Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas

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

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.

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.

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'.

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Michael Douglas On His Late Mother, Describes Her As A “Lady” & “Class Act”

Michael Douglas Kirk Douglas Paul Rudd Evangeline Lilly Judy Greer Bobby Cannavale

Michael Douglas described his late mother, Diana Douglas, as a “class act” during a recent appearance at a press screening of his soon-to-be-released movie, Ant-Man, on Monday (13th July). Diana died earlier this month at the age of 92 after losing her battle with cancer.

Michael DouglasMichael Douglas at the press screening of Ant-Man in New York on Monday.

Read More: Michael Douglas Says Social Media Is To Blame For American Actors Missing Out On Biggest Roles.

Continue reading: Michael Douglas On His Late Mother, Describes Her As A “Lady” & “Class Act”

Diana Douglas, Actress And Mother Of Michael Douglas Dies Aged 92

Michael Douglas Kirk Douglas

Actress Diana Douglas the mother of Michael Douglas and the first wife of Kirk Douglas has died aged 92, her husband Donald Webster confirmed. Douglas died on Friday at the Motion Picture and Television Home in Woodland Hills, California, following a battle with cancer.

Continue reading: Diana Douglas, Actress And Mother Of Michael Douglas Dies Aged 92

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

Kirk Douglas Matt Bomer Neil Patrick Harris Zachary Levi Malin Akerman Bella Thorne Tatyana Ali

Kirk Douglas, Thanksgiving LA Mission

Veteran movie star Kirk Douglas chips in for the Thanksgiving LA Mission

This Thanksgiving marks the 76th anniversary that the Los Angeles Mission serves out a festive meal to the hundreds of unfortunate homeless people who line the city's streets, and there were more than a few famous faces popping up among the volunteers to serve up over 3,500 meals to those in need - not least veteran actor Kirk Douglas who belied his 96 years old age to don a red LA Mission apron and help serve up the good stuff. 

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

Video - Kirk Douglas Leaves An LA Medical Building With Female Driver

'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 and he raises his hands in acknowledgement but says little.

Continue: Video - Kirk Douglas Leaves An LA Medical Building With Female Driver

Pink Panther Star Herbert Lom Dies, Aged 95

Herbert Lom Kirk Douglas Charlton Heston Alec Guinness Peter Sellers Blake Edwards

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 have portrayed historical figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte, but it will be his performance alongside the hapless Inspector Clouseau (played by Peter Sellers) for which he will be most fondly remembered.

The family of the Czech-born star confirmed that he died peacefully in his sleep, Sky News report today (September 27, 2012) and his son Alec Lom has spoken of his long and varied career. “Like many actors, he never wanted to be pigeon-holed in a particular role,” his son revealed. “After having played the role of East European gangster in many films, it was a delight to him later in his career to be cast by Pink Panther producer and director Blake Edwards in a comedy role opposite Peter Sellers, and he hugely enjoyed that move.”

Alec also spoke fondly of his father’s working relationship with Sellers, saying “he had many funny stories about the antics that he and Peter Sellers got up to on the set. It was a nightmare working with Peter because he was a terrible giggler and, between my father and Peter's laughter, they ruined dozens and dozens of takes.”

Anne Douglas and Kirk Douglas - Anne Douglas, Kirk Douglas Thursday 10th May 2012 The Heart Foundation Gala held at the Hollywood Palladium

Anne Douglas and Kirk Douglas

Video - Kirk Douglas Leaves A Medical Building

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 is indistinct.

Kirk is the patriarch of the successful Douglas family; his son is actor Michael Douglas (Falling Down; Wall Street) and his grandson is Cameron Douglas (Mr. Nice Guy; It Runs In The Family). At the age of ninety six, he is the world's oldest celebrity blogger, updating his MySpace blog regularly

Kirk Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas - Kirk Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, Michael Douglas New York City, USA - Children of Chernobyl's Children of Heart Gala - Arrivals Monday 21st November 2011

Kirk Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas

Katerina Graham and Kirk Douglas Wednesday 24th November 2010 Anne and Kirk Douglas Center host a Thanksgiving Meal for the Homeless held at the Los Angeles Mission. Los Angeles, California

Katerina Graham and Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas

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Kirk Douglas

Date of birth

9th December, 1916