The ‘Behind the Candelabra’ actor was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2010 and because it wasn’t spotted until its later stages he had to undergo an intense course of treatment, but he claims he was too upset with his doctors to let himself die.
Michael – who was given the all-clear in 2011 – told GQ magazine: “I wasn’t scared of dying, probably because I was too p****d off with at all the physicians.”
Needless to say, Michael’s doctor was fired for missing the cancer for so long.
He added: “He’d missed it for nine god damn months! I fired him. And I didn’t mince my words, shall we say.”
The 68-year-old star’s cancer had only been discovered after he went to see specialists in Canada, and he says he was so shocked to find out how bad his condition was he nearly fell out of the chair.
Michael – who is currently separated from his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones – explained: “Some moments really stick in your mind and this is one of those moments. One of the specialists took a simple wooden spatula, he pushed my tongue down. I will never forget the look on his face … Two days later he rung me up and said I had cancer. Now, at that moment, I didn’t know how bad it was. Or how advanced. Back in New York I went to see this particular surgeon at Sloan-Kettering [cancer centre] and he told me I was stage four. I nearly fell off the chair. There aint no stage five, man! It was about the size of a walnut.”