Kirk Douglas


Actor
Kirk Douglas

About

Also Known As
Izzy Demsky, Issur Danielovitch
Birth Place
Amsterdam, New York, USA
Born
December 09, 1916

Biography

The archetypal Hollywood movie star of the postwar era, Kirk Douglas built a career with he-man roles as soldiers, cowboys and assorted tough guys in over 80 films. His restless, raging creations earned him three Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and one Golden Globe win for his portrayal of Vincent van Gogh in "Lust for Life" (1956). But besides his lasting mark as a seething str...

Photos & Videos

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral - Publicity Stills
Ace in the Hole - Lobby Cards
Lust for Life - Behind-the-Scenes Stills

Family & Companions

Diana Douglas
Wife
Actor. Married on November 2, 1943; divorced in February 1950; mother of Michael and Joel Douglas; appeared in "The Indian Fighter" (1955), starring ex-husband.
Anne Douglas
Wife
Former publicity agent, producer. Married on May 29, 1954; Douglas was among her clients; produced husband's feature directing debut, "Scalawag" (1973).

Bibliography

"My Stroke of Luck"
Kirk Douglas, William Morrow (2002)
"In the Wings: A Memoir"
Diana Douglas Darrid, Barricade Books (1999)
"Kid Heroes of the Bible"
Kirk Douglas, Simon & Schuster (1999)
"Climbing the Mountain: My Search for Meaning"
Kirk Douglas, Simon & Schuster (1997)

Notes

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.

Biography

The archetypal Hollywood movie star of the postwar era, Kirk Douglas built a career with he-man roles as soldiers, cowboys and assorted tough guys in over 80 films. His restless, raging creations earned him three Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and one Golden Globe win for his portrayal of Vincent van Gogh in "Lust for Life" (1956). But besides his lasting mark as a seething strong man with a superhero-like head of hair and the most famous dimpled chin this side of Shirley Temple, Douglas was a Tinseltown innovator and rebel. As one of the first A-listers to wrest further control of their career by founding an independent production company, Douglas also effectively ended the 1950s practice of blacklisting Hollywood talent suspected of communist ties when he insisted on crediting famed screenwriter Dalton Trumbo for his script adaptation of "Spartacus" (1960). Douglas maintained his position as a perennial favorite - often opposite fellow tough guy Burt Lancaster - in Westerns and World War II films until the early 1970s, when changing tastes edged the timeworn genres into the wings. He began a second career as a writer and focused on the philanthropic efforts of The Douglas Foundation, occasionally surfacing throughout the 1980s and 1990s to portray irrepressible old firecrackers in made-for-TV movies and the occasional feature.

Kirk Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch on Dec. 9, 1916. He was the only boy of seven kids born to Russian Jewish immigrants, Herschel and Bryna. His parents were junk dealers in Amsterdam, NY and Douglas' memoir characterized his early years as plagued with poverty and anti-Semitic backlash from local kids. The determined teenager landed a wrestling scholarship to St. Lawrence University, where he was a star on the wrestling team and began to dabble in the drama department. He was a natural, charismatic talent and went on to land another scholarship to the acclaimed American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, where his classmates included a 16-year-old Lauren Bacall and future wife, Diana Dill. Douglas was poised to break into Broadway (and adopted the stage name Kirk Douglas) when U.S. involvement in World War II prompted him to join the U.S. Navy, where he served as a communications officer. Douglas returned to New York and promptly married his Academy schoolmate Diana Dill, herself a rising young starlet. Douglas resumed his budding career, working hard to break into radio dramas and commercials before landing on the Great White Way in productions including "Alice in Arms" and "The Wind is Ninety" (1945). Douglas and Dill had a son, Michael in 1944.

