A Perfect Murder: About The Cast

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An actor with more than 20 years of experience in theater, film and television, MICHAEL DOUGLAS (Steven Taylor) branched out into independent feature production in 1975 with the Academy Award-winning "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Since then, as a producer and as an actor-producer, he has shown an uncanny knack for choosing projects that reflect current trends and public concerns.

The son of Kirk and Diana Douglas, Michael Douglas attended the University of California at Santa Barbara. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1968, Douglas moved to New York City to continue his dramatic training, first with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse, then with Wynn Handman at the American Place Theatre.

A few months after he arrived in New York, Douglas was cast in the CBS Playhouse production of "The Experiment," which won him the leading role in "Hail Hero!," the initial project of CBS' theatrical film production company, Cinema Center Films. His second feature was "Adam at Six A.M," followed by "Summertree" and "Napoleon and Samantha."

In between film assignments, he worked in summer stock and Off-Broadway productions. He also appeared in the made-for-television thriller "When Michael Calls" (1972) and in episodes of the popular series "Medical Center" and "The FBI."

Impressed by Douglas' performance in a segment of the latter series, producer Quinn Martin signed the actor for the part of Karl Malden's sidekick in the police series "The Streets of San Francisco," which became one of ABC's highest-rated primetime programs in the mid-1970s. Douglas earned three successive Emmy Award nominations for his performance and directed two episodes of the series.

During breaks in the shooting schedule for "The Streets of San Francisco," Douglas devoted most of his time to his film production company, Big Stick Productions, Ltd., which produced several short subjects. Long interested in producing a film version of Ken Kesey's grimly humorous novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Douglas purchased the movie rights from his father and formed a partnership with Saul Zaentz, then a record-industry executive, to produce the film. A critical and commercial success, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress, and went on to gross more than $180 million at the box office. Douglas' next producing project, "The China Syndrome" (1979), was a controversial thriller that was nominated for three Academy Awards.

Douglas resumed his acting career in the late 1970s, starring in "Coma" (1978), "Running" (1979), "It's My Turn" (1981), "The Star Chamber" (1983) and "A Chorus Line" (1985). His career as an actor-producer came together again in 1984 with the release of the tongue-in-cheek romantic fantasy "Romancing the Stone," which was a resounding hit. Douglas was named Producer of the Year in 1984 by the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), the following year, he reteamed with his "Romancing the Stone" stars Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito for the hugely successful sequel "The Jewel of the Nile."

"Starman," co-produced by Douglas and Larry Franco, was the sleeper hit of the 1984 Christmas season and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for Jeff Bridges. In 1986 Douglas created a television series based on the film for ABC. Douglas returned to the screen in 1987, appearing opposite Glenn Close in the phenomenally successful psychological thriller, "Fatal Attraction," and as corporate raider Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street," earning him the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Douglas next starred in Ridley Scott's thriller "Black Rain" and then teamed up again with Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito in the black comedy "The War of the Roses."

In 1988 Douglas formed Stonebridge Entertainment, Inc., which produced "Flatliners," "Radio Flyer" and "Shining Through." In 1992 he starred with Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct," the erotic thriller from director Paul Verhoeven, which became one of the year's top-grossing films. Douglas gave one of his most powerful performances in Joel Schumacher's controversial drama "Falling Down." That year he also produced the hit comedy "Made in America."

1994 saw Douglas starring with Demi Moore in Barry Levinson's "Disclosure," based on the best-seller by Michael Crichton. The following year, he portrayed the title role in Rob Reiner's romantic drama "The American President." Most recently, Douglas starred in David Fincher's psychological thriller, "The Game," which rapidly became one of Fall, 1997's box-office hits.

In 1994, Douglas formed Douglas/Reuther Productions with fellow producer Steven Reuther. Their first fully financed production was "The Ghost and the Darkness," starring Douglas and Val Kilmer, followed by John Woo's smash hit, "Face/Off," starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage, and Francis Ford Coppola's film of the John Grisham bestseller The Rainmaker.

GWYNETH PALTROW (Emily Bradford Taylor) first came to public and critical attention with her performance opposite Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid in "Flesh and Bone." Since then, she has appeared in such motion pictures as David Fincher's hit thriller "Seven," Doug McGrath's film adaptation of the Jane Austen classic "Emma" and the independent feature "Hard Eight." She was most recently seen starring in "Sliding Doors"; "Great Expectations," with Ethan Hawke and Robert De Niro. She recently completed filming "Shakespeare in Love" with Joseph Fiennes and Judi Dench.

