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Welcome to the Posts section of the official Kirk Douglas website. Its purpose is to let Kirk share his thoughts and activities with you, and to enable you to share your thoughts with him.

Below you’ll find links to the most recent posts, regardless of category.

If you click on the “Reflections” button to the left, you’ll be taken to a page where Kirk, a best-selling writer as well as a movie star, has posted his most recent thoughts and musings.

If you click the “Activities” button, you’ll be taken to a page where you can learn about current and past goings-on in which Kirk is involved.

By clicking “Fan Mail,” you’ll have the opportunity to share your thoughts with Kirk.

News flash! Kirk's most recent book I Am Spartacus! was published June 12, 2012. This link will enable you to get a copy, and have part of the proceeds go to the work of The Douglas Foundation.

If you would like to purchase the Kindle e-Book version of I Am Spartacus, click below.

DOUGLAS INTERVIEW REBROADCAST TONIGHT

Pat Harvey's inteview will be repeated tonight, Sunday, July 27, between 8:30 & 9 PM on KCAL9. The couple recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, and the interview focuses on their enduring romance, their life together, and their many achievements, including their work for charity. 

 

Hollywood Legend Kirk Douglas, His Wife Delve Into Their 60-Year Love Affair

CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO INTERVIEW

--July 25, 2014

Their story is the stuff of Hollywood romance.

Legendary actor Kirk Douglas, 97, has been married to his wife, Anne, for 60 years, and in an interview with CBS2’s Pat Harvey, he shares the enchanting stories and secrets to keeping the romance burning.

The pair met in Paris while Kirk was playing the role of Vincent van Gogh in “Lust For Life,” and Anne Buydens was handling the PR for the movie.

Anne, 84, said she played hard-to-get. The two became friends, but she eventually fell for Kirk’s charms.

The couple married in Las Vegas the following year in 1954.

Kirk, who already had two sons — Oscar-winning actor Michael and Joel — with his first wife Dianna Dill, went on to have two more — Peter and Eric — with Anne.

Their union has endured the test of time, but not without the occasional argument.

“We argued a lot. But I will tell you about a big argument,” Kirk said.

The scene opens in March 1958, when the Douglases were living next door to Elizabeth Taylor and her husband Mike Todd in Palm Springs. Todd asked Douglas to join him on his private plane on a trip to New York.

“And he said ‘yes,’ and as soon as they left, I said to Kirk, ‘I don’t want you to go,’ ” Anne said.

“We had such a big argument and I finally said, ‘Oh, what the hell, I won’t go.’”

Taylor came down with a cold and didn’t end up going either.

Todd’s plane infamously crashed, and everyone aboard was killed.

“So, from then on, I never argued with her. She saved my life,” Kirk told Harvey.

“I have instincts, and I’ve been right too many times,” Anne said.

The couple has made it through their share of obstacles. In January 1996, Kirk suffered a stroke as he was getting a manicure at home.

He sustained lingering damage to his speech and struggled with depression. The actor credits Anne with pushing him to work with speech therapists.

Just a few months later, Kirk would accept an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement.

“I intended to just say thank you, but I saw 1,000 people. I felt I had to say something more, and I did,” he said.

The entertainment legend said he was proud to be a part of Hollywood for 50 years and dedicated the statue to Anne.

But what this actor, who’s appeared in more than 90 films, said he’s most proud of is the philanthropic work he and Anne have accomplished together. They hope it will be their legacy.

The Douglases have sold pieces from their art collection to rebuild 409 playgrounds in Los Angeles.

They’ve funded the Alzheimer wing at the Motion Picture Retirement Home and started the Anne Douglas Center at the Los Angeles Mission, which gives homeless women a second chance.

All in all, Anne and Kirk Douglas have given $50 million to five nonprofit groups over the years. One such recipient is the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

The couple’s generosity doesn’t end there, and it’s the bond that holds them together.

“Is there a formula [to staying together]?” Harvey asked them.

The actor responded with a smile: “Yes, there’s a formula. You have to fall in love.”

Correction: The Douglases did meet in Paris but it was during the film ACT OF LOVE rather than LUST FOR LIFE. 

 

REMINDER: INTERVIEW TONITE!

 

A reminder about a very unique event: 

Kirk and Anne Douglas will be interviewed by Pat Harvey on Friday, July 25, at 11 PM PDT on KCBS Los Angeles, Channel 2. The couple recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. The interview will focus on their enduring romance, their life together, and their many achievements, including their work for charity. 

You can also see the interview on-line at http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/

On Sunday, July 27, the interview will be repeated between 8:30 and 9 PM on KCBS's sister station KCAL9. 

Don't miss this rare opportunity to get an inside look at one of Holllywood's most legendary marriages! 

Kirk One-Man Show Airs July 24

NEWS FLASH!

The film of Kirk Douglas's one-man theatre piece BEFORE I FORGET will air tonight, July 24, 2014, on TCM at 7:15 PM Pacific Time / 10:15 PM Eastern Time. Kirk talks about his life on screen and off with a mixture of humor and seriousness that made the show a critical hit when it first appeared on stage. 

Kirk & Anne Interview Fri July 25 11 PM KCBS

--July 22, 2014

kd ad rome 1954

Kirk and Anne Douglas will be interviewed by Pat Harvey on Friday, July 25, at 11 PM PDT on KCBS Los Angeles, Channel 2. The couple recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. The interview will focus on their enduring romance, their life together, and their many achievements, including their work for charity. 

You can also see the interview on-line at http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/

On Sunday, July 27, the interview will be repeated between 8:30 and 9 PM on KCBS's sister station KCAL9. We'll update you on more specifics as we receive them.

Don't miss this rare opportunity to get an inside look at one of Holllywood's most legendary marriages! 

PRINCESS AND PIRATES Sing-a-Long Concert at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo Flash: Meet the Cast of PRINCESS AND PIRATES Sing-a-Long Concert at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

--July 17, 2014 broadwayworld.com

Lythgoe Family Productions (LFP) in association with The Pasadena Playhouse, presents a production for kids and their families -- PRINCESS AND PIRATES Sing-a-Long Concert. Scroll down for a sneak peek at the cast!


The cast will featureLindsay Pearce as "Snow White/Maid Marion" ("Glee"), Molly McCook as "Cinderella/Wendy/Aurora" ("Free Agents," "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Curt Hansen as "Prince Charming/Prince Phillip" ("Next to Normal" on Broadway, "Wicked" First National Tour), Clifton Hall as "Prince Harry" ("Next to Normal" on Broadway, "Wicked" National Tour), Clarice Ordaz as "Princess Jasmine" ("So You Think You Can Dance"), Jonathan Meza as "Muddles" (Nick Jr.'s "Jumpitz"), David F.M. Vaughn as "Captain Hook/Sheriff of Nottingham" (US Tour of "Shrek the Musical"), and JP Dupé as "Peter Pan" ("So You Think You Can Dance Canada").

PRINCESS AND PIRATES Sing-a-Long Concert is directed and choreographed by Spencer Liff (Emmy nominee "So You Think You Can Dance" and currently represented on Broadway for the musical staging of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" starring Neil Patrick Harris) and musical supervisor Michael Orland ("American Idol").

The show includes the family musical interactive fun that LFP is known for, with beloved fairytale characters singing well known pop songs; from Snow White singing Katy Perry's "Firework," to Aladdin singing One Direction's "That's What Makes You Beautiful," and the Sheriff of Nottingham's own rendition of Lady Gaga's "Applause." Everyone will be singing along and dancing in the aisles! So come cheer your favorite Princess and Boo! Captain Hook as he tries to spoil the fun.

In addition to Director and Choreographer Spencer Liff, the creative team for PRINCESS AND PIRATES Sing-a-long Concert includes musical supervision by Michael Orland ("American Idol"), book by Kris Lythgoe, scenic and costume design by Lythgoe Family Productions. PRINCESS AND PIRATES Sing-a-long Concert is produced by Kris Lythgoe and Becky Lythgoe.

PRINCESS AND PIRATES Sing-a-Long Concert will be performed for four weekends only - July 18 through August 10, at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Tickets are now on sale at www.princesspirateslive.com and by phone by calling 213.972.4488.

Stay Tuned: Kirk & Anne on 60 Years of Marriage

--July 2, 2014

Kirk and Anne Douglas recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. What's the secret?

You'll get the chance to find out later this month when Pat Harvey of KCBS Los Angeles airs an interview with the enduring couple. Air time has not been set, but will probably be during Pat's 11 PM show on July 16, 17, or 18. A repeat airing will take place on KCBS's sister station KCAL9 the following day during the afternoon. 

We'll let you know exact dates and times as soon as they are set. A rare opportunity to get an inside look at one of Hollywood's legendary marriages!

Kirk Douglas looks back at 60 years of marriage

--Los Angeles Times June 20, 2014

1954: Las Vegas wedding

In 1953, I was a successful movie star arriving in Paris for the first time. I knew no one and spoke no French. It wouldn't be a problem. Beautiful Parisians might love to be seen with Kirk Douglas, the Hollywood leading man, even though they never would have looked twice at Issur Danielovitch, the ragman's son from Amsterdam, N.Y. The way I figured it, we both got pleasure from these fleeting entanglements.

So it was a big blow to my theory when I met Anne Buydens. She came in to help me with press and translation during the filming of "Act of Love." I offered her a job, and she said, "No, I can recommend someone else, but I will be going to New York soon." OK, I thought, I'll take this young beauty to dinner at the most romantic (and expensive) restaurant in Paris, La Tour d'Argent. She's sