Michael Douglas was "too absent" from his first wife Diandra Luker.

Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas

The 72-year-old Hollywood icon has admitted he was not as close to his film producer ex-wife - whom he was married to from 1977 to 2000 - as he is to his current wife Catherine Zeta Jones, the mother of his 16-year-old son Dylan and his 13-year-old daughter Carys.

He confessed: "I was too absent from my first marriage. Second time round, I'm so much more hands-on. By the time Dylan and then Carys were born, I was well ensconced in my career.

"They both want to be actors and Catherine and I have seen enough of them on stage to know they have got it. You'll be hearing from another generation of Douglases. I've no doubt about it."

Michael - who also has a 37-year-old son with Diandra - warned of the dangers of hanging on to a marriage for the sake of young children.

He explained to the Guardian newspaper: "A lot of marriages hang on too long for the sake of the children. But, if you start asking questions when they are older, those children will often tell you that you could have cut the tension with a knife when their parents were together and that divorce was rather like letting the air out of a balloon."

Meanwhile, Michael recently admitted he "lacked confidence" following in his father's footsteps.

The actor said he took a long time to feel "a sense of security" in his work because he always worried he would be compared unfavourably to his dad Kirk Douglas.

The 'Fatal Attraction' actor said: "I lacked confidence I would say. It took me a while to have a sense of security. I mean clearly when you have a father like Kirk, he was a big figure to look up to and think, 'wow how do you be the man that he is?'

"But I'm not complaining you know, everybody has got their strengths and weaknesses and you just try to overcome those situations and improve your lot in life."