Catherine Zeta-Jones: Red Hot Mama
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January 9, 2003

Red Hot Mama

A little glam, a lot of family: Chicago star and mom-to-be (again) Catherine Zeta-Jones happily mixes Wales, wails and Hollywood.

Catherine Zeta-Jones
"When I met my husband," says Zeta-Jones (in Rome), "my whole world got turned upside down -- in a good way."
(Catherine Zeta-Jones)

Zeta-Jones, Douglas

Zeta-Jones/Douglas Family


Sure, Mom and Dad are pretty famous. But to Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, the real star of the household is their son Dylan. At 2, Zeta-Jones boasts, he can belt the chorus of "All That Jazz" and -- Hollywood kid to the core -- magically stops crying if she yells, "And the Oscar goes to . . . Dylan Douglas!" His papa, meanwhile, raves about his flair for comedy. A few weeks ago Douglas came home to find his wife and son waiting. "Show Daddy how Prince Charles walks," prompted Zeta-Jones. "So he does his little Prince Charles walk," recalls Douglas, demonstrating by pacing sternly around the family's Manhattan apartment, stooped over with his hands clasped behind his back. "I fell down laughing."

Sorry, kid, but you'll have to wait your turn onstage -- right now all eyes are on your mom. Zeta-Jones's sizzling turn in the movie version of the musical Chicago has critics thoroughly lathered -- by her singing and dancing chops as well as her flashes of well-toned thigh. Already nominated for a Golden Globe, Zeta-Jones, 33, may get a chance at an Oscar to match her husband's two. But with their second child due in April she doesn't need a statuette to feel like a winner. "I never thought I'd have the kind of balance in my life that I have right now," says the Welsh-born actress, who wed Douglas, 58, two years ago. "I still have the same inhibitions, worries and insecurities I've always had, but now everything's in perspective. My cocoon, my life with my husband and my son, is so important. It's a bonus to have everything else."

These days she's happy to have swapped Chicago's punishing shoots for the relative peace of family time -- and a new place in the sun. While she and Douglas (whose combined fortune is estimated at more than $200 million) have apartments in Los Angeles and New York City as well as lavish getaways in Mallorca and Aspen, they recently decided to make Bermuda their home base. Douglas's mother's family goes back 300 years on the island, where the two just finished renovating an 1821 estate, and Dylan started at a nearby nursery school this month. "We have a nice big garden, and I have play dates there," says Zeta-Jones. "In Bermuda it's easy for us to have a normal life. No one follows you in and out of places."

Still, life is far from lonely. The family mingled with dozens of Douglas's local kin during a whirlwind holiday season highlighted by the Dec. 28 wedding of Douglas's mother, Diana Darrid, 79, to Donald Albert Webster, 72, a former U.S. Treasury official, in a candlelit island church. (Darrid was divorced from Kirk Douglas in 1950; her second husband, William Darrid, died in 1992.) Dylan backed out of his ring-bearer gig at the last minute. "When Catherine left him at the back of the church and walked to her pew, everyone suddenly heard this loud cry -- "Mommy! Mommy!" says guest and Douglas relative John Cox. "She flew back down the aisle and scooped him up." Cameron, 24, Douglas's son from his 22-year first marriage to Diandra, 46, also spent Christmas with the couple, attending family parties. "We've got wacky traditions, like swimming off the dock on Christmas Day and everyone gathering around the piano to sing carols, even those of us who can't sing," says Douglas's cousin Jennifer Stobo, 35. "Catherine and Michael just join in." Photo Gallery: Catherine Zeta-Jones: Rise of a Superstar

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Stars in Just Married, in theaters Jan. 10.


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