Movie Pop Culture Trivia – When Actor Michael Douglas Could Not Use His First Name


 Used “M.K. Douglas” For First TV Acting Breakthrough

1969 MK Douglas

It’s true. (Mike Kirk) Douglas had aspirations of being an actor like his dad. His first major break came in 1969 – in a CBS-TV Playhouse special titled, “The Experiment.” The problem – he couldn’t use his first name – Mike – most likely due to another Mike Douglas – this one a very well-known TV talkshow host. Either producers and/or the network asked for the change and – it’s the one and only time – the actor known as Michael Douglas was simply M.K. Douglas. Smartly – subsequent TV guest starring roles had him credited as Michael Douglas – enough to distinguish himself from the TV talkshow host.

michael douglas trivia mrpopcultureThe TV Guide pull-out above describes the new actor as the son of Kirk Douglas. It wouldn’t be long until the younger Douglas became a true TV and movie superstar.

“The Experiment” co-starred M.K. Douglas and Tisha Sterling as young rebels in conflict with the business establishment. Perfect for 1969. Douglas kept busy – appearing on (mostly) TV dramas until his big breakthrough.

Three years later – he was cast with Hollywood vet Karl Malden in ABC-TV’s, “Streets of San Francisco” and never looked back.

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