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Douglas clears diary to battle throat cancer

ACTOR Michael Douglas has cleared his work schedule as he prepares to begin his battle to beat cancer.

The 65-year-old star has cancelled plans for a worldwide promotional tour to publicise his latest movie, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, which is due for release in September.

The film sees Douglas reprise his role as Gordon Gekko. His character in the latest film, which was completed last year, is often seen puffing a cigar.

The actor won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in the first Wall Street movie following its release in 1987.



SPEAK

The star has also pulled out of addressing financial professionals in Hong Kong next month in order to begin treatment for throat cancer.

Douglas was due to give a talk at the CLSA Investors Forum on September 15, however the Hollywood icon will not be honouring the commitment.

A representative for the actor explained how the star would be taking a step back from the limelight for a minimum of two months.

Douglas is due to begin an aggressive course of radiation and chemotherapy in the coming weeks to kill the tumour in his throat.

He faces radiation treatment five days a week for two months as well as chemotherapy, which is usually given every one to three weeks.

Known for his love of smoking, Douglas will have treatment in New York and is said to be "optimistic".

Douglas, who is married to Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (40) is said to have stayed upbeat since the diagnosis.

However doctors have warned that he may end up with badly affected vocal cords or may even lose the ability to speak.

The star is understood to have been at his home in Bermuda when his publicist announced the throat cancer diagnosis.

It comes after a harrowing year for Douglas, who saw his eldest son Cameron (32), from his first marriage to Diandra Luker, jailed for five years on drug charges.

At the time the actor wrote an impassioned five-page letter to the judge, referring to his family's history of drug abuse.

And he suggested the burden of being a Douglas was to blame for Cameron's addiction.

The iconic screen star also has two young children with Welsh actress Catherine Zeta- Jones, 25 years his junior.

Their children, Dylan (10) and Carys (7) are said to be too young to fully understand their father's illness.

Zeta-Jones was said to look frail and tired towards the end of the run of A Little Night Music on Broadway.

lnolan@herald.ie