Paltrow's additional film credits include "The Pallbearer" with David Schwimmer and Barbara Hershey; "Moonlight and Valentino" opposite Whoopi Goldberg, Kathleen Turner and Elizabeth Perkins; the Merchant/lvory production "Jefferson in Paris" opposite Nick Nolte; "Malice"; and "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle."

Born in Los Angeles, Paltrow is the daughter of Bruce Paltrow, a highly-successful television producer ("St. Elsewhere," "The White Shadow"), and the award-winning actress Blythe Danner. She began to pursue a career in acting after appearing onstage at the Williamstown Theater in her late teens.

Since his debut as Alexander Godunov's brother in 1985's "Witness," VIGGO MORTENSEN (David Shaw) has enjoyed a career marked by several standout performances. From his role in "Crimson Tide" to his work in Sean Penn's "The Indian Runner," his talents have continuously been recognized by critics.

Most recently, Mortensen starred opposite Demi Moore in Ridley Scott's "G.I. Jane." He was also seen in the Universal thriller "Daylight" with Sylvester Stallone, opposite Nicole Kidman in Jane Campion's "The Portrait of a Lady," and in Kevin Spacey's directorial debut, "Albino Alligator." He recently finished filming "The Blouse Man" opposite Diane Lane and Oscar-winner Anna Paquin.

Born in New York to a Danish father and American mother, Mortensen spent the early part of his childhood in Manhattan. His family traveled a great deal and he spent several years living in Argentina, Venezuela and Denmark. He began acting in 1982 after studying at Warren Robertson's Theatre Workshop in New York, appearing in several plays and eventually moving to Los Angeles, where his performance in "Bent" at the Coast Playhouse earned him a Dramalogue Critics Award.

Mortensen's additional film credits include "Carlito's Way," "Young Americans," "The Prophecy," "Boiling Point" and "Fresh Horses." Possessed with a skill for mastering foreign languages, he also starred opposite Angela Molina in the Spanish film "Gimlet" and in "My Brother's Gun," directed by Ray Loriga.

A book of Mortensen's poetry entitled Ten Last Night was recently published through Illuminati Press. Mortensen is also an accomplished painter and photographer.

DAVID SUCHET (Detective Mohamed Karaman), one of Great Britain's most distinguished actors, is now becoming well-known in the U.S. through his performance as Agatha Christie's legendary Inspector Hercule Poirot in the television series broadcast on PBS, as well as through his performance in the award-winning independent film "Sunday" and such popular feature films as "Executive Decision."

Suchet joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1973 (he is currently an Associate Artist of the RSC), and has performed with them in such productions as "King Lear," "As You Like It," "Romeo and Juliet," "Measure For Measure," "The Tempest," "Once In A Lifetime," "The Merchant of Venice," "Troilus and Cressida," "Richard II," "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour," "Othello" and "Timon of Athens." His other stage work in London has included "Separation," "Oleanna" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?."

In addition to numerous performances on BBC Radio, Suchet has acted in a number of television movies both in England and Stateside, among them the BBC's "Secret Agent," "Separation," "Bingo," "Once In A Lifetime," "The Life of Freud," "Being Normal," "Oppenheimer," "The Cruel Train," "Gulag," "Song For Europe," "The Last Innocent Man," "The Lucona Affair," "Deadly Voyage" and "Solomon."

Suchet has worked on feature films throughout the world, among them "The Falcon and the Snowman," "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes," "Iron Eagle," "When the Whales Came," "A World Apart," "Executive Decision" and the independent feature "Sunday," which won the Grand Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

CONSTANCE TOWERS (Sandra Bradford) has enjoyed a distinguished career on stage, screen and television. She began her film career starring for John Ford in "The Horse Soldiers" and "Sergeant Rutledge," and for Samuel Fuller in the cult classics "The Naked Kiss" and "Shock Corridor." Her other features have included "Bring Your Smile Along," "Fate is the Hunter," "Fast Forward," "Sylvester," "Another Karate Kid" and "The Relic."

Towers starred on Broadway in "Ari" (the musical version of "Exodus"), "Engagement Baby," George Abbot's production of "Anya" and, opposite Yul Brynner, as Anna Leonowens in the popular revival of "The King and I," which also toured. She has also starred in the New York City Center productions of "Carousel" and "The Sound of Music," and Richard Rodgers' Lincoln Center production of "Showboat."

Her television credits have included recurring roles on "Capitol," "2000 Malibu Road" and "Sunset Beach," and guest-star appearances on "L.A. Law," "Designing Women," "Baywatch," "Matlock," "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," "Civil Wars," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "Silk Stalkings," "Frasier," "Caroline in the City" and "Kelly Kelly," among others. She has also starred or co-starred in several telefeatures. Currently, Towers is enjoying immensely playing the role of Helena Cassadine on "General Hospital."

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