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Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: December 9, 1916 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Amsterdam, New York, USA Profession: Cast ...
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Presented with the 2002 National Medal of Arts by US President George Bush.

"I wrote 'Ragman' with my gut, my instincts--nothing formal. Writing is meditative and I like the solitude ... I still don't feel very secure as a writer. One robin doesn't make a spring. But after you've made almost 80 movies, you think: 'Gee, maybe the people have seen enough of me.' I've seen enough of me! So I've learned that writing is an extension of acting. Now I play all the roles: I decide who has sex, who doesn't; who gets murdered, who doesn't. I'm expressing myself and take all the credit or the blame." --Kirk Douglas quoted in Daily News, October 28, 1991.

On his starring role in "Greedy": "As you get older, there's a wonderful thing that happens. You don't have that feeling, 'Oh, God, will it succeed?' I've done this movie 'Greedy'. I haven't seen it. Maybe I'll see it in six months or so.

"I'm anxious how other people will react to it, when I hear that it showed the other night and people seemed to enjoy it very much, that's wonderful. But if they didn't enjoy it that wouldn't destroy me. You see, with maturity you can accept things and look at them more realistically." --Kirk Douglas in New York Post, March 3, 1994.

"I was a little boy in the kitchen with my mother and I asked, 'How was I born?' She told me this beautiful story about a gold box that came down from heaven on silver strands.

"It was snowing. She went out and opened the golden box and there I was. I said, 'But what happened to the golden box?' And she said, 'I was so excited about finding you that I forgot all about it, and it disappeared.

"I was more important to her than a box of gold." --Kirk Douglas to USA Today, December 14, 1994.

"I raised something like $2 million for the Alzheimer's wing [at the Motion Picture hospital and Country Home in Woodland Hills, California], and we named it Harry's Haven, after my father. Somebody complained that that made it sound like a saloon. That would have made my father very happy because he used to spend a lot of time in saloons. It's the highest-rated unit of its kind in the country. People come to study it all the time." --Douglas to The New York Times, March 22, 1996.

Received the Heart and Torch Award from the American Heart Association in 1956.

Awarded the George Washington Carver Memorial Fund and Splendid American Award of Merit in 1957.

Received an honorary DFA from St Lawrence University in 1958.

Recipient of the Golden Scissors Award in 1958.

Cited in the US Congressional Record for service as a goodwill ambassador to the United Nations (1964).

Named Man of the Year by the Friar's Club for his contribution to humanity.

Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 from US President Jimmy Carter.

Appointed as a goodwill ambassador to the UN (second time) in 1983.

Received Jefferson Award, for public service by a private citizen (1983).

Elected to the Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1984.

Named a Knight by the Legion of Honor in Paris (1985).

Appointed Officier de la Legion d'Honneur, 1990, for distinguished service to France in arts and letters.

Received the Chaim Weizmann Award in Sciences and Humanities for his lifelong service to Israel in 1991.

His performance in "The Secret" (CBS, 1992) was named the year's best by Los Angeles Times critics.

Recipient of Einstein Award, National Dyslexia Research Foundation in 1995.

Douglas' charitable foundation has supported Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Los Angeles Mission (home of the Anne Douglas Center for Women) and the Access Theater for the Handicapped.

In 1999, Douglas received UCLA's Spencer Tracy Award. His son Michael was given the honor in 1990.

The West Granada High School in the San Fernando Valley was renamed in Douglas' honor in February 2000.

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