Legends in Hollywood are few, far and in-between like waiting to watch a shooting star. In 2016, we were lucky enough to celebrate two shooting stars…Olivia de Havilland and on December 9th – Author, director, producer, author, philanthropist and Torah student Kirk Douglas hits a milestone turning 100 years old.
Nominated for an Oscar several times, Douglas was finally honored with an Honorary one in 1996 for his body of work in the industry.
Part of his celebration included a birthday event hosted Kirk Douglas’ son, Oscar winner Michael Douglas, and his wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, where in attendance were leaders of numerous charities and institutions in the United States and Israel that have received approximately $118 million over the years from Douglas and his wife, Anne.
“You have to give back,” Douglas once explained. “I came from abject poverty. I didn’t dream of becoming a millionaire. So you have to pay back.”
Born in the upstate New York as Issur Danielovitch, the son of an illiterate Russian-Jewish immigrant, Douglas rose to become one of Hollywood’s top stars in the 1950s and ‘60s .
With a career spanning 87 motion pictures, Douglas hit a career high as a rebellious Roman slave in this historical drama Spartacus, whose onscreen revolt had a real-life parallel. The actor also produced the blockbuster film and his very public hiring of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo helped to break Hollywood’s blacklist of Communists.
A true survivor, Douglas has authored 11 books, including harsh childhood recollections, explaining the Holocaust to children and love verses to his wife, as well as tracing his recovery from a helicopter crash, stroke and attempted suicide.
In celebration of his 100th Birthday, Anne and Kirk Douglas has released a book of members called Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter and a Lifetime in Hollywood with of course a foreword from his son Michael Douglas.
Happy Birthday Kirk Douglas…may you live to enjoy 100 more and thank you for showing us what true generosity, friendship and star power really looks like.