Kirk Douglas


Kirk Douglas (born Issur Danielovitch, 09.12.1916)
Kirk Douglas is an award winning American actor.

Kirk Douglas: Childhood
Kirk Douglas was born in Amsterdam, New York. His parents were Jewish immigrants Bryna 'Bertha' and Herschel 'Harry' Danielovitch, a horse trader.
He grew up in a poor family that spoke Yiddish.
As a child he sold food to mill workers to earn money before becoming a paperboy among many other jobs.
He attended St. Lawrence University after receiving a loan which he paid back through gardening and janitor jobs. There he was an avid wrestler and also used the sport to make money.
He was later given a scholarship for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and subsequently made his Broadway debut in 'Spring Again'.
He joined the Navy in 1941 during World War II and changed his name to Kirk Douglas. He was later discharged for injuries.

Kirk Douglas: Acting career
Kirk Douglas began his acting career in radio, theatre and commercials, making a breakthrough in the production 'Kiss and Tell'.
His first film role came with 1946's 'The Strange Love of Martha Ivers' with Barbara Stanwyck.
He was often seen in 'tough guy' roles in his film career; his eighth film saw him play a boxer in 'Champion' opposite Marilyn Maxwell.
He formed a movie production company called 'Bryna Productions' which he named after his mother.
In 1949, he appeared in Anton Chekhov's Broadway play 'Three Sisters'.
He has starred in several westerns including 'Along the Great Divide' in 1951 and 'Lonely Are the Brave' in 1962.
He was nominated for an Oscar for his 1952 film 'The Bad and the Beautiful' alongside Lana Turner.
He has had a military role in various movies including Stanley Kubrick's 'Paths of Glory' in 1957, 1964's 'Seven Days in May' opposite Ava Gardner, 'Heroes of Telemark' in 1965 with Richard Harris, 'In Harm's Way' alongside John Wayne and Henry Fonda and 1966's 'Cast a Giant Shadow' with Yul Brynner, John Wayne and Frank Sinatra.
He won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Vincent Van Gogh in 'Lust for Life' in 1956 which also starred Anthony Quinn.
He is possibly best known for his appearance in 1960's Academy Award nominated 'Spartacus' in which he played the title role opposite Peter Ustinov, Laurence Olivier and Tony Curtis.
He has played in several comedies including Disney's '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' in 1954 opposite James Mason, 'The western Man Without a Star' in 1955 and 'For Love or Money' in 1963.
He appeared in several films with Burt Lancaster including 'I Walk Alone' in 1948, 'Gunfight at the O.K. Corral' in 1957 and 'The List of Adrian Messenger' in 1963.
He directed his first film 'Scalawag' in 1973 though it wasn't well-received.
In 1986, he co-hosted the New York Philharmonic's tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty with Angela Lansbury.
Although he has never won a competitive Oscar despite being nominated three times, he received an Honorary Academy Award in 1996 for his acting achievements.
He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame though it has been replaced since its initial unveiling due to a theft. His other honours include having a Palm Springs avenue, Kirk Douglas Way, named after him; his 1981 receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the French Legion of Honor in 1985 and the National Medal of the Arts in 2001.
He famously presented the Best Supporting Actress Oscar at the Academy Awards in 2011 and shamelessly flirted with Anne Hathaway.

Kirk Douglas: Personal life
Kirk Douglas married Diana Dill in 1943 and had two sons, Michael Douglas and Joel Douglas. They divorced in 1951.
He married Anne Buydens in 1954 and had another two sons, Peter Douglas and Eric Douglas. Eric passed away in 2004 from a drug overdose.
In 1991, he was in a helicopter crash where two people died. He subsequently learned to embrace his Jewish heritage which he had struggled to come to terms with for so long.
In 1996, he had a bad stroke which had an impact on his voice.
He had a second Bar-Mitzvah ceremony in 1999 when he turned 83.
He has written several books including the autobiography 'The Ragman's Son'.
Read More

Pictures: Over 3,500 Meals Served Up At The 76th Thanksgiving LA Mission

22nd November 2012 -


Veteran movie star Kirk Douglas chips in for the Thanksgiving LA MissionThis Thanksgiving marks the 76th anniversary that the Los Angeles Mission serves out a festive meal to the hundreds of unfortunate homeless people who...

Kirk Douglas Leaves An LA Medical Building With Female Driver

24th October 2012 -


'Spartacus' actor Kirk Douglas is spotted by photographers getting into a car with a female driver after leaving a medical building in Los Angeles. The paparazzi tell him that they are big fans of his...

Pink Panther Star Herbert Lom Dies, Aged 95

27th September 2012 -


Herbert Lom, the actor best known for playing Charles Dreyfus in the Pink Panther movies, has died aged 95. He may have starred alongside Hollywood greats Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston and Alec Guinness, he may...

Kirk Douglas Leaves A Medical Building

23rd January 2012 -


Veteran actor Kirk Douglas (Spartacus; The Final Countdown; 20,000 Leagues under the Sea) leaves a medical building in Beverly Hills. The actor, wearing a blue tracksuit, talked to photographers outside the building but his speech...

Back to top

Kirk Douglas Images

More Kirk Douglas Pictures

Back to top

Kirk Douglas Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Kirk Douglas

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All


Editors Recommendations

Alt J - This Is All Yours Album Review

After just one album that mesmerised the world into understanding that "normal" guys can make intellectually...

Alt J - This Is All Yours Album Review

One Direction Announces New Single Entitled 'Steal My Girl'

One Direction have announced their new single, 'Steal My Girl', ahead of the release...

One Direction Announces New Single Entitled 'Steal My Girl'

Fury - Trailer and Featurette

Director David Ayer begins to talk about what happens in the film, and what it is comprised of. They give us an introduction...

Fury Trailer

'Django Unchained' Actress 'Handcuffed After Kissing Companion'

Daniele Watts, the American actress who appeared in the Oscar winning...

'Django Unchained' Actress 'Handcuffed After Kissing Companion'

Pride - Movie Review

Based on a true story, this crowd-pleasing comedy-drama is such a joy to watch that it wears our faces out with all the...

Pride Movie Review

Jack White - Would You Fight For My Love? Video

The new music video for 'Would You Fight For My Love?' - the latest single from Jack White's second...

Jack White - Would You Fight For My Love? Video

'The Imitation Game' Wins Toronto Prize - But What Does it Mean for the Oscars?

The Imitation Game, the Weinstein produced World War II drama about the...

'The Imitation Game' Wins Toronto Prize - But What Does it Mean for the Oscars?

Serena - Trailer

As the Great Depression begins to sweep across America, George Pemberton (Bradley Cooper) and Serena Shaw...

Serena Trailer

Daniel Craig To Play "Covered Up Character" in Star Wars: Episode VII

Daniel Craig is rumored to have a cameo in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII...

Daniel Craig To Play

More recommendations