy for Douglas and Zeta-Jones starting out. Their romance seemed improbable to the press, though it made complete sense to them. As Zeta-Jones said, per E!, “when my mother was telling me about men and telling me the facts of life, she never actually put an age bracket on it. And it’s so funny, because Michael and my parents are the same age.” But as Douglas said at the time of their life together with their son Dylan Zeta Douglas, “it doesn’t get any better than this,” per E!.
In 2003, Carys Zeta Douglas was born and brought a whole new level of joy to the family. The family lived in Bermuda, which was quite literally an island of tranquility compared to New York City. In her early years, Carys just thought her loving father was an ordinary guy, never suspecting he was one of the highest-paid stars in the movie business.
As she said to Town & Country in a 2018 interview, “I didn’t know my dad was an actor, honestly.” She joked that she always assumed his profession was “pancake maker,” as he was so involved in making family breakfasts.
When the family moved to New York, things were a lot less fun for young Carys. Navigating the massive press attention the family received and the intrusive paparazzi photographers could be pretty challenging. As Carys told Town & Country, “I used to get really upset. They would jump on the subway and sit right in front of me.”
However, this experience prepared her for the pressures of being the child of Hollywood royalty. She remembers thinking to herself as a little girl, “I need to focus on who I really am, and this is going to be something that’s just going to happen.” Being confident in herself and having the strength that her mother instilled in her gave Carys the power to accept the attention and say “I can’t do anything about it.”
Carys also had to deal with bullying at school when she was younger, especially about her famous father’s age. As she shared with Town & Country, when Douglas came to get her at school, “people would be like, ‘your grandpa’s here to pick you up.'”
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These days, though, the Zeta Douglas kids have come into their own. Older brother Dylan Zeta Douglas has started college at Brown University, and little sister Carys now has an Instagram account with a big following. With a keen fashion sense that she credits her mother for, this young woman seems to have a very promising future.
While she definitely wants to get a good education, hopefully at an Ivy League university like her brother, and even thinks about going to medicine, Carys has caught the acting bug in a big way. She doesn’t want to rest on the laurels of her family, which includes the legend of Hollywood’s golden years Kirk Douglas, who’s 102 and still going strong.
“When I was younger I didn’t like the idea of having this name attached to me, this kind of ‘Douglas dynasty’ stuff,” she said to Town & Country. Knowing that some people will assume that her success would be due to her family name only makes her want to work harder. “I feel I need to constantly prove myself to people—that I am not just my parents’ daughter.”
Thrilled to be on the cover of the September issue of Vanity Fair España with my beautiful daughter Carys 💕 Thank you to…
Whatever Carys ends up doing, she will always retain the lessons about gratitude that her mother taught her. “My parents do a really good job of reality-checking me and being like, ‘Look around you. The life you have is extraordinary.'”
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