Kirk Douglas
Overview
Kirk Douglas is an American stage and film actor, film producer and author. His popular films include Out of the Past
Out of the Past
Out of the Past is a 1947 film noir directed by Jacques Tourneur and starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, and Kirk Douglas. The film was adapted by Daniel Mainwaring , with uncredited revisions by Frank Fenton and James M...

(1947), Champion
Champion (1949 film)
Champion is an American film noir drama based on a short story by Ring Lardner. Filmed in black-and-white, it recounts the struggles of boxer "Midge" Kelly fighting his own demons while working to achieve success in the boxing ring. The drama was directed by Mark Robson, with cinematography by...

(1949), Ace in the Hole (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful
The Bad and the Beautiful
The Bad and the Beautiful is a 1952 MGM melodramatic film that tells the story of a film producer who alienates all around him. It was directed by Vincente Minelli and stars Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame and Gilbert Roland. The film was...

(1952), Lust for Life
Lust for Life (film)
Lust for Life is a MGM biographical film about the life of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, based on the 1934 novel by Irving Stone and adapted by Norman Corwin.It was directed by Vincente Minnelli and produced by John Houseman...

(1956), Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory is a 1957 American anti-war film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb. Set during World War I, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer of French soldiers who refused to continue a suicidal attack...

(1957), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), Spartacus
Spartacus (film)
Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel of the same name by Howard Fast...

(1960), and Lonely Are the Brave
Lonely are the Brave
Lonely are the Brave is a 1962 film adaptation of the Edward Abbey novel The Brave Cowboy. It stars Kirk Douglas as cowboy Jack Burns, Gena Rowlands as his best friend's wife, and Walter Matthau as a sheriff who sympathizes with Burns but must do his job and chase him down...

(1962).

He is No.17 on the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

's list of the greatest male American screen legends of all time
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars
Part of the AFI 100 Years... series, AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars is a list of the top 50 greatest screen legends of American cinema, 25 male and 25 female...

. In 1996, he received the Academy Honorary Award
Academy Honorary Award
The Academy Honorary Award, instituted in 1948 for the 21st Academy Awards , is given by the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to celebrate motion picture achievements that are not covered by existing Academy Awards, although prior winners of...

 "for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community."
Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch in Amsterdam, New York
Amsterdam (city), New York
Amsterdam is a city located in Montgomery County, New York, USA. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 18,620. The name is derived from the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands....

, the son of Bryna "Bertha" (née Sanglel) and Herschel "Harry" Danielovitch, a businessman.
Quotations

In order to achieve anything, you must be brave enough to fail.

I tell my sons they didn't have my advantages growing up. I came from abject poverty. There was nowhere to go but up.

Give your children lots of rope. Allow them to make their own mistakes. Don't give them too much advice. Each child is different; you have to respect that. It's a crapshoot: You roll the dice, and you see what happens.

Love has more depth as you get older.

The more I've studied the Torah, the less religious I've become, the more spiritual. We Jews are taught to read Hebrew, but we don't know what the hell we're reading. At Yom Kippur services, I was reading the English translations, and it came to me: There's so much adoration of God, but God doesn't need us to sing his praises. He just wants us to be better people.

Muslims follow Muhammad to reach God. Christians follow Jesus. Jews follow Moses. But it's all the same God.

Everybody has an ego.

I never wanted to be a movie actor. I started out on the stage. The first time I was invited out here, I turned it down. Then Michael was born and I needed money, so I came. Sometimes, the thing that ties you down sets you free.

The learning process continues until the day you die.

If I thought a man had never committed a sin in his life, I don't think I'd want to talk with him. A man with flaws is more interesting.

Encyclopedia
Kirk Douglas is an American stage and film actor, film producer and author. His popular films include Out of the Past
Out of the Past
Out of the Past is a 1947 film noir directed by Jacques Tourneur and starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, and Kirk Douglas. The film was adapted by Daniel Mainwaring , with uncredited revisions by Frank Fenton and James M...

(1947), Champion
Champion (1949 film)
Champion is an American film noir drama based on a short story by Ring Lardner. Filmed in black-and-white, it recounts the struggles of boxer "Midge" Kelly fighting his own demons while working to achieve success in the boxing ring. The drama was directed by Mark Robson, with cinematography by...

(1949), Ace in the Hole (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful
The Bad and the Beautiful
The Bad and the Beautiful is a 1952 MGM melodramatic film that tells the story of a film producer who alienates all around him. It was directed by Vincente Minelli and stars Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame and Gilbert Roland. The film was...

(1952), Lust for Life
Lust for Life (film)
Lust for Life is a MGM biographical film about the life of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, based on the 1934 novel by Irving Stone and adapted by Norman Corwin.It was directed by Vincente Minnelli and produced by John Houseman...

(1956), Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory is a 1957 American anti-war film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb. Set during World War I, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer of French soldiers who refused to continue a suicidal attack...

(1957), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), Spartacus
Spartacus (film)
Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel of the same name by Howard Fast...

(1960), and Lonely Are the Brave
Lonely are the Brave
Lonely are the Brave is a 1962 film adaptation of the Edward Abbey novel The Brave Cowboy. It stars Kirk Douglas as cowboy Jack Burns, Gena Rowlands as his best friend's wife, and Walter Matthau as a sheriff who sympathizes with Burns but must do his job and chase him down...

(1962).

He is No.17 on the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

's list of the greatest male American screen legends of all time
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars
Part of the AFI 100 Years... series, AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars is a list of the top 50 greatest screen legends of American cinema, 25 male and 25 female...

. In 1996, he received the Academy Honorary Award
Academy Honorary Award
The Academy Honorary Award, instituted in 1948 for the 21st Academy Awards , is given by the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to celebrate motion picture achievements that are not covered by existing Academy Awards, although prior winners of...

 "for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community."

Early life

Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch in Amsterdam, New York
Amsterdam (city), New York
Amsterdam is a city located in Montgomery County, New York, USA. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 18,620. The name is derived from the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands....

, the son of Bryna "Bertha" (née Sanglel) and Herschel "Harry" Danielovitch, a businessman. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Gomel, Belarus. His father's brother, who emigrated earlier, used the surname Demsky, which Douglas's family adopted in the United States. In addition to their surname, his parents also changed their given names to Harry and Bertha. Douglas grew up as Izzy Demsky and legally changed his name to Kirk Douglas when entering the Navy during World War II.

Coming from a poor family, as a boy Douglas sold snacks to mill workers to earn enough to buy milk and bread. Later, he delivered newspapers and worked at more than forty jobs before becoming an actor. He found living in a family of six sisters to be stifling, stating, "I was dying to get out. In a sense, it lit a fire under me." During high school, he acted in school plays, and discovered "The one thing in my life that I always knew, that was always constant, was that I wanted to be an actor."
Unable to afford tuition, Douglas talked his way into St. Lawrence University
St. Lawrence University
St. Lawrence University is a four-year liberal arts college located in the village of Canton in Saint Lawrence County, New York, United States. It has roughly 2300 undergraduate and 100 graduate students, about equally split between male and female....

 and received a loan which he paid back by working part-time as a gardener and a janitor. He was a standout on the wrestling team, and wrestled one summer in a carnival to make money.