Hollywood ingénue now a star overnight, thanks to Bogie and "To Have and Have Not" (1944), Lauren Bacall recommended her former classmate to director Hal Wallis, which led to Douglas' feature film debut opposite Barbara Stanwyck in "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers" (1946). In 1947, Douglas became a father again with the birth of son, J l, and his career ramped up with features "Mourning Becomes Electra" (1947) and "Out of the Past" (1947). He enjoyed the first of seven roles opposite Burt Lancaster in "I Walk Alone" (1948) before truly achieving stardom as the unscrupulous boxer punching his way to the top in Stanley Kramer's "Champion" (1949). Douglas' Oscar-nominated performance established his forceful and intense screen persona, setting the tone for many more strong performances as selfish, cocky and egocentric characters. Douglas was bumped up to an average of three films a year and began working with the top directors of the day in Billy Wilder's "Ace in the Hole" (1951), William Wyler's "Detective Story" (1951) and Howard Hawks' "Big Sky" (1952), all of which showcased the actor's coiled intensity and commanding movie star presence. Offscreen, his marriage to Dill ended and the actress moved back to New York to raise the couple's young sons.

Focusing on his work, Douglas kicked off a four-film collaboration with director Vincente Minnelli, beginning with the riveting melodrama "The Bad and the Beautiful" (1952), in which he played a ruthless movie mogul clawing his way to the top and leaving a trail of deception and betrayal in his wake. His violent, over-the-top scenes with an equally overly dramatic Lana Turner were borderline camp, but engrossing nonetheless, making the film a huge hit with audiences. Douglas earned a second Oscar nomination for the performance and went on to appear in Minnelli's romance "The Story of Three Loves" (1953) the following year. While filming "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (1954), well-known ladykiller Douglas swept his French publicity agent, Anne Buydens, off her feet and married her in a quick Las Vegas ceremony. The pair had son, Peter, in 1955 and the same year, hatched one of Hollywood's first independent production companies, named Bryna in honor of Douglas' mother. He also established The Douglas Foundation, a civic-minded charity involved in health and community programs. Bryna's first production, the Western "The Indian Fighter" (1955), was released later that year. He received far more attention - including a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination - for his portrayal of Vincent van Gogh in Minnelli's biopic "Lust for Life" (1956) - one of Hollywood's most rhapsodic takes on the obsessive, self-tortured artist.

Under the Bryna banner, Douglas brought Stanley Kubrick's "Paths of Glory" (1957) to theaters. It was a disappointment in its initial release, but grew in stature to the front rank of anti-war films. Douglas played a French Army officer (and attorney) who defends three soldiers unjustly accused of cowardice in the trenches during World War I, but the real star was Kubrick, whose camera moved inexorably through the carnage of battle, capturing a brutal authenticity. That same year, the Douglas-Lancaster electricity brightened famously in "Gunfight at the OK Corral" (1957), creating a humorous public rivalry after starring roles as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. In the producer's chair, Douglas starred in the underappreciated Western "Last Train from Gun Hill" (1959) before he, Lancaster and Laurence Olivier delivered standout performances in the sparkling film adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's "The Devil's Disciple" (1959), Shaw's take on how the bumbling British lost their American colonies.

In 1960, Douglas and Bryna productions made history when, in the middle of anti-communist witch hunts that blacklisted Hollywood talent suspected of being communist sympathizers, Douglas insisted on crediting blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo for his screen adaptation of Howard Fast's novel Spartacus. This courageous action - perhaps Douglas' overriding offscreen legacy - essentially ended the blacklist, allowing banned filmmakers to openly return to the industry. "Spartacus" (1960) itself also became an instant classic of the ancient "sand & sandles" epic genre. He again collaborated with Trumbo on the Western "Lonely Are the Brave" (1962), where Douglas essayed a fugitive steeped in the values of the old West who escapes into the Rocky Mountains on horseback in this melancholy and powerful film that eventually attained cult status and earned the star a BAFTA nomination.

