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