- Job : actor
- Sign : Sagittarius
- Date of birth : Saturday 09 December 1916 (age : 103)
- Date of death: Wednesday 05 February 2020
- Country: United States
Kirk Douglas, Issur Danielovitch Demsky of his real name, was born on December 9, 1916, in Amsterdam, New York, United States. Born into a family of Belarusian immigrants, he grew up in poverty and managed to escape through struggle. He quickly considered acting and took classes at the same school as Lauren Bacall. During the Second World War, he joined the Navy in 1942. After the war, the young actor took on a few minor roles before facing Burt Lancaster in The Man in the Wilderness and Robert Mitchum in The Claw of the Past. In 1949, he refused a blockbuster MGM to shoot The Champion where he plays a boxer. This daring choice marks however his meeting with success.
The actor then illustrates himself in all genres, he turns in the western The Bright-eyed Captive, the film noir The Bewitched and plays Vincent Van Gogh in a film by Vincente Minelli that pushes him to the borders of madness. Disappointed not to have landed the role of Ben-Hur, Kirk mounts his own peplum and plays Spartacus, one of the roles that will stick to him the most. He received an honorary Oscar for his entire career in 1996 which he dedicated to his wife, Anne.
After several health problems, including a stroke in 1996 and a heart attack in 2001, Kirk Douglas retires from the movie sets in 2008. Since then, the couple devotes himself fully to his foundation, The Douglas Foundation, dedicated to disadvantaged children and medical research, and created in 1964.
On February 5, 2020, the actor died at the age of 103 years.
In his private life, Kirk Douglas was married to Diana Dill, from whom he had two sons, Michael (born in 1944) and Joel (born in 1947). Divorced in 1951, he married Anne Buydens in May 1954. Two sons, Peter (born in 1955) and Eric (born in 1958), were born of this second union. Eric Douglas died of an overdose on July 6, 2004, at the age of 46. In 2017, the couple published their memoirs; Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter and Lifetime in Hollywood.
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