Douglas bought the rights to Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and adapted it for Broadway, where he appeared in 1963 in the role of Randel P. McMurphy. Lancaster and Douglas showed up heavily disguised in character roles for John Huston's engaging murder mystery "The List of Adrian Messenger" (1963) and returned to leading roles in John Frankenheimer's absorbing political thriller, "Seven Days in May" (1964). After releasing a solid run of Westerns and World War II films like "Her s of Telemark" (1965), "Is Paris Burning?" (1966) and "The Way West" (1967), shifting tides in American cinema began to render postwar her s like Douglas a thing of the past. So instead, he sought new opportunities, keeping close to his son-of-a-bitch persona in Martin Ritt's mafia drama "The Brotherhood" (1968) and in Elia Kazan's study of the modern man "The Arrangement" (1969), but that role was originally intended for very different actor, Marlon Brando, and it fit Douglas as poorly as Brando's own clothes might have.

Even as Douglas-type Westerns were evolving into a different entity, he soldiered on in the comedic "There Was a Crooked Man" (1970) and the dark, psychedelic "The Gunfight" (1971) opposite Johnny Cash. His directing debut "Scalawag" (1973) was an unsuccessful mash-up of musical, Western and pirate films, and highlighted that the sturdy leading man was having difficulty transitioning into a new era of filmmaking and public taste. In 1975, Douglas sat by frustrated when, after having tried unsuccessfully to bring "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" to the big screen for a decade, son Michael finally produced the film and the studio cast Jack Nicholson in his former stage role. Nicholson went on to win Best Actor and the film Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

Douglas released his sophomore directing effort that year, faring better with the Western "Posse" (1975), in which he returned to tried and true territory and as a haughty, self-obsessed sheriff. He teamed with fellow aging star Burt Lancaster in the TV movie "Victory at Entebbe," (ABC, 1976) and appeared in the spooky thriller "The Fury" (1978) before taking the stage in a tour de force performance as grown up Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer in Bernard Sabath's "The Boys in Autumn" (1981). Douglas took on another dual role in the Australian Western "The Man from Snowy River" (1983), a family video favorite for its eye-filling scenery and incredible action sequences with wild horses. He earned an Emmy nomination in the title role of the CBS movie "Amos" (1985), which led Douglas to become active in the cause of elderly abuse, for which he even testified before the Congressional Select Sub-Committee on Aging. In 1986, Lancaster and Douglas brought the curtain down on their collaboration with the good-natured parody and aptly titled feature, "Tough Guys" (1986).

Douglas published the memoir The Ragman's Son in 1988, and the bestseller sparked a new writing career. His first novel Dance with the Devil was released in 1990, a year before he made headlines for surviving a Los Angeles helicopter crash that killed two fellow passengers. The Douglas Foundation opened the doors of the Anne Douglas Center for Women, a homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles, and Douglas returned to bookstores with well-received titles The Secret in 1992 and Last Tango in Brooklyn in 1994. He starred opposite Craig T. Nelson in the father-son reconciliation TV film "Take Me Home Again" (NBC, 1994) and made a rare comedy appearance as a crotchety family elder in the feature "Greedy" (1994), which fell short of expectations but not because of Douglas, whose love of life clearly came through in a dynamic performance. In 1996, a debilitating stroke permanently impaired his speech but Douglas made an emotional public comeback to accept a lifetime achievement Oscar at the 1996 Academy Awards, despite his impaired speech.

In 1997, Douglas released a second autobiographical work, Climbing the Mountain: My Search for Meaning and the Douglas Foundation funded a citywide program to fix up more than 400 children's playgrounds in Los Angeles. The same year, he reunited with longtime friend Lauren Bacall in the light comedy "Diamonds" (1997) co-starring Dan Aykroyd. Douglas was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hollywood Film Festival in 1997 and another from the Screen Actor's Guild in 1999. In 2002, he released a third autobiography, My Stroke of Luck. The following year he and son Michael - known to have had a tumultuous relationship (made perhaps worse through career jealousies once Michael's star eclipsed his father's) - made a long overdue screen pairing (along with Michael's son Cameron and Douglas' ex-wife, Diandra) in the comedy "It Runs In the Family" (2003), the story of a dysfunctional New York family and their attempts to reconcile.