Douglas' acting talents were noticed at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts
American Academy of Dramatic Arts
The American Academy of Dramatic Arts is a fully accredited two-year conservatory with facilities located in Manhattan, New York City – at 120 Madison Avenue, in a landmark building designed by noted architect Stanford White as the original Colony Club – and in Hollywood, California...

 in New York City and he received a special scholarship. One of his classmates was Betty Joan Perske (later to become better known as Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall is an American film and stage actress and model, known for her distinctive husky voice and sultry looks.She first emerged as leading lady in the Humphrey Bogart film To Have And Have Not and continued on in the film noir genre, with appearances in The Big Sleep and Dark Passage ,...

), who would play an important role in launching his film career. Another classmate was aspiring Bermudian actress Diana Dill
Diana Dill
Diana Love Dill is a Bermudian actress, active in the U.S., who has also appeared professionally under the names Diana Douglas and Diana Douglas Darrid.-Personal life:...

. While doing summer stock theater during a college term break, he began using the name Kirk Douglas, which he later legally adopted. He earned his first money as an actor that summer. Upon graduating from drama school, Douglas made his Broadway debut as a singing telegraph boy in Spring Again.

Douglas enlisted in the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 in 1941, shortly after the United States entered World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. He was medically discharged for war injuries in 1944. On May 3, 1943, Diana Dill
Diana Dill
Diana Love Dill is a Bermudian actress, active in the U.S., who has also appeared professionally under the names Diana Douglas and Diana Douglas Darrid.-Personal life:...

, his former classmate, appeared on the cover of Life magazine
Life (magazine)
Life generally refers to three American magazines:*A humor and general interest magazine published from 1883 to 1936. Time founder Henry Luce bought the magazine in 1936 solely so that he could acquire the rights to its name....

. Seeing the photograph, Douglas told his fellow sailors that he was going to marry her. He did on November 2, 1943. The couple had two sons together (Michael
Michael Douglas
Michael Kirk Douglas is an American actor and producer, primarily in movies and television. He has won three Golden Globes and two Academy Awards; first as producer of 1975's Best Picture, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and as Best Actor in 1987 for his role in Wall Street. Douglas received the...

 in 1944 and Joel
Joel Douglas
Joel Douglas is an American movie producer.The second son of Kirk Douglas and Diana Dill, he was born one day after his mother's 24th birthday...

 in 1947) before they divorced in 1951.

After the war, Douglas returned to New York City and found work in radio, theatre, and commercials
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

. His stage break occurred in Kiss and Tell, which led to other roles. Douglas had planned to remain a stage actor but Lauren Bacall helped him get his first screen role in the Hal B. Wallis
Hal B. Wallis
Hal B. Wallis was an American film producer.-Career:Harold Brent Wallis was born in Chicago in 1898. His family moved in 1922 to Los Angeles, California, where he found work as part of the publicity department at Warner Bros...

 film The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is a black-and-white film noir released in the United States in 1946, starring Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott and Kirk Douglas in his film debut. The movie is based on the short story "Love Lies Bleeding" by playwright John Patrick, using the...

(1946), starring Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck was an American actress. She was a film and television star, known during her 60-year career as a consummate and versatile professional with a strong screen presence, and a favorite of directors including Cecil B. DeMille, Fritz Lang and Frank Capra...

. Wallis was on his way to New York to look for new talent when Bacall suggested he visit Douglas, who was rehearsing a play called The Wind Is Ninety. Douglas finished the play's run and, with no follow-up work in sight, headed to Hollywood. He was immediately cast in one of the leading roles in Wallis' film and made his film acting debut as a weak man dominated by a ruthless woman, unlike his later roles where he often played dominating characters.

Career

Douglas established his image as a tough guy in his eighth film, Champion, playing a selfish boxer. From then on, he made a career of playing "sons of bitches." From that film on, he decided that to succeed as a star, he needed to ramp up his intensity, overcome his natural shyness, and choose stronger roles. He later stated, "I don’t think I’d be much of an actor without vanity. And I’m not interested in being a 'modest actor'." Early in his Hollywood career, he demonstrated his independent streak and broke his studio contracts to gain total control over his projects, forming his own movie company "Bryna Productions", named after his mother.

Douglas made his Broadway debut in 1949 in the Anton Chekhov
Anton Chekhov
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian physician, dramatist and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. His career as a dramatist produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics...

 play "The Three Sisters," produced by Katharine Cornell
Katharine Cornell
Katharine Cornell was an American stage actress, writer, theater owner and producer. She was born to American parents and raised in Buffalo, New York.Cornell is known as the greatest American stage actress of the 20th century...

.

Douglas was a major box office star in the 1950s and 1960s, playing opposite some of the leading actresses of that era. Among his various roles, he played a frontier peace officer in his first western Along the Great Divide
Along the Great Divide
Along the Great Divide is a 1951 American western film directed by Raoul Walsh. The movie stars Kirk Douglas, Virginia Mayo, John Agar, and Walter Brennan.-Plot:...

(1951). He quickly became comfortable with riding horses and playing gunslingers, and appeared in many westerns. In Lonely Are the Brave
Lonely are the Brave
Lonely are the Brave is a 1962 film adaptation of the Edward Abbey novel The Brave Cowboy. It stars Kirk Douglas as cowboy Jack Burns, Gena Rowlands as his best friend's wife, and Walter Matthau as a sheriff who sympathizes with Burns but must do his job and chase him down...

(1962), his own favorite of his performances, Douglas plays a cowboy trying to live by his own code, much as he did in real life.

In The Bad and the Beautiful
The Bad and the Beautiful
The Bad and the Beautiful is a 1952 MGM melodramatic film that tells the story of a film producer who alienates all around him. It was directed by Vincente Minelli and stars Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame and Gilbert Roland. The film was...

(1952), one of his three Oscar-nominated roles, Douglas plays Jonathan Shields, a hard-nosed film producer who manipulates and uses his actors, writers, and directors. In Young Man with a Horn
Young Man with a Horn (film)
Young Man with a Horn is a 1950 drama film based on a biographical novel of the same name aboutBix Beiderbecke, the legendary jazz cornetist...

(1950), Douglas portrays the rise and fall of a driven jazz musician, based on real-life horn player Bix Beiderbecke
Bix Beiderbecke
Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke was an American jazz cornetist, jazz pianist, and composer.With Louis Armstrong, Beiderbecke was one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s...

. Composer-pianist Hoagy Carmichael
Hoagy Carmichael
Howard Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichael was an American composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader. He is best known for writing "Stardust", "Georgia On My Mind", "The Nearness of You", and "Heart and Soul", four of the most-recorded American songs of all time.Alec Wilder, in his study of the...

, playing the sidekick role, added realism to the film and gave Douglas insight into the role, being a friend of the real Beiderbecke. In 2011 he was the presenter at the Oscars for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, won by Melissa Leo
Melissa Leo
Melissa Chessington Leo , is an American actress. After appearing on several television shows and films in the late '80s, her breakthrough role came in 1993 as Det. Sgt. Kay Howard on the television series Homicide: Life on the Street for the show's first five seasons from 1993 – 1997...

.

In one of his early television appearances, Douglas was a musical guest (as himself) on The Jack Benny Program
The Jack Benny Program
The Jack Benny Program, starring Jack Benny, is a radio-TV comedy series that ran for more than three decades and is generally regarded as a high-water mark in 20th-century American comedy.-Cast:*Jack Benny - Himself...

. In the opening monologue, Benny reads the reviews of critics who liked his season premiere, while skipping the ones who did not. He then hurries home for his weekly jam session
Jam session
Jam sessions are often used by musicians to develop new material, find suitable arrangements, or simply as a social gathering and communal practice session. Jam sessions may be based upon existing songs or forms, may be loosely based on an agreed chord progression or chart suggested by one...

 with Tony Martin
Tony Martin (entertainer)
Tony Martin is an American actor and singer.-Career:Tony Martin was born on Christmas Day, 1913 as Alvin Morris in San Francisco, California to Jewish immigrant parents. He received a saxophone as a gift from his grandmother at the age of ten. In his grammar school glee club, he became an...

 (on clarinet), Fred MacMurray
Fred MacMurray
Frederick Martin "Fred" MacMurray was an American actor who appeared in more than 100 movies and a successful television series during a career that spanned nearly a half-century, from 1930 to the 1970s....

 (saxophone), Dick Powell
Dick Powell
Richard Ewing "Dick" Powell was an American singer, actor, producer, director and studio boss.Despite the same last name he was not related to William Powell, Eleanor Powell or Jane Powell.-Biography:...

 (trumpet), Dan Dailey
Dan Dailey
Daniel James Dailey Jr. was an American dancer and actor.-Early life and career:Born in New York City on December 14, 1915, to James J. and Helen Dailey, both born in New York City. He appeared in a minstrel show when very young, and appeared in vaudeville before his Broadway debut in 1937 in...

 (drums), and Douglas (four-string banjo). They avail themselves of the coin-operated vending machines in Benny's living room. The band plays Basin Street
Basin Street Blues
"Basin Street Blues" is a song often performed by Dixieland jazz bands, written by Spencer Williams. The song was published in 1926 and made famous in a recording by Louis Armstrong in 1928...

 (Blues), but Douglas keeps going into Bye Bye Blues
Bye Bye Blues (song)
"Bye Bye Blues" is a popular and jazz standard written by Fred Hamm, Dave Bennett, Bert Lown, and Chauncey Gray and published in 1930.The year it was introduced it was sung by The Vikings on the NBC radio series, The Vikings. It has been recorded by many artists, but the best-known recording is one...

, the only song he knows.
Douglas played many military men, with varying nuance, in Top Secret Affair
Top Secret Affair
Top Secret Affair is a 1957 romantic comedy film made by Carrollton Inc. and distributed by Warner Bros. that starred Susan Hayward and Kirk Douglas. It was directed by H.C. Potter and produced by Martin Rackin and Milton Sperling from a screenplay by Roland Kibbee and Allan Scott.The plot is very...

(1957), Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory is a 1957 American anti-war film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb. Set during World War I, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer of French soldiers who refused to continue a suicidal attack...

(1957) (his most famous role in that genre), Town Without Pity
Town Without Pity
Town Without Pity is a 1961 American, Austrian and West German international co-production film drama starring Kirk Douglas, directed by Gottfried Reinhardt. It was made by Mirisch Productions for United Artists....

(1961), The Hook (1963), Seven Days in May
Seven Days in May
Seven Days in May is an American political thriller novel written by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II and published in 1962. It was made into a motion picture and released in February 1964, with a screenplay by Rod Serling, directed by John Frankenheimer, and starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk...

(1964), Heroes of Telemark (1965), In Harm's Way
In Harm's Way
In Harm's Way is a 1965 American epic war film produced and directed by Otto Preminger and starring John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Tom Tryon, Paula Prentiss, Stanley Holloway, Burgess Meredith, Brandon De Wilde, Jill Haworth, Dana Andrews, and Henry Fonda.It was the last black-and-white...

(1965), Cast a Giant Shadow
Cast a Giant Shadow
Cast a Giant Shadow is a 1966 big budget, action movie based on the life of Colonel Mickey Marcus starring Kirk Douglas and Senta Berger. Yul Brynner, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, and Angie Dickinson also appear in supporting roles...

(1966), Is Paris Burning (1966), and The Final Countdown (1980).

His role as Vincent Van Gogh in Lust for Life
Lust for Life (film)
Lust for Life is a MGM biographical film about the life of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, based on the 1934 novel by Irving Stone and adapted by Norman Corwin.It was directed by Vincente Minnelli and produced by John Houseman...

(1956), filmed mostly on location in France, was noted not only for the veracity of his appearance but also for how he conveyed the painter’s internal turmoil. He won a Golden Globe award for his role. Director Vincente Minnelli
Vincente Minnelli
Vincente Minnelli was an American stage director and film director, famous for directing such classic movie musicals as Meet Me in St. Louis, The Band Wagon, and An American in Paris. In addition to having directed some of the most famous and well-remembered musicals of his time, Minnelli made...

 stated, "Kirk Douglas achieved a moving and memorable portrait of the artist—a man of massive creative power, triggered by severe emotional stress, the fear and horror of madness. In my opinion, Kirk should have won the Academy Award." Douglas himself called his acting role as Van Gogh a "very painful experience." He writes, "Not only did I look like Van Gogh, I was the same age he was when he committed suicide."
Douglas played the lead with an all-star cast in Spartacus
Spartacus (film)
Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel of the same name by Howard Fast...

(1960). He was the executive producer as well, raising the $12 million production cost. He also played an important role in breaking the Hollywood blacklist
Hollywood blacklist
The Hollywood blacklist—as the broader entertainment industry blacklist is generally known—was the mid-twentieth-century list of screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other U.S. entertainment professionals who were denied employment in the field because of their political beliefs or...

 by making sure that Dalton Trumbo
Dalton Trumbo
James Dalton Trumbo was an American screenwriter and novelist, and one of the Hollywood Ten, a group of film professionals who refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 during the committee's investigation of Communist influences in the motion picture industry...

's name was mentioned in the opening and ending credits of the film for the outstanding screenplay he did for the film. Douglas initially selected Anthony Mann
Anthony Mann
Anthony Mann was an American actor and film director, most notably of film noirs and Westerns. As a director, he often collaborated with the cinematographer John Alton and with James Stewart in his Westerns.-Biography:...

 to direct the movie, but dismissed him when he judged the initial shooting to be unsatisfactory. To replace Mann he chose Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

, who three years earlier had collaborated closely with Douglas in Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory is a 1957 American anti-war film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb. Set during World War I, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer of French soldiers who refused to continue a suicidal attack...

, where Douglas played one of his most notable roles as Colonel Dax, the commander of a French regiment during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Spartacus was a huge success, but Kubrick, considering himself a mere employee of Douglas and since much of the footage (including Peter Ustinov
Peter Ustinov
Peter Alexander Ustinov CBE was an English actor, writer and dramatist. He was also renowned as a filmmaker, theatre and opera director, stage designer, author, screenwriter, comedian, humourist, newspaper and magazine columnist, radio broadcaster and television presenter...

's key scenes) was shot under Mann, did not consider it to be part of his own oeuvre.

In addition to serious, driven characters, Douglas was adept at roles requiring a comic touch, as in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954 film)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a 1954 adventure film starring Kirk Douglas as Ned Land, James Mason as Captain Nemo, Paul Lukas as Professor Pierre Aronnax, and Peter Lorre as Conseil. It was the first science fiction film produced by Walt Disney Productions, as well as the only science-fiction...

(1954), an adaptation of the Jules Verne
Jules Verne
Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the science fiction genre. He is best known for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , A Journey to the Center of the Earth , and Around the World in Eighty Days...

 novel, wherein he plays a happy-go-lucky sailor who is the opposite in every way of the brooding Captain Nemo (James Mason
James Mason
James Neville Mason was an English actor who attained stardom in both British and American films. Mason remained a powerful figure in the industry throughout his career and was nominated for three Academy Awards as well as three Golden Globes .- Early life :Mason was born in Huddersfield, in the...

). The film was one of Walt Disney
Walt Disney
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

's most successful live-action movies and a major box-office hit. He manages a similar comic turn in the western Man Without a Star
Man Without a Star
Man Without a Star is a 1955 western film starring Kirk Douglas as a wanderer who gets dragged into a range war. It was based on the novel of the same name by Dee Linford.-Plot:...

(1955) and in For Love or Money
For Love or Money (1963 film)
For Love or Money is a 1963 romantic comedy film starring Kirk Douglas, Mitzi Gaynor and Thelma Ritter.-Plot summary:Lawyer Donald Kenneth "Deke" Gentry is given the task of playing matchmaker for the three daughters of his wealthy client Chloe Brasher .-Cast:* Kirk Douglas as Donald Kenneth...

(1963).

Douglas made seven films over the decades with Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
Burton Stephen "Burt" Lancaster was an American film actor noted for his athletic physique and distinctive smile...

; I Walk Alone
I Walk Alone
I Walk Alone is a 1948 film noir starring Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, and Kirk Douglas. It was the directorial debut of Byron Haskin....

(1948), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957 film)
The film was based on a real event which took place on October 26, 1881. It was directed by John Sturges and featuring a screenplay written by novelist Leon Uris, and the movie's supporting cast included Rhonda Fleming, John Ireland, Jo Van Fleet, Martin Milner, Dennis Hopper, Jack Elam, Lee Van...

(1957), The Devil's Disciple (1959), The List of Adrian Messenger
The List of Adrian Messenger
The List of Adrian Messenger is a 1963 black and white crime thriller about a retired British intelligence officer investigating a series of apparently unrelated deaths. It is directed by acclaimed film director John Huston...

(1963), Seven Days in May
Seven Days in May
Seven Days in May is an American political thriller novel written by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II and published in 1962. It was made into a motion picture and released in February 1964, with a screenplay by Rod Serling, directed by John Frankenheimer, and starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk...

(1964), Victory at Entebbe
Victory at Entebbe
Victory at Entebbe is a made-for-television film from 1976 based on an actual event: Operation Entebbe and the freeing of Israeli hostages at Entebbe Airport in Uganda...

(1976) and Tough Guys
Tough Guys
Tough Guys is a 1986 comedy starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Eli Wallach and Dana Carvey. It was directed by Jeff Kanew.Lancaster and Douglas made several films together, including I Walk Alone , Gunfight at the O.K. Corral , The Devil's Disciple , and Seven Days in May , becoming something...

(1986), which fixed the notion of the pair as something of a team in the public imagination. Douglas was always second-billed under Lancaster in these movies but, with the exception of I Walk Alone, in which Douglas played a villain, and The List of Adrian Messenger, in which Lancaster played a brief part in disguise, their roles were more or less the same size. Both actors arrived in Hollywood at the same time, and first appeared together in the fourth film for each. They both became actor-producers who sought out independent Hollywood careers.
Douglas stated that the keys to acting success are determination and application, "You must know how to function and how to maintain yourself, and you must have a love of what you do. But an actor also needs great good luck. I have had that luck." Douglas had great vitality, "It takes a lot out of you to work in this business. Many people fall by the wayside because they don’t have the energy to sustain their talent." His intensity spilled over into all elements of his film-making. As an actor, he dove into every role, dissecting not only his own lines but all the parts in the script to measure the rightness of the role, and he was willing to fight with the director if he felt justified. According to his wife, he often brought home that intensity, "When he was doing Lust for Life, he came home in that red beard of Van Gogh’s, wearing those big boots, stomping around the house—it was frightening." His distinctive acting style and delivery made him, like James Stewart
James Stewart (actor)
James Maitland Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive voice and his everyman persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime...

, a favorite with impersonators, especially Frank Gorshin
Frank Gorshin
Frank John Gorshin, Jr. was an American actor and comedian. He was perhaps best known as an impressionist, with many guest appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show...

.

Unlike some actors such as Robert Mitchum
Robert Mitchum
Robert Charles Durman Mitchum was an American film actor, author, composer and singer and is #23 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest male American screen legends of all time...

, Douglas had a high opinion of actors, movies, and moviemaking, "To me it is the most important art form—it is an art, and it includes all the elements of the modern age." But he also stressed the entertainment value of films, "You can make a statement, you can say something, but it must be entertaining."

His first film as a director was Scalawag (1973). In his autobiography The Ragman’s Son, he said "Since I was accused so often of trying to direct the films I was in, I thought I ought to really try my hand at directing." It was a difficult debut with many production problems, requiring his wife to act as producer. Douglas plays a charming scoundrel with one leg, a considerable challenge to his athleticism, and though he got credit for his role, the film received unimpressive reviews. Later in 1973, Douglas appeared in a made-for-TV musical version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Douglas was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 for his work in Champion
Champion (1949 film)
Champion is an American film noir drama based on a short story by Ring Lardner. Filmed in black-and-white, it recounts the struggles of boxer "Midge" Kelly fighting his own demons while working to achieve success in the boxing ring. The drama was directed by Mark Robson, with cinematography by...

, The Bad and the Beautiful
The Bad and the Beautiful
The Bad and the Beautiful is a 1952 MGM melodramatic film that tells the story of a film producer who alienates all around him. It was directed by Vincente Minelli and stars Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame and Gilbert Roland. The film was...

and Lust for Life
Lust for Life (film)
Lust for Life is a MGM biographical film about the life of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, based on the 1934 novel by Irving Stone and adapted by Norman Corwin.It was directed by Vincente Minnelli and produced by John Houseman...

. He was especially disappointed for not winning for the latter film, "I really thought I had a chance." Douglas did not win any competitive Oscars, but received a Honorary Academy Award in 1996 for "50 years as a moral and creative force in the motion picture community".
For his contributions to the motion picture industry, Douglas has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California...

 at 6263 Hollywood Blvd. He is one of the few personalities (along with James Stewart
James Stewart (actor)
James Maitland Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive voice and his everyman persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime...

, Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor.One of 20th Century Fox's most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play important roles well into the 1980s. His notable performances include that of Atticus Finch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, for which he won an...

, and Gene Autry
Gene Autry
Orvon Grover Autry , better known as Gene Autry, was an American performer who gained fame as The Singing Cowboy on the radio, in movies and on television for more than three decades beginning in the 1930s...

) whose star has been stolen and later replaced. In 1984, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is a museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with more than 28,000 Western and American Indian art works and artifacts. The facility also has the world's most extensive collection of American rodeo, photographs, barbed wire, saddlery, and early rodeo trophies...

 in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma city
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma.Oklahoma City may also refer to:*Oklahoma City metropolitan area*Downtown Oklahoma City*Uptown Oklahoma City*Oklahoma City bombing*Oklahoma City National Memorial...

, Oklahoma, USA, and he received the AFI Life Achievement Award
AFI Life Achievement Award
The AFI Life Achievement Award was established by the Board of Directors of the American Film Institute on February 26, 1973 to honor a single individual for his or her lifetime contribution to enriching American culture through motion pictures and television....

 in 1991.

In October 2004, the avenue
Road
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places, which typically has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by some conveyance, including a horse, cart, or motor vehicle. Roads consist of one, or sometimes two, roadways each with one or more lanes and also any...

 Kirk Douglas Way in Palm Springs
Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs is a desert city in Riverside County, California, within the Coachella Valley. It is located approximately 37 miles east of San Bernardino, 111 miles east of Los Angeles and 136 miles northeast of San Diego...

, California was named in his honor by the Palm Springs International Film Society and Film Festival
Palm Springs International Film Festival
Palm Springs International Film Festival is a film festival held in Palm Springs, California. It was started in 1989 and is held annually in January...

. Popular at home and around the world, Douglas received the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

 in 1981, the French Legion of Honor
Légion d'honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

 in 1985, and the National Medal of the Arts in 2001.

In March 2009, Douglas starred in an autobiographical one man show titled Before I Forget at the Center Theater Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, California. The four performances were filmed and turned into a documentary that was first screened in January 2010.

On February 27, 2011, Douglas appeared on the stage of the Kodak Theater for the 83rd Academy Awards
83rd Academy Awards
The 83rd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences , honored the best films of 2010 and took place February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, Academy Awards ...

 to present the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

Personal life

Douglas married twice, first to Diana Dill
Diana Dill
Diana Love Dill is a Bermudian actress, active in the U.S., who has also appeared professionally under the names Diana Douglas and Diana Douglas Darrid.-Personal life:...

, on November 2, 1943. The couple had two sons, actor Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas
Michael Kirk Douglas is an American actor and producer, primarily in movies and television. He has won three Golden Globes and two Academy Awards; first as producer of 1975's Best Picture, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and as Best Actor in 1987 for his role in Wall Street. Douglas received the...

 and producer Joel Douglas
Joel Douglas
Joel Douglas is an American movie producer.The second son of Kirk Douglas and Diana Dill, he was born one day after his mother's 24th birthday...

. They divorced in 1951. He then married Anne Buydens on May 29, 1954. They had two sons, producer Peter Douglas
Peter Douglas
Peter Vincent Douglas is an American television and film producer, a son of actor Kirk Douglas and his second wife, Anne Buydens. His middle name was given him in homage to Vincent van Gogh, the brilliant, tortured artist whom his father was playing in the film Lust for Life when he was born...

 and actor Eric Douglas
Eric Douglas
Eric Anthony Douglas was an American actor who appeared in several movies and television shows and was also a stand-up comedian.-Early life and career:...

. Eric Douglas died July 6, 2004 of a drug overdose.

In February 1991, he survived a helicopter crash in which two people died. This sparked a search for meaning, which led him, after much study, to embrace the Judaism in which he was raised. He documented this spiritual journey in his book Climbing the Mountain: My Search for Meaning (2001). In his earlier autobiography, The Ragman's Son (1988), he admits that "years back, I tried to forget that I was a Jew." However, in his later career, he notes that "coming to grips with what it means to be a Jew has been a theme in my life." In an interview in 2000, he explained this transition:

Judaism and I parted ways a long time ago, when I was a poor kid growing up in Amsterdam, N.Y. Back then, I was pretty good in cheder, so the Jews of our community thought they would do a wonderful thing and collect enough money to send me to a yeshiva to become a rabbi. Holy Moses! That scared the hell out of me. I didn't want to be a rabbi. I wanted to be an actor. Believe me, the members of the Sons of Israel were persistent. I had nightmares – wearing long payos and a black hat. I had to work very hard to get out of it. But it took me a long time to learn that you don't have to be a rabbi to be a Jew.


Douglas notes also that the underlying theme of some of his films, including The Juggler
The Juggler (film)
The Juggler is a drama film about a survivor of the Holocaust, played by Kirk Douglas. The screenplay was adapted by Michael Blankfort from his novel of the same name.-Plot:...

(1953), Cast a Giant Shadow
Cast a Giant Shadow
Cast a Giant Shadow is a 1966 big budget, action movie based on the life of Colonel Mickey Marcus starring Kirk Douglas and Senta Berger. Yul Brynner, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, and Angie Dickinson also appear in supporting roles...

(1966), and Remembrance of Love (1982), was about "a Jew who doesn't think of himself as one, and eventually finds his Jewishness." Although his children were only half Jewish, Douglas states that they were "aware culturally" of his "deep convictions," and he never tried to influence their own religious decisions. He notes, however, that Michael answered, "I'm a Jew," when once asked about what he was.

While Douglas has chosen to stay out of political affairs, he has on occasion written letters to politicians who were friends. He notes in his memoir, Let's Face It (2007), that he felt compelled to write former president Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 in 2006 in order to stress that "Israel is the only successful democracy in the Middle East. . . . [and] has had to endure many wars against overwhelming odds. If Israel loses one war, they lose Israel."

In January 1996, he suffered a severe stroke, partially impairing his ability to speak. On December 8, 2006, Douglas appeared on Entertainment Tonight
Entertainment Tonight
Entertainment Tonight is a daily tabloid television entertainment television news show that is syndicated by CBS Television Distribution throughout the United States, Canada and in many countries around the world. Linda Bell Blue is currently the program's executive producer...

, where the entire staff wished him a happy 90th birthday the night before. His son and daughter-in-law Michael and Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones, CBE, is a British actress. She began her career on stage at an early age. After starring in a number of United Kingdom and United States television films and small roles in films, she came to prominence with roles in Hollywood movies such as the 1998 action film The Mask of...

, were among the many celebrities who attended his birthday celebration. On the show, he discussed the books he has written and the death of his son Eric. Douglas celebrated a second Bar-Mitzvah ceremony in 1999 at the age of eighty-three.

A portrait of Douglas, titled "The Great and the Beautiful," which encapsulated his film career, art collection, philanthropy and rehabilitation from the helicopter crash and the stroke, appeared in Palm Springs Life magazine in 1999. The article said "For years, this energetic performer could be seen jogging several miles to get his morning paper, playing tennis with locals or posing for snapshots and signing autographs for star-struck out-of-towners. He has been a veritable one-man tourist promotion over the past four decades, extolling the virtue of the city he loves to virtually anyone who'll listen".

Douglas blogs regularly on his Myspace account. At 94, he is the oldest celebrity blogger.

Family tree

Films

  • The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
    The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
    The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is a black-and-white film noir released in the United States in 1946, starring Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott and Kirk Douglas in his film debut. The movie is based on the short story "Love Lies Bleeding" by playwright John Patrick, using the...

    (1946)
  • Out of the Past
    Out of the Past
    Out of the Past is a 1947 film noir directed by Jacques Tourneur and starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, and Kirk Douglas. The film was adapted by Daniel Mainwaring , with uncredited revisions by Frank Fenton and James M...

    (1947)
  • Mourning Becomes Electra
    Mourning Becomes Electra (film)
    Mourning Becomes Electra is a 1947 American film by Dudley Nichols adapted from the 1931 Eugene O'Neill play of the same title. The film stars Rosalind Russell, Michael Redgrave, Raymond Massey, Katina Paxinou, Leo Genn and Kirk Douglas....

    (1947)
  • I Walk Alone
    I Walk Alone
    I Walk Alone is a 1948 film noir starring Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, and Kirk Douglas. It was the directorial debut of Byron Haskin....

    (1948)
  • The Walls of Jericho (1948)
  • My Dear Secretary
    My Dear Secretary
    My Dear Secretary is a 1949 American film directed by Charles Martin, starring Laraine Day and Kirk Douglas.- Plot summary :Writer and playboy Owen Waterbury hires aspiring writer Stephanie 'Steve' Gaylord as his secretary.- Cast :...

    (1949)
  • A Letter to Three Wives
    A Letter to Three Wives
    A Letter to Three Wives is a 1949 film which tells the story of a woman who mails a letter to three women, telling them she has left town with the husband of one of them. It stars Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas, Paul Douglas in his film debut, Jeffrey Lynn, and Thelma Ritter...

    (1949)
  • Champion
    Champion (1949 film)
    Champion is an American film noir drama based on a short story by Ring Lardner. Filmed in black-and-white, it recounts the struggles of boxer "Midge" Kelly fighting his own demons while working to achieve success in the boxing ring. The drama was directed by Mark Robson, with cinematography by...

    (1949)
  • Young Man with a Horn
    Young Man with a Horn (film)
    Young Man with a Horn is a 1950 drama film based on a biographical novel of the same name aboutBix Beiderbecke, the legendary jazz cornetist...

    (1950)
  • The Glass Menagerie
    The Glass Menagerie (1950 film)
    The Glass Menagerie is a 1950 American drama film directed by Irving Rapper. The screenplay by Tennessee Williams and Peter Berneis is based on the 1944 Williams play of the same title. It was the first of his plays to be adapted for the screen.-Plot:...

    (1950)
  • Along the Great Divide
    Along the Great Divide
    Along the Great Divide is a 1951 American western film directed by Raoul Walsh. The movie stars Kirk Douglas, Virginia Mayo, John Agar, and Walter Brennan.-Plot:...

    (1951)
  • Ace in the Hole (1951)
  • Detective Story (1951)
  • The Big Trees
    The Big Trees
    The Big Trees is a 1952 film starring Kirk Douglas and directed by Felix E. Feist. It was Kirk Douglas's final film for Warner Brothers, a film he did for free in exchange for the studio agreeing to release him from his long-term contract....

    (1952)
  • The Big Sky
    The Big Sky (film)
    The Big Sky is a 1952 Western film directed by Howard Hawks, based on the novel of the same name. The cast includes Kirk Douglas, Arthur Hunnicutt, Dewey Martin and Elizabeth Threatt....

    (1952)
  • The Bad and the Beautiful
    The Bad and the Beautiful
    The Bad and the Beautiful is a 1952 MGM melodramatic film that tells the story of a film producer who alienates all around him. It was directed by Vincente Minelli and stars Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame and Gilbert Roland. The film was...

    (1952)
  • The Story of Three Loves
    The Story of Three Loves
    The Story of Three Loves, also known as Equilibrium, is a 1953 romantic anthology film made by MGM. It consists of three stories, "The Jealous Lover", "Mademoiselle", and "Equilibrium". The film was produced by Sidney Franklin. "Mademoiselle" was directed by Vincente Minnelli, while Gottfried...

    (1953)
  • The Juggler
    The Juggler (film)
    The Juggler is a drama film about a survivor of the Holocaust, played by Kirk Douglas. The screenplay was adapted by Michael Blankfort from his novel of the same name.-Plot:...

    (1953)
  • Act of Love
    Act of Love (1953 film)
    Act of Love is a 1953 romantic drama film directed by Anatole Litvak, starring Kirk Douglas and Dany Robin. It is based on the novel The Girl on the Via Flaminia by Alfred Hayes. A Parisian falls in love with an American soldier near the end of World War II.-Plot:Robert Teller visits a seaport in...

    (1953)
  • The Jack Benny Program (television, 1954)
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954 film)
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a 1954 adventure film starring Kirk Douglas as Ned Land, James Mason as Captain Nemo, Paul Lukas as Professor Pierre Aronnax, and Peter Lorre as Conseil. It was the first science fiction film produced by Walt Disney Productions, as well as the only science-fiction...

    (1954)
  • The Racers
    The Racers
    The Racers is a 1955 film directed by Henry Hathaway. It stars Kirk Douglas and Bella Darvi. -Cast:*Kirk Douglas as Gino Borgesa*Bella Darvi as Nicole*Gilbert Roland as Dell'Orro*Cesar Romero as Carlos Chavez*Lee J. Cobb as Maglio...

    (1955)
  • Ulisse
    Ulysses (1955 film)
    Ulysses is a 1955 adventure film based on Homer's poem Odyssey. The movie was made by director Mario Camerini, who co-wrote the screenplay with writer Franco Brusati, aided by Mario Bava ....

    (U.S. title: Ulysses, 1955)
  • Man Without a Star
    Man Without a Star
    Man Without a Star is a 1955 western film starring Kirk Douglas as a wanderer who gets dragged into a range war. It was based on the novel of the same name by Dee Linford.-Plot:...

    (1955)
  • The Indian Fighter
    The Indian Fighter
    The Indian Fighter is a 1956 Western movie. It is from an original story by Robert L. Richards.-Plot:Johnny Hawks is a man who made his name fighting Indians...

    (1955)
  • Lust for Life
    Lust for Life (film)
    Lust for Life is a MGM biographical film about the life of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, based on the 1934 novel by Irving Stone and adapted by Norman Corwin.It was directed by Vincente Minnelli and produced by John Houseman...

    (1956)
  • Top Secret Affair
    Top Secret Affair
    Top Secret Affair is a 1957 romantic comedy film made by Carrollton Inc. and distributed by Warner Bros. that starred Susan Hayward and Kirk Douglas. It was directed by H.C. Potter and produced by Martin Rackin and Milton Sperling from a screenplay by Roland Kibbee and Allan Scott.The plot is very...

    (1957)
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
    Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957 film)
    The film was based on a real event which took place on October 26, 1881. It was directed by John Sturges and featuring a screenplay written by novelist Leon Uris, and the movie's supporting cast included Rhonda Fleming, John Ireland, Jo Van Fleet, Martin Milner, Dennis Hopper, Jack Elam, Lee Van...

