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Kirk Douglas Portrait by Jeffery Fain

Kirk Douglas was born into poverty the son of Jewish Russian immigrants as Issur Danielovitch Demsky on December 9, 1916 in Amsterdam, New York. He used his great talent to climb to the highest pinnacle of Hollywood stardom. He is convincing in both sympathetic and unsympathetic parts where his chiseled features, easy smile, distinctive voice, and famous cleft chin can suggest mirth or menace. His multi layered performances are passionate.

He waited tables to put himself through St. Lawrence University where he was a champion wrestler and did theater work. He became a professional wrestler and held numerous jobs to pay his way through the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He had small roles on Broadway before serving in the Navy in World War II. After his return home from service his friend Lauren Bacall suggested him to producer Hal B. Wallis who tested him and gave him the lead role in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers [1946]. Kirk received terrific reviews and remained in Hollywood to make Out of the Past [1947] and I Walk Alone [1947] with friend Burt Lancaster. He had a key part in A Letter to Three Wives [1949] and achieved true stardom portraying a boxer in the classic Champion [1949].

He now was a top performer and appeared in the following roles of note: 1950 - Young Man With a Horn and The Glass Menagerie, 1951 - The Big Carnival and Detective Story, 1952 - The Big Sky and The Bad and the Beautiful, 1954 - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1955 - Ulysses and Man Without a Star, 1956 - Lust for Life as Vincent van Gogh, 1957 - Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and Paths of Glory, 1958's The Vikings, 1959's The Devil's Disciple, 1960's Strangers When We Meet and the epic Spartacus [1960]. As the producer of Spartacus he broke the Hollywood blacklist by insisting that screen writer Dalton Trumbo be given proper credit for his work.

He formed Bryna Productions in 1955 and later Joel Productions to produce his own films and films of others.

During the 1960's and 1970's he starred in such notable films as 1961's Town Without Pity and The Last Sunset, 1962's Lonely Are the Brave and Two Weeks in Another Town, 1963's The List of Adrian Messenger, 1964's Seven Days in May, 1965's In Harm's Way, 1966's Cast a Giant Shadow, 1967's The War Wagon with John Wayne, 1968's The Brotherhood, 1969's The Arrangement, 1970's There Was a Crooked Man..., 1971's A Gunfight, 1973's Scalawag, 1975's Posse and Once Is Not Enough, 1978's The Fury, and 1979's Home Movies and The Villain.

He has remained active in films in the 1980's and 1990's appearing in The Final Countdown [1980], The Man From Snowy River [1982], Tough Guys [1986], Oscar [1991] and Greedy [1994]. He is the best selling author of his autobiography "The Ragman's Son", "The Gift", "Climbing the Mountain: My Search for Meaning", "The Secret", "The Broken Mirror: A Novella", "Last Tango in Brooklyn", "Dance with the Devil" and "Kirk Douglas's Young Heroes". He is also a director, producer, and great humanitarian serving as a Goodwill Ambassador for the State Department and receiving numerous awards for his efforts.

Personally, he has been married twice, first to Diana Dill in 1943, divorced 1951, mother of sons Michael and Joel, and Anne Buydens from 1954 to the present, mother of sons Peter and Eric. Eric passed away July 6, 2004. Michael Douglas brought Kirk's dream to reality when he made One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest into a film. Kirk had appeared in the stage production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1963.

He was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981, the highest U.S. honor a civilian can receive. He has survived a helicopter crash on February 13, 1991 in which two people died and he sustained severe back injuries with debilitating long-term effects. He also has survived a 1995 stroke which has left him with disabilities. Now retired despite having the option of residing anywhere from luxury apartments in New York City to the private dream homes of Sanibel real estate, he resides in Beverly Hills, California with his wife Anne.

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Kirk Douglas




Academy Award
Honorary Award
For 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community.
Academy Award
Lust for Life
Best Actor
Academy Award
The Bad and the Beautiful
Best Actor
Academy Award
Best Actor
Berlin International Film Festival Golden Berlin Bear
Best Actor
British Academy Award
Lonely Are the Brave
Best Foreign Actor
Golden Globe Award
Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Golden Globe Award
Cecil B. DeMille Award
Golden Globe Award
Lust for Life
Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
Lust for Life
Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
Detective Story
Best Actor

American Film Institute
Cesar Award
Hollywood Film Festival
National Board of Review
Screen Actors Guild Awards
ShoWest Convention


The Kirk Douglas Poll
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Kirk Douglas Images