Unfortunately for any parent, Douglas lost his youngest son Eric, an aspiring actor and comedian, to a drug overdose the same year he and wife Anne Buydens celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a renewal of their vows. Already getting on in years and dealing with his stroke on a daily basis, Douglas took the loss of his youngest extremely hard, having watched Eric struggle with substance abuse over the years. In 2005, Douglas allowed longtime friend, actress-director Lee Grant, to explore the storied careers and relationship of Douglas and his equally famous son Michael in the HBO documentary "A Father...A Son...Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" (2005).

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Posse (1975)
Director
Scalawag (1973)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (Do Not Use) (2011)
Himself
Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010)
Himself
Kirk Douglas: Before I Forget (2009)
Himself
Empire State Building Murders (2008)
Trumbo (2007)
Himself
It Runs in the Family (2003)
Mitchell Gromberg
And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (2003)
Diamonds (1999)
Greedy (1994)
The Lies Boys Tell (1994)
The Secret (1992)
Oscar (1991)
Veraz (1991)
Quentin
Inherit The Wind (1988)
Tough Guys (1986)
Amos (1985)
Draw (1984)
Harry H Holland
Eddie Macon's Run (1983)
Remembrance of Love (1982)
The Man From Snowy River (1982)
Harrison Spur
The Final Countdown (1980)
Saturn 3 (1980)
Adam
The Villain (1979)
Home Movies (1979)
The Fury (1978)
Peter
The Chosen (1978)
Holocaust 2000 (1978)
Robert Caine
Rain of Fire (1977)
Victory at Entebbe (1976)
Posse (1975)
Mousey (1974)
Scalawag (1973)
Un Uomo da Rispettare (1972)
Wallace
The Light at the Edge of the World (1971)
[William] Denton
A Gunfight (1971)
Will Tenneray
Catch Me a Spy (1971)
There Was a Crooked Man ... (1970)
Paris Pitman, Jr.
The Arrangement (1969)
Eddie/Evangelos
A Lovely Way To Die (1968)
Jim Schuyler
The Brotherhood (1968)
Frank
The War Wagon (1967)
Lomax
The Way West (1967)
Sen. William J. Tadlock
Is Paris Burning? (1966)
Gen. George Patton
Cast a Giant Shadow (1966)
Col. David "Mickey" Marcus
The Heroes of Telemark (1966)
Dr. Rolf Pedersen
In Harm's Way (1965)
Comdr. Paul Eddington
The Heroes of Telemark (To Be Deleted) (1965)
Dr Rolf Pederson
Seven Days in May (1964)
Col. Martin "Jiggs" Casey
For Love or Money (1963)
Deke Gentry
The Hook (1963)
Sgt. P. J. Briscoe
The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)
George Brougham
Two Weeks in Another Town (1962)
Jack Andrus
Lonely Are the Brave (1962)
Jack Burns
The Last Sunset (1961)
Brendan O'Malley
Town Without Pity (1961)
Maj. Steve Garrett
Spartacus (1960)
Spartacus
Strangers When We Meet (1960)
Larry Coe
Last Train from Gun Hill (1959)
Matt Morgan
The Devil's Disciple (1959)
Richard Dudgeon
The Vikings (1958)
Einar
Paths of Glory (1958)
Col. Dax
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
John H. "Doc" Holliday
Top Secret Affair (1957)
Maj. Gen. Melville A. "Ironpants" Goodwin
Lust for Life (1956)
Vincent Van Gogh
Man Without a Star (1955)
Dempsey Rae
The Indian Fighter (1955)
Johnny Hawks
The Racers (1955)
Gino Borgesa
Ulysses (1955)
Ulysses
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
Ned Land
The Story of Three Loves (1953)
Pierre Narval
Act of Love (1953)
Robert Teller
The Juggler (1953)
Hans Muller
The Bad and the Beautiful (1953)
Jonathan [Shields]
The Big Trees (1952)
Jim Fallon
The Big Sky (1952)
Jim Deakins
Along the Great Divide (1951)
Len Merrick
Detective Story (1951)
Jim McLeod
Ace in the Hole (1951)
Charles [Chuck] Tatum
The Glass Menagerie (1950)
Jim O'Connor, the Gentleman Caller
Young Man with a Horn (1950)
Rick Martin
Champion (1949)
Midge [Kelly]
A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
George Phipps
My Dear Secretary (1948)
Owen Waterbury
I Walk Alone (1948)
Noll Turner [also known as "Dink"]
The Walls of Jericho (1948)
Tucker Wedge
Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)
Peter Niles
Out of the Past (1947)
Whit [Sterling]
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
Walter O'Neill

