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It also reintroduced Douglas as a capable leading man and gave director Robert Zemeckis his first box-office success.
The film also starred Danny De Vito, a friend of Douglas since they had shared an apartment in the 1960s.
He reprised the role in the sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010).
Douglas's subsequent film roles included: Black Rain (1989); The War of the Roses (1989); Basic Instinct (1992); The American President (1995); The Game (1997); Traffic and Wonder Boys (2000); Solitary Man (2009); and Ant-Man (2015).
In 2013, Douglas's performance as Liberace in the HBO biopic, Behind the Candelabra, received universal critical acclaim, and the actor won numerous accolades for his role, including Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Apart from his career in the film industry, Douglas has received notice for his humanitarian and political activism, as well as media attention for his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones, and his tongue cancer diagnosis.
Kirk Douglas hoped to portray Mc Murphy himself, having starred in an earlier stage version, but was deemed too old for the part by his son Michael.
The film was considered "one of the most intelligent Hollywood films of the 1970s." Douglas's acting career was propelled to fame when he produced and starred in the 1984 romantic adventure comedy Romancing the Stone.In 1975, Douglas received from his father, Kirk Douglas, the rights to the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.Michael went on to produce the film of the same name with Saul Zaentz.Douglas won the Award for Best Picture for producing the film.After leaving Streets of San Francisco in 1976, Douglas played a hospital doctor in the medical thriller Coma (1978), and in 1979 he played the role of a troubled marathon runner in Running.
Douglas's uncle was politician Nicholas Bayard Dill, and Douglas's maternal grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Melville Dill, served as Attorney General of Bermuda, as a Member of the Parliament of Bermuda (MCP), and as commanding officer of the Bermuda Militia Artillery.