Michael Douglas, who turns sixty-six -- sixty-six! -- in a couple of weeks, went on Letterman last night ostensibly to promote the September release of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. But the conversation quickly turned to something else, as Douglas discussed his recent throat cancer diagnosis, and confirmed that the cancer is Stage IV. For those fortunate enough not to know about this kind of thing, the "stage" of a cancer is a measure of how much the cancer has spread. And Stage IV is the worst, most advanced stage, meaning that the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body -- though in Douglas's case, thankfully, it has remained above the neck.
The prognosis for Douglas is good -- roughly 80%, he says -- but the Letterman appearance is still heartbreaking. Looking dapper in a white suit and slouching casually in his chair, Douglas seemed as unflappable and invulnerable as most of his characters, justifiably taking some pride in keeping his appointments despite having just completed the first week of a brutal chemotherapy regimen. Which turned his eventual admission that things are likely to go downhill from here into a punch to the gut.
The guy's a legend and I wish him nothing but luck. You can watch the Letterman video after the jump.