Kirk Douglas, the legendary American stage and film actor, turned 95-years-old on Friday (December 9, 2011). He lies at No. 17 on the American Film Institute's list of the Greatest Male American Screen Legends of All Time and received an Academy Honorary Award in 1996.
Best known for his popular films The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), Gunfight at the O.K Corral (1957) and Spartacus (1960), Kirk also won critical acclaim in 1963 for his role in the stage production of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest. At the time no Hollywood studio were interested in adapting the play for the screen, however, Kirk acquired the movie rights and his talented son Michael Douglas later produced the hugely popular 1975 movie, starring Jack Nicholson. Though he has worked consistently throughout his career, Kirk has also involved himself in humanitarian causes and has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the US State Department since the 1960s. Despite a helicopter crash and a bout of ill health in the 1990s, the actor has remained active in front of the camera and played the lead in the 2004 independent movie Illusion. As of 2008, Kirk was considered the oldest blogger in the world after he created a Myspace account and began writing about America, politics and his favourite movies. Following Barack Obama's historic win that year, Kirk blogged, "I'm very happy that our country has made such a historical move. The world will be astounded that the United States has elected a black man to lead them. I never imagined that such an event would be possible during my lifetime. I think our country will now go on a course that permits us to work with other countries".
The three-time Oscar nominee kick-started the 83rd Academy Awards last year, presenting the award for Best Supporting Actress to Melissa Leo.