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Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas 1969.jpg
Douglas in 1969
Born Issur Danielovitch
(1916-12-09) December 9, 1916 (age 100)
Amsterdam, New York, U.S.
Other names Izzy Demsky
Occupation Actor, producer, director, author
Years active 1946–present
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Diana Douglas (m. 1943; div. 1951)
Anne Buydens (m. 1954)
Children Michael (b. 1944)
Joel (b. 1947)
Peter (b. 1955)
Eric (1958–2004)

Kirk Douglas (born Issur Danielovitch, December 9, 1916) is an American actor, producer, director, and author. He is one of the last living people of the film industry's Golden Age. After an impoverished childhood with immigrant parents and six sisters, he had his film debut in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck. Douglas soon developed into a leading box-office star throughout the 1950s and 1960s, known for serious dramas, including westerns and war movies. During a 64-year acting career, he has appeared in more than 90 movies.

Douglas became an international star through positive reception for his leading role as an unscrupulous boxing hero in Champion (1949), which brought him his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Other early films include Young Man with a Horn (1950), playing opposite Lauren Bacall and Doris Day; Ace in the Hole opposite Jan Sterling (1951); and Detective Story (1951). He received a second Oscar nomination for his dramatic role in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), opposite Lana Turner, and his third nomination for portraying Vincent van Gogh in Lust for Life (1956).

In 1955, he established Bryna Productions, which began producing films as varied as Paths of Glory (1957) and Spartacus (1960). In those two films, he starred and collaborated with the then relatively unknown director, Stanley Kubrick. Douglas helped break the Hollywood blacklist by having Dalton Trumbo write Spartacus with an official on-screen credit, although Trumbo's family claims he overstated his role. He produced and starred in Lonely Are the Brave (1962), considered a cult classic, and Seven Days in May (1964), opposite Burt Lancaster, with whom he made seven films. In 1963, he starred in the Broadway play One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, a story he purchased, which he later gave to his son Michael Douglas, who turned it into an Oscar-winning film.

Year Program Episode/source
1950 Screen Directors Playhouse Champion
1950 Suspense The Butcher's Wife
1952 Lux Radio Theatre Young Man with a Horn
1954 Lux Radio Theatre Detective Story

  • 1991 Accepted AFI Life Achievement Award
  • 1994 Honoree
  • 1996 Honorary Award for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community
  • 1956 Lust for Life nominated for Best Actor
  • 1952 Bad & the Beautiful nominated for Best Actor
  • 1949 Champion nominated for Best Actor
  • 1986 Amos nominated for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
  • 1968 Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • 1957 Lust for Life won for Best Actor-Drama
  • 1952 Detective Story nominated for Best Actor-Drama
  • 2002 Touched by an Angel nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
  • 1992 Tales from the Crypt nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
  • 1986 Amos nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special
  • 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 1963 Lonely Are the Brave nominated for Best Foreign Actor
  • 2009 Britannia Award for contributions to worldwide entertainment
  • 2001 Honorary Golden Bear
  • 1975 Posse nominated for Competing Film
  • 1980 Honorary Cesar
  • 1997 Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 1988 Career Achievement Award
  • 1956 Lust for Life won for Best Actor
  • 1951 Detective Story nominated for Best Actor


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