Producer (Feature Film)

Posse (1975)
Producer
Summertree (1971)
Producer
The Light at the Edge of the World (1971)
Producer
A Gunfight (1971)
Executive Producer
The Brotherhood (1968)
Producer
Spartacus (1960)
Executive Producer
Strangers When We Meet (1960)
Executive Producer
Paths of Glory (1958)
Executive Producer
The Careless Years (1957)
Executive Producer
Ride Out for Revenge (1957)
Executive Producer
Lizzie (1957)
Executive Producer
Spring Reunion (1957)
Executive Producer

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

Tough Guys (1986)
Production Consultant

Production Companies (Feature Film)

The Vikings (1958)
Company

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (Do Not Use) (2011)
Other
Trumbo (2007)
Other

Cast (Special)

A Father... A Son... Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2005)
The 75th Annual Academy Awards (2003)
Jean Simmons: Picture Perfect (2001)
SAG Awards Show (2000)
Intimate Portrait: Lauren Bacall (1999)
Hometown Heroes (1998)
Interviewee
To Life! America Celebrates Israel's 50th (1998)
The 68th Annual Academy Awards (1996)
Performer
The 66th Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1994)
Presenter
Great American Music: A Salute to Fast Cars (1994)
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (1994)
The 46th Annual Tony Awards (1992)
Presenter
Yellow (1991)
The 19th Annual American Film Institute Life Achievement Award: A Salute to Kirk Douglas (1991)
Anthony Quinn (1990)
The Music Center 25th Anniversary (1990)
Performer
The 14th Annual People's Choice Awards (1988)
Performer
America's Tribute to Bob Hope (1988)
The War in Korea (1988)
Narration
The 12th Annual Circus of the Stars (1987)
Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes All-Star 50th Anniversary (1986)
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (1985)
Performer
Salute to Lady Liberty (1984)
Celebrity Daredevils (1983)
Johnny Cash: The First 25 Years (1980)
A Tribute to "Mr. Television," Milton Berle (1978)
A Show Business Salute to Milton Berle (1973)
Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1973)
Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde
Special London Bridge Special (1972)
The Legend of Silent Night (1968)
Narrator

Misc. Crew (Special)

The 68th Annual Academy Awards (1996)
Archival Footage

Cast (Short)

DARKNESS INTO LIGHT (1956)
Himself

Misc. Crew (Short)

Rowan & Martin at the Movies (1969)
Stock Footage

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Queenie (1987)
Moneychangers (1976)

Life Events

1939

Worked as drama coach for Greenwich House Settlement in NYC

1941

Made Broadway debut as a singing telegraph boy in "Spring Again"

1942

First Broadway performance as Kirk Douglas, "The Three Sisters"

1946

Made feature acting debut in "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers"

1948

Acted with Burt Lancaster in "I Walk Alone"; first of six features in which they would co-star together

1949

Clinched star status with performance in "Champion"; received his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor

1952

Received second Oscar nomination for his portrayal of ambitious movie producer Jonathan Shields in Vincente Minnelli's "The Bad and the Beautiful"

1955

Formed Bryna Productions and produced first film "The Indian Fighter"; also starred

1956

Received third and last Best Actor Oscar nomination for playing Vincent Van Gogh in "Lust for Life"; third of four collaborations with director Minnelli

1957

Produced and starred in second Bryna production, Stanley Kubrick's "Paths of Glory"

1960

Made the call that ended the blacklist in Hollywood by openly hiring Dalton Trumbo to write "Spartacus"; also starred and produced

1962

Founded Joel Productions

1962

Produced and starred in "Lonely Are the Brave"; third and final collaboration with screenwriter Trumbo

1963

Made debut as stage producer for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"; also played the lead role of Randel Patrick McMurphy

1966

Played General George Patton in "Is Paris Burning?"

1973

Appeared in a made-for-TV musical version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"

1973

Film directing debut, "Scalawag"; also produced and starred

1975

Helmed second feature, "Posse"; also produced and starred

1983

Starred in a dual role in the Australian Western, "The Man from Snowy River"

1985

Nominated for Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for playing the title role in the CBS TV-movie, "Amos"

1986

Last movie with Lancaster, "Tough Guys"

1988

Portrayed Matthew Harrison Brady in the NBC TV-movie adaptation of "Inherit the Wind"

1988

Published autobiography <i>The Ragman's Son</i>

1990

Published first novel <i>Dance with the Devil</i>

1991

Received an Emmy nomination for his performance in "Yellow," an episode of "Tales from the Crypt" (HBO), co-starred with son Eric

1994

First feature starring role in eight years, "Greedy"

1996

Suffered a stroke, partially impairing his ability to speak

1999

Returned to acting after his stroke in the film "Diamonds," a comedy co-starring Dan Aykroyd and Lauren Bacall

2003

Teamed with son Michael and grandson Cameron in the feature film "It Runs in the Family"

2006

Cast in "The Illusion," a film helmed by Michael A. Goorjian, who also co-starred

2009

Performed his one-man show "Before I Forget" at a theater that bears his name in Culver City, CA; also released a documentary of the same name

Photo Collections

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral - Publicity Stills
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral - Publicity Stills
Ace in the Hole - Lobby Cards
Here are several Lobby Cards from Ace in the Hole (1951 - aka The Big Carnival). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Lust for Life - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are several stills taken behind-the-scenes during production of Lust for Life (1956), starring Kirk Douglas and directed by Vincente Minnelli.
A Letter to Three Wives - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Fox's A Letter to Three Wives (1949). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Vikings - Movie Posters
The Vikings - Movie Posters
Paths of Glory - Movie Posters
Paths of Glory - Movie Posters
The Last Sunset - Movie Poster
The Last Sunset - Movie Poster
The Racers - Movie Poster
The Racers - Movie Poster
Two Weeks in Another Town - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster from Two Weeks in Another Town (1962). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Big Sky - Kirk Douglas Publicity Still
Here is a photo of Kirk Douglas, taken to help publicize The Big Sky (1952). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Lust for Life - Kirk Douglas Publicity Stills
Here are several photos of Kirk Douglas as Vincent Van Gogh, taken to help publicize Lust for Life (1956). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Out of the Past - Pressbook
Here is the campaign book (pressbook) for RKO's Out of the Past (1947). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
The Story of Three Loves - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from the MGM anthology film The Story of Three Loves (1953). This card depicts the segment starring Kirk Douglas and Pier Angeli. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Bad and the Beautiful - Makeup Test Stills
Here are a few makeup test stills taken of Kirk Douglas during production of MGM's The Bad and the Beautiful (1953). Such test stills were taken prior to principal photography for approvals.
Cast a Giant Shadow - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Cast a Giant Shadow (1966), featuring an all-star cast. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Lonely Are the Brave - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Lonely Are the Brave (1962), starring Kirk Douglas. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Ace In The Hole (1951) - Maybe He'd Like A Little Raw Hamburger New Mexico highway cafe business booming for Lorraine (Jan Sterling) as word of her husband trapped in the cave spreads, scheming reporter Tatum (Kirk Douglas) recruits the sheriff (Ray Teal) who joins him pressuring the engineer (Frank Jaquet), in Billy Wilder's Ace In The Hole 1951.
Ace In The Hole (1951) - Pretty Albuquerque Hard-luck big city newsman Tatum (Kirk Douglas) has rolled into Albuquerque, because his car broke down, introducing himself to local editor Boot (Porter Hall) with a proposition, opening Billy Wilder's Ace In The Hole, 1951.
Ace In The Hole (1951) - Mountain Of The Seven Vultures Enterprising newsman Tatum (Kirk Douglas) emerging from the New Mexico cave where a tourist-trap operator is stuck, tangling with a deputy (Gene Evans) then the wife (Jan Sterling), and calling his editor, in Billy Wilder's Ace In The Hole, 1951.
Ace In The Hole (1951) - We Had A Cave-In Jaded reporter Tatum (Kirk Douglas) and cub Herbie (Bob Arthur) have stumbled into a story headed west from Albuquerque, meeting Lorraine (Jan Sterling), her father-in-law (John Berkes) and a deputy sheriff (Gene Evans), early in Billy Wilder’s Ace In The Hole, 1951.
Man From Snowy River, The (1982) - It's A Hard Country After the accidental death of his cattleman father in early scenes, Australian Jim (Tom Burlinson) completing ceremonies, accompanied by crusty American miner family friend Spur (Kirk Douglas, first of his dual roles), then challenged by rangers led by Frew (Gus Mercurio), in The Man From Snowy River, 1982.
Man From Snowy River, The (1982) - There's A Trick To That One New on the job at the lowland ranch in Victoria, Australia ca. 1880, mountainer Jim (Tom Burlinson) tangles with witty colleague Curly (Chris Haywood) when attention is shifted by the arrival of Jessica (Sigrid Thornton), daughter of the boss Harrison (Kirk Douglas), in The Man From Snowy River, 1982.
Man From Snowy River, The (1982) - ...And His Charming Daughter Striking introductions, Kirk Douglas in his second role, as the slick, prosperous American Harrison (in contrast to his cranky miner brother), in an Australian provincial town collecting a prize horse, protagonist Jim (Tom Burlinson) with an unwelcome assist to daughter Jessica (Sigrid Thornton), lawyer friend Paterson (David Bradshaw, his character loosely based on the writer of the poem from which the story is derived) mending fences, early in The Man From Snowy River, 1982.
Seven Days In May (1964) - God Help Our Country! JSOC staff Colonel Casey (Kirk Douglas) grows more worried watching first blow-hard McPherson (Hugh Marlowe) then his boss, the possibly treasonous General Scott (Burt Lancaster), addressing veterans on TV, in John Frankenheimer's Seven Days In May, 1964.
Out of the Past (1947) - I'm Not Smart Anymore Halfway into the movie dominated by his flashback, ex-private eye Jeff (Robert Mitchum) is already smoking as ex-boss Whit (Kirk Douglas) offers a cigarette and a surprise (Jane Greer, his double-crossing ex-flame Kathie), Lake Tahoe in the background,in Jacques Tourneur's Out Of The Past, 1947.
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954) - Whale Of A Tale Kirk Douglas (as harpoon expert Ned Land) offers a jaunty rendition of "Whale of a Tale" by Al Hoffman and Norm Gimbel, immediately followed by an emergency at sea, in Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, 1954.
Two Weeks In Another Town (1962) - I Thought I Had It Made On a Rome-area beach after a night out with new girlfriend Veronica (Dahlia Lavi), movie star Jack (Kirk Douglas), fresh off three years in a sanitarium, reflects on his career, in Vincente Minnelli's Two Weeks In Another Town, 1962.
Paths Of Glory (1958) - They're Scum Following the failed assault on the German position, Gen. Mireau (George MacReady) seems to have lost perspective, Col. Dax (Kirk Douglas) both defiant and hoping to preserve their relationship, Gen. Broulard (Adolphe Menjou) officiating, discussing military justice, in Stanley Kubrick’s Paths Of Glory, 1958.

Trailer

Letter to Three Wives, A - (Original Trailer) In A Letter to Three Wives (1949), a woman claims to have run off with one of their husbands. But which?
Devil's Disciple, The (1959) -- (Original Trailer) Co-stars and producers Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas top-billed, but sharing credit with their hired colleague Laurence Olivier, playing the British General Burgoyne, in the England-made and UA distributed The Devil’s Disciple, 1959, from the George Bernard Shaw play.
There Was A Crooked Man (1970) -- Original Trailer The bulky trailer for the ambitious Kirk Douglas comic Western by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, co-written by the Bonnie And Clyde team, David Newman and Robert Benton, with Henry Fonda, Hume Cronyn and Burgess Meredith, There Was A Crooked Man, 1970.
Young Man with a Horn - (Original Trailer) A young trumpet player (Kirk Douglas) is torn between an honest singer (Doris Day) and a manipulative heiress (Lauren Bacall) in Young Man with a Horn (1950).
Seven Days in May - (Original Trailer) The U.S. President is threatened by a military coup in Seven Days in May (1964) written by Rod Serling and starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas.
Racers, The - (Textless Trailer) A man (Kirk Douglas) alienates everyone around him on his goal to become a world-famous race car driver in The Racers (1955).
Last Sunset, The - (Original Trailer) A sheriff (Rock Hudson) finds the outlaw (Kirk Douglas) he's hunting leading a cattle drive and decides to help him before arresting him in Robert Aldrich's The Last Sunset (1961).
Two Weeks in Another Town - (Original Trailer) A recovering alcoholic film director tries for a comeback in Rome in Two Weeks in Another Town (1962) starring Kirk Douglas & Edward G. Robinson.
Strangers When We Meet - (Original Trailer) A married architect (Kirk Douglas) and a neglected wife (Kim Novak) begin an affair in Strangers When We Meet (1960).
Arrangement, The - (Original Trailer) An advertising executive (Kirk Douglas) has a mid-life breakdown in Elia Kazan's The Arrangement (1969).
Lizzie - (Original Trailer) A mousy woman discovers she has two other personalities in Lizzie (1957) starring Eleanor Parker and Richard Boone.
Detective Story -- (Original Trailer) A rigid police detective (Kirk Douglas) accidentally uncovers his wife's shady past life in William Wyler's Detective Story (1951).

Promo

Family

Harry Danielovitch
Father
Ragman.
Bryna Danielovitch
Mother
Michael Douglas
Son
Actor, producer. Born on September 25, 1944; mother, Diana Dill.
Joel Douglas
Son
Producer. Born on January 23, 1947; mother, Diana Dill; head of Victorine Studios in Nice, France.
Peter Vincent Douglas
Son
Producer. Born on November 23, 1955; mother, Anne Buydens.
Eric Anthony Douglas
Son
Actor, producer. Youngest son; born on June 21, 1958; mother, Anne Buydens; died July 6, 2004.

Companions

Diana Douglas
Wife
Actor. Married on November 2, 1943; divorced in February 1950; mother of Michael and Joel Douglas; appeared in "The Indian Fighter" (1955), starring ex-husband.
Anne Douglas
Wife
Former publicity agent, producer. Married on May 29, 1954; Douglas was among her clients; produced husband's feature directing debut, "Scalawag" (1973).

Bibliography

"My Stroke of Luck"
Kirk Douglas, William Morrow (2002)
"In the Wings: A Memoir"
Diana Douglas Darrid, Barricade Books (1999)
"Kid Heroes of the Bible"
Kirk Douglas, Simon & Schuster (1999)
"Climbing the Mountain: My Search for Meaning"
Kirk Douglas, Simon & Schuster (1997)
"Last Tango in Brooklyn"
Kirk Douglas, Warner Books (1995)
"The Gift"
Kirk Douglas, Warner Books (1992)
"Dance with the Devil"
Kirk Douglas, Random House (1990)
"The Ragman's Son"
Kirk Douglas, Simon & Schuster (1988)
"The Films of Kirk Douglas"
Tony Thomas, Citadel Press (1972)

Notes

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.