Miggs And Michael

Most people, if they saw Michael Douglas in a restaurant, would do 1 of 2 things: They’d ask for his autograph. Or they’d stare.

Miggs Burroughs is not “most people.”

The other day, he saw the actor at Barcelona in Fairfield. Miggs — a well-known artist/designer — had a great opening line for the even better-known actor.

Michael Douglas -- older than when he wanted to be a stuntman, younger than today.

Michael Douglas — older than when he wanted to be a stuntman, younger than today.

Miggs reminded Michael that they were tennis partners at Westport legend Doc Marshall’s camp, held on the courts behind Bedford Junior High School (now Saugatuck Elementary) when the boys were 10 or 12.

As Miggs tells it: “Michael’s jaw  dropped with surprise, or maybe I was standing on his foot.”

Miggs remembered that Michael “hurled himself over the net and rolled around on the ground because, as he told me then, he wanted to be a stuntman when he grew up.”

Miggs continues: “Well, when the son of Spartacus” — or, anyway, Kirk Douglas, who played Spartacus in the movies — “tells you he wants to be a stuntman, then I wanted to be a stunt man too.”

So later in the week Miggs threw himself off the roof of a neighbor’s chicken coop. Unlike actual stuntmen — or Spartacus — Miggs did a nasty face plant on the ground. His nose split open.

He ran home. Covering his face, he dashed into the living room, where his parents were entertaining friends.

They asked what was wrong. Miggs dropped his hands. A torrent of blood spilled on the carpet, as the guests ran for cover. 

“Since it was all his fault, I should have asked Michael to autograph the scar on my nose from the stitches,” Miggs says.

“But I didn’t think of it until now.”

Miggs Burroughs. You can barely see his scar.

Miggs Burroughs. You can barely see his scar.

3 responses to “Miggs And Michael

  1. I took tennis lessons on the Bedford courts in the summer of 1966–with no celebrity partner, unfortunately. Michael Katz, Greg’s older brother, was my instructor. I do have a vague recollection of Doc Marshall from back in the day. Was Michael Katz part of Doc’s camp, or was Doc’s tennis school over and done with by that point?

    Those were clay courts back then so the landing surface might have been a little more forgiving for Michael Douglas to practice his stunt fall on. On the other hand, we were required to wear tennis whites so I imagine his parents weren’t too thrilled to see him that day after he rolled around on the red clay.

  2. Eric William Buchroeder

    I have an older cousin who has never let me forget that he and Michael Douglas used to pump gas together at Currie’s Gulf station which used to be at the foot of Treadwell and Riverside Avenues.

  3. Arline P.Gertzoff

    Here’s another Michael Douglas story from long ago.Circa 1957 the late Westport art teacher Joe Mendola gave Sat art lessons in the basement of the Seabury Center.One day I went up to this boy with a cleft in his chin and said :”You look like Kirk Douglas:”Reply. He’s my father. My day was made.