    (1957)
  • Paths of Glory
    Paths of Glory
    Paths of Glory is a 1957 American anti-war film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb. Set during World War I, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer of French soldiers who refused to continue a suicidal attack...

    (1957)
  • The Vikings
    The Vikings (film)
    The Vikings is an adventure film directed by Richard Fleischer in 1958 Technicolor, produced by and starring Kirk Douglas, and based on the novel The Viking by Edison Marshall, based in its turn on legendary material from the sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok and his sons. Other actors included Tony Curtis,...

    (1958)
  • Last Train from Gun Hill
    Last Train from Gun Hill
    Last Train from Gun Hill is a 1959 Western by action director John Sturges. It stars Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Carolyn Jones and Earl Holliman. Douglas and Holliman had previously appeared together in Sturges' Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which used much of the same crew.The script is by James...

    (1959)
  • The Devil's Disciple (1959)
  • Strangers When We Meet
    Strangers When We Meet (film)
    Strangers When We Meet is a 1960 drama film about two married neighbors who have an affair. The movie was adapted by Evan Hunter from his novel of the same name and directed by Richard Quine...

    (1960)
  • Spartacus
    Spartacus (film)
    Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel of the same name by Howard Fast...

    (1960)
  • Town Without Pity
    Town Without Pity
    Town Without Pity is a 1961 American, Austrian and West German international co-production film drama starring Kirk Douglas, directed by Gottfried Reinhardt. It was made by Mirisch Productions for United Artists....

    (1961)
  • The Last Sunset
    The Last Sunset (film)
    The Last Sunset is a 1961 western movie starring Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, Dorothy Malone and directed by Robert Aldrich.The film was released by Universal studios, shot in Eastman color...

    (1961)
  • Lonely Are the Brave
    Lonely are the Brave
    Lonely are the Brave is a 1962 film adaptation of the Edward Abbey novel The Brave Cowboy. It stars Kirk Douglas as cowboy Jack Burns, Gena Rowlands as his best friend's wife, and Walter Matthau as a sheriff who sympathizes with Burns but must do his job and chase him down...

    (1962)
  • Two Weeks in Another Town
    Two Weeks in Another Town
    Two Weeks in Another Town is a 1962 drama film based on a novel by Irwin Shaw, directed by Vincente Minnelli, and starring Kirk Douglas, Edward G. Robinson, Cyd Charisse, Claire Trevor, Daliah Lavi, George Hamilton, and Rosanna Schiaffino....

    (1962)
  • The Hook (1963)
  • The List of Adrian Messenger
    The List of Adrian Messenger
    The List of Adrian Messenger is a 1963 black and white crime thriller about a retired British intelligence officer investigating a series of apparently unrelated deaths. It is directed by acclaimed film director John Huston...

    (1963)
  • For Love or Money
    For Love or Money (1963 film)
    For Love or Money is a 1963 romantic comedy film starring Kirk Douglas, Mitzi Gaynor and Thelma Ritter.-Plot summary:Lawyer Donald Kenneth "Deke" Gentry is given the task of playing matchmaker for the three daughters of his wealthy client Chloe Brasher .-Cast:* Kirk Douglas as Donald Kenneth...

    (1963)
  • Seven Days in May
    Seven Days in May
    Seven Days in May is an American political thriller novel written by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II and published in 1962. It was made into a motion picture and released in February 1964, with a screenplay by Rod Serling, directed by John Frankenheimer, and starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk...

    (1964)
  • In Harm's Way
    In Harm's Way
    In Harm's Way is a 1965 American epic war film produced and directed by Otto Preminger and starring John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Tom Tryon, Paula Prentiss, Stanley Holloway, Burgess Meredith, Brandon De Wilde, Jill Haworth, Dana Andrews, and Henry Fonda.It was the last black-and-white...

    (1965)
  • The Heroes of Telemark
    The Heroes of Telemark
    The Heroes of Telemark is a 1965 war film directed by Anthony Mann based on the true story of the Norwegian heavy water sabotage during World War II...

    (1965)
  • Cast a Giant Shadow
    Cast a Giant Shadow
    Cast a Giant Shadow is a 1966 big budget, action movie based on the life of Colonel Mickey Marcus starring Kirk Douglas and Senta Berger. Yul Brynner, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, and Angie Dickinson also appear in supporting roles...

    (1966)
  • Is Paris Burning?
    Is Paris Burning?
    Is Paris Burning? is a 1966 film dealing with the 1944 liberation of Paris by rival branches of the French Resistance and the Free French Forces.-Plot:...

    (1966)

  • The Way West
    The Way West (film)
    The Way West is a 1967 American epic western film based on the novel by A. B. Guthrie, Jr.. The film stars Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, and Richard Widmark, and features Sally Field in her first major film role. The film was directed by veteran television director Andrew V. McLaglen and featured...

    (1967)
  • The War Wagon
    The War Wagon
    The War Wagon is a 1967 western Technicolor film starring John Wayne, released by Universal Pictures, directed by Burt Kennedy, and adapted by Clair Huffaker from his own novel. The film, which featured Wayne in one of his few roles as technically a "bad guy" , received generally positive reviews....

    (1967)
  • Once Upon a Wheel
    Once Upon a Wheel
    Once Upon a Wheel is a 1971 ABC television documentary on the history of auto racing. It was hosted by Paul Newman and was directed and produced by David Winters....

    (documentary, 1968)
  • A Lovely Way to Die
    A Lovely Way to Die
    A Lovely Way to Die is a 1968 American drama film directed by David Lowell Rich and starring Kirk Douglas, Sylva Koscina Eli Wallach and Kenneth Haigh. A police officer resigns from the force, and takes up a role as a bodyguard to the wife of a wealthy man...

    (1968)
  • The Brotherhood
    The Brotherhood (1968 film)
    The Brotherhood is a 1968 crime drama film, directed by Martin Ritt. It stars Kirk Douglas, Irene Papas, Alex Cord, and Luther Adler. The script was by Lewis John Carlino....

    (1968)
  • The Arrangement
    The Arrangement (1969 film)
    The Arrangement is a 1969 film directed by Elia Kazan and based upon his 1967 novel of the same title.The Arrangement tells the story of a seemingly successful Los Angeles-area advertising executive of Greek-American extraction, Evangelos Arness who later takes on the name, "Eddie Anderson"...

    (1969)
  • There Was a Crooked Man...
    There Was a Crooked Man...
    There Was a Crooked Man... is a 1970 western comedy starring Kirk Douglas and Henry Fonda and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The film follows Paris Pitman , a charismatic criminal who ends up in jail, and his attempts to escape the prison of warden Lopeman...

    (1970)
  • To Catch a Spy
    To Catch a Spy
    To Catch a Spy is a 1971 comedy spy film directed by Dick Clement and starring Kirk Douglas, Marlène Jobert, Trevor Howard, Richard Pearson, Garfield Morgan, Angharad Rees and Robert Raglan. It was written by Clement and Ian La Frenais. It was a co-production been Britain, the United States and...

    (1971)
  • The Light at the Edge of the World
    The Light at the Edge of the World
    The Light at the Edge of the World is a 1971 adventure film, adapted from Jules Verne's classic 1905 adventure novel Le Phare du bout du monde...

    (1971)
  • A Gunfight
    A Gunfight
    A Gunfight is a Western movie from 1971 directed by Lamont Johnson, starring Kirk Douglas and Johnny Cash.The film was financed by the Jicarilla Apache Tribe, although there are no leading Native American characters in the story.-Plot:...

    (1971)
  • A Man to Respect (1972)
  • The Master Touch
    The Master Touch
    The Master Touch is a 1972 Italian / West German crime film directed by Michele Lupo starring Kirk Douglas and Florinda Bolkan.The film is also known as A Man to Respect in the Philippines and the USA....

    (1972)
  • Scalawag
    Scalawag (film)
    Scalawag is a 1973 film directed by Kirk Douglas, his first of two films directed, the other being Posse.-Cast:*Kirk Douglas as Peg*Mark Lester as Jamie*Neville Brand as Brimstone / Mudhook*George Eastman as Don Aragon*Don Stroud as Velvet...

    (1973)
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1973)
  • Posse
    Posse (1975 film)
    Posse is a 1975 Western film, produced by, directed by and starring Kirk Douglas. The screenplay was written by Christopher Knopf and William Roberts. The plot centers on a U.S. marshal with political ambitions leading an elite posse in pursuit of a notorious bank robber to further his political...

    (1975) Also director
  • Once Is Not Enough
    Once Is Not Enough
    Once Is Not Enough is a 1973 novel by Jacqueline Susann. It was the #2 best-selling novel of 1973 in the United States. It was made into a 1975 film Once Is Not Enough, Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough, directed by Guy Green and starring Kirk Douglas, Deborah Raffin, David Janssen and Brenda...

    (1975)
  • Holocaust 2000
    Holocaust 2000
    Holocaust 2000 is a 1977 horror film directed by Alberto De Martino and starring Kirk Douglas.-Plot:Despite doomsday warnings from throngs of locals, wealthy industrialist Robert Caine makes the controversial decision to build a nuclear power plant near a sacred cave in the Middle East...

    (1977)
  • The Fury (1978)
  • The Villain (1979)
  • Saturn 3
    Saturn 3
    Saturn 3 is a 1980 science fiction film starring Kirk Douglas, Farrah Fawcett and Harvey Keitel. Direction is credited to Stanley Donen. The project was conceived by John Barry. Barry was due to direct until a dispute with Douglas led to his replacement...

    (1980)
  • Home Movies
    Home Movies (film)
    Home Movies is a 1980 independent film directed by Brian De Palma and starring Kirk Douglas, Nancy Allen, Vincent Gardenia, Keith Gordon, Theresa Saldana, and Gerrit Graham.-Plot:...

    (1980)
  • The Final Countdown (1980)
  • The Man from Snowy River (1982)
  • Remembrance of Love (1982)
  • Eddie Macon's Run
    Eddie Macon's Run
    Eddie Macon's Run is a 1983 film starring Kirk Douglas and John Schneider, based on the 1980 novel by James McLendon.- Plot :Eddie Macon was wrongly convicted of a crime. While performing at a prison rodeo in Huntsville, Texas, he escapes and heads for the border, hoping to join his family in Mexico...

    (1983)
  • Draw!
    Draw!
    Draw! is a 1984 American/Canadian comedy-western film by Steven Hilliard Stern-Plot:In the final days of the Old West, a former desperado faces down a now drunken ex-sheriff, who was his long time nemesis.-Recognition:...

    (1984)
  • Amos (1985)
  • Tough Guys (1986)
  • Queenie
    Queenie (miniseries)
    -Background:In April 1985 Korda published Queenie, a roman à clef about his aunt, actress Merle Oberon, who had married his uncle Alexander Korda. Queenie Kelley is an extremely beautiful girl of Indian and Irish descent, fair enough to pass for white...

    (television, 1987)
  • Inherit the Wind
    Inherit the Wind (1988 film)
    Inherit the Wind is a 1988 television film adaptation of the play of the same name. The original 1955 play was written as a parable which fictionalized the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial as a means of discussing the 1950s McCarthy trials...

    (1988)
  • Oscar
    Oscar (1991 film)
    Oscar is a 1991 American comedy film directed by John Landis. Based on the Claude Magnier stage play, it is can be considered a remake of the 1967 film of the same name, but the settings has been moved to the Depression era New York City and centers around a mob boss trying to go straight...

    (1991)
  • Veraz (1991)
  • The Secret (television, 1992)
  • A Century of Cinema
    A Century of Cinema
    A Century of Cinema is a 1994 documentary directed by Caroline Thomas about the art of filmmaking , containing numerous interviews with some of the most influential film personalities of the 20th century....

    (documentary, 1994)
  • Greedy
    Greedy (film)
    Greedy is a 1994 comedy film starring Michael J. Fox, Kirk Douglas, Phil Hartman and Nancy Travis, directed by Jonathan Lynn and written by Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel. The original music score was composed by Randy Edelman...

    (1994)
  • Diamonds
    Diamonds (1999 film)
    Diamonds is a 1999 comedy film directed by John Mallory Asher and written by Allan Aaron Katz. The film stars Kirk Douglas, Dan Aykroyd, Lauren Bacall, Jenny McCarthy, and Corbin Allred.-Plot:...

    (1999)
  • It Runs in the Family
    It Runs in the Family (2003 film)
    It Runs in the Family is a 2003 comedy-drama movie directed by Fred Schepisi and starring three generations of the Douglas family: Kirk Douglas, his son Michael Douglas, and Michael's son Cameron Douglas, who play three generations of a family....

    (2003)
  • Illusion
    Illusion (film)
    Illusion is an independent feature film released in the year 2004. It was directed by Michael Goorjian and features Kirk Douglas.-Plot:Legendary film director Donald Baines lies dying alone in his private screening room, watching the films he has devoted his life to creating. Having isolated...

    (2004)
  • Meurtres à l'Empire State Building (U.S. title: Empire State Building Murders, 2008)
  • Before I Forget (documentary, 2010)


Short subjects

  • Van Gogh: Darkness Into Light (1956)
  • Rowan & Martin at the Movies (1968)

Awards

AFI Life Achievement Award
AFI Life Achievement Award
The AFI Life Achievement Award was established by the Board of Directors of the American Film Institute on February 26, 1973 to honor a single individual for his or her lifetime contribution to enriching American culture through motion pictures and television....

  • 1991 Accepted AFI Life Achievement Award


Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

  • 1996 Honorary Award for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community
  • 1995 nominated for Honorary Awards
  • 1956 Lust for Life nominated for Best Actor
  • 1952 Bad & the Beautiful nominated for Best Actor
  • 1949 Champion nominated for Best Actor


Berlin International Film Festival
Berlin International Film Festival
The Berlin International Film Festival , also called the Berlinale, is one of the world's leading film festivals and most reputable media events. It is held in Berlin, Germany. Founded in West Berlin in 1951, the festival has been celebrated annually in February since 1978...

  • 1975 Posse nominated for Competing Film


New York Film Critics Circle Award
  • 1956 Lust for Life won for Best Actor
  • 1951 Detective Story nominated for Best Actor

Further reading


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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