With a well-decorated career spanning over 6 decades, Kirk Douglas has indeed achieved the status of a Hollywood legend. A three-time Oscar nominee, he has had several successes as a film and stage actor, producer, director, and writer. He is also known as the patriarch of the Douglas dynasty of talented filmmakers, as several of his descendants have distinguished themselves equally in various aspects of Hollywood.
Bio – How Old Is Kirk Douglas?
At the age of one hundred, Kirk Douglas was born on December 9, 1916, as Issur Danielovitch. His parents Bryna and Herschel Danielovitch were Jewish emigrants from the Russian Empire. As an adolescent, he took the name “Izzy Demsky”, which he finally changed to “Kirk Douglas” before joining the US Navy during World War II.
As a young teenager, Douglas was able to distinguish himself through his acting talent, although he experienced a childhood full of poverty and lack. He received his college education at St. Lawrence University, New York, and because of his impeccable acting talent, he was accepted with a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was discharged in 1944 for war injuries.
After his return to New York, Douglas was employed by a radio station and worked as a stage actor at the same time. He originally planned to remain a stage actor but made his screen debut in the film The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) alongside Barbara Stanwyck. His performance in this film brought him the attention of Hollywood as well as some other film roles. Douglas cemented his status as a leading actor with his appearance in the highly acclaimed film Champion (1949), which earned him his first Oscar nomination.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Kirk Douglas retained his place as a box-office serial actor who appeared in many war and western films, not excluding dramas. He received his second Oscar nomination for his leading role in the melodrama film The Bad and the Beautiful (1952). He received a third Oscar nomination and also won a Golden Globe Award for his role in the biography Lust for Life (1956). While his acting career flourished, the Hollywood star entered the film production business by founding his own film company Bryna Productions. The company produced about 19 films from 1955 and 1986 – including some in which Douglas played the leading role.
Throughout his acting career, Douglas starred in over 90 films, and he was best known for playing tough, cruel, and leading characters in the most extravagant acting style. He had a career-defining role as the leading actor in the highly acclaimed epic historical film Spartacus (1960), in which he also acted as executive producer. He made his directorial debut in 1973 with the film Scalawag, followed by the western film Posse (1975), in which he played the leading role in both films.
Among several other awards, Kirk Douglas received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 from then-president Jimmy Carter. He also received the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award (1968), the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award (1991), the Academy Honorary Award (1996), and the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award (1999).
Is He Dead?
Kirk Douglas survived a stroke in January 1996 that temporarily impaired his ability to speak. Apart from this serious health impairment, the Hollywood icon has remained healthy for most of his long life. A few weeks after his 101st birthday, he fell victim to a series of death-dealing strokes, the most notorious of which took place in January 2017. Birthday. The false allegations were quickly dismissed following a statement released by Douglas’ family. At the time of writing this publication, the centenarian is still very much alive and well.
Just like his Hollywood career, Kirk Douglas has had a good time in terms of relationships. He is currently married to his wife Anne Buydens (née Hannelore Marx), who is over 6 decades old. The duo met in Paris while Douglas was filming Lust for Life and they made the bond on May 29, 1954. Before his current relationship, he was married for 8 years to the Bermudan actress Diana Dill.
Kirk Douglas has 2 children from his first marriage; Oscar-winning actor and producer Michael Douglas and film producer Joel Douglas. He also has two sons from his current marriage: television and film producer Peter Douglas and actor and comedian Eric Douglas. His youngest son Eric tragically died in 2004 at the age of 46.
Douglas has at least 7 grandchildren. He has 3 from his first son Michael; Cameron Morrell Douglas (born 1978), Dylan Michael Douglas (born 2000) and Carys Zeta Douglas (born 2003) and 4 from his third son Peter; Kelsey Douglas (born 1992), Tyler Douglas (born 1996), Ryan Douglas (born 2000) and Jason Douglas (born 2003).
His Net Worth
Kirk Douglas has amassed quite a respectable fortune during his six decades of a showbiz career. Much of his wealth came from his long career as an actor, producer, and director. He also has a number of other bankable businesses and is known to be a great philanthropist alongside his wife Anne. His net worth is conservatively estimated at $60 million.