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Kirk Douglas



KB Song for David, A [2000]
KB Diamonds [1999]
KB Films of John Frankenheimer, The [1995] ~~ Himself
KB Take Me Home Again [1994] [TV] ~~ Ed Reece
KB Century of Cinema, A [1994] ~~ Himself
KB Greedy [1994] ~~ Uncle Joe McTeague
KB Secret, The [1992] [TV] ~~ Mike Dunmore
KB Oscar [1991] ~~ Provone Sr.
KB Veraz [1991] ~~ Quentin
KB Inherit the Wind [1988] [TV] ~~ Matthew Harrison Brady
KB Queenie [1987] [TV] ~~ David Konig
KB Tough Guys [1986] ~~ Archie Lang
KB Amos [1985] [TV] ~~ Amos Lasher
KB Draw! [1984] [TV] ~~ Harry H. Holland
KB Eddie Macon's Run [1983] ~~ Carl 'Buster' Marzack
KB Man from Snowy River, The [1982] ~~ Harrison/Spur
KB Remembrance of Love [1982] [TV]
KB Final Countdown, The [1980] ~~ Capt. Matthew Yelland
KB Saturn 3 [1980] ~~ Adam
KB Home Movies [1979] ~~ Doctor Tuttle 'The Maestro'
KB Villain, The [1979] ~~ Cactus Jack
KB Fury, The [1978] ~~ Peter Sandza
KB Chosen, The [1978] ~~ Robert Caine
KB Victory at Entebbe [1976] [TV] ~~ Hershel Vilnovsky
KB "Arthur Hailey's the Moneychangers" [1976] TV Miniseries ~~ Alex Vandervoort
KB Posse [1975] ~~ Howard Nightingale
KB Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough [1975] ~~ Mike Wayne
KB Mousey [1974] [TV]
KB Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [1973] [TV] ~~ Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde
KB Scalawag [1973] ~~ Peg
KB Master Touch, The [1972] ~~ Steve Wallace
KB Light at the Edge of the World, The [1971] ~~ Will Denton
KB Gunfight, A [1971] ~~ Will Tenneray
KB To Catch a Spy [1971] ~~ Andrej
KB There Was a Crooked Man... [1970] ~~ Paris Pittman Jr.
KB Arrangement, The [1969] ~~ Eddie Anderson
KB Lovely Way to Die, A [1968] ~~ Jim Schuyler
KB Brotherhood, The [1968] ~~ Frank Ginetta
KB Rowan & Martin at the Movies [1968] ~~ Himself
KB War Wagon, The [1967] ~~ Lomax
KB Way West, The [1967] ~~ Senator William J. Tadlock
KB Is Paris Burning? [1966] ~~ Gen. George S. Patton Jr.
KB Cast a Giant Shadow [1966] ~~ Colonel David "Mickey" Marcus
KB Heroes of Telemark, The [1965] ~~ Dr. Rolf Pedersen
KB In Harm's Way [1965] ~~ Commander Paul Eddington
KB Seven Days in May [1964] ~~ Colonel Martin "Jiggs" Casey
KB List of Adrian Messenger, The [1963] ~~ George Brougham
KB Hook, The [1963] ~~ Sgt. P.J. Briscoe
KB For Love or Money [1963] ~~ Deke Gentry
KB Lonely Are the Brave [1962] ~~ Jack Burns
KB Two Weeks in Another Town [1962] ~~ Jack Andrus
KB Last Sunset, The [1961] ~~ Brendan O'Malley
KB Town Without Pity [1961] ~~ Major Steve Garrett
KB Strangers When We Meet [1960] ~~ Larry Coe
KB Spartacus [1960] ~~ Spartacus
KB Devil's Disciple, The [1959] ~~ Dick Dudgeon
KB Last Train from Gun Hill [1959] ~~ Matt Morgan
KB Vikings, The [1958] ~~ Einar
KB Gunfight at the O.K. Corral [1957] ~~ Dr. John 'Doc' Holliday
KB Top Secret Affair [1957] ~~ Maj. Gen. Melville Goodwin
KB Paths of Glory [1957] ~~ Colonel Dax
KB Lust for Life [1956] ~~ Vincent Van Gogh
KB Racers, The [1955] ~~ Gino
KB Indian Fighter, The [1955] ~~ Johnny Hawks
KB Man Without a Star [1955] ~~ Dempsey Rae
KB 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [1954] ~~ Ned Land
KB Ulysses [1954] ~~ Ulysses
KB Story of Three Loves, The [1953] ~~ Pierre Narval
KB Juggler, The [1953] ~~ Hans Muller
KB Act of Love [1953] ~~ Robert Teller
KB Bad and the Beautiful, The [1952] ~~ Jonathan Shields
KB Big Sky, The [1952] ~~ Jim Deakins
KB Big Trees, The [1952] ~~ Jim Fallon
KB Big Carnival, The [1951] ~~ Charles Tatum
KB Along the Great Divide [1951] ~~ Len Merrick
KB Detective Story [1951] ~~ Detective James McLeod
KB Young Man with a Horn [1950] ~~ Rick Martin
KB Glass Menagerie, The [1950] ~~ Jim O'Connor
KB Champion [1949] ~~ Michael 'Midge' Kelly
KB Letter to Three Wives, A [1949] ~~ George Phipps
KB I Walk Alone [1948] ~~ Noll 'Dink' Turner
KB My Dear Secretary [1948] ~~ Owen Waterbury
KB Walls of Jericho, The [1948] ~~ Tucker Wedge
KB Out of the Past [1947] ~~ Whit Sterling
KB Mourning Becomes Electra [1947] ~~ Peter Niles
KB Strange Love of Martha Ivers, The [1946] ~~ Walter O'Neil


KB Posse [1975]
KB Light at the Edge of the World, The [1971]
KB Summertree [1971]
KB Brotherhood, The [1968]
KB Seven Days in May [1964]
KB The List of Adrian Messenger [1963]
KB Lonely Are the Brave [1962]
KB Spartacus [1960] [executive]
KB The Vikings [1958]
KB The Indian Fighter [1955]


KB Posse [1975]
KB Scalawag [1973]


KB "Simpsons, The" [1989] playing "Chester J. Lampwick"(voice) in the episode "Day the Violence Died, The" 3/17/1996


CLICK HERE to listen to Spartacus - Love Theme - MP3 clip zip
CLICK HERE to listen to Spartacus - Prelude To Battle - MP3 clip zip


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Many thanks to Jeff Fain and Uwe Reber for the permission to use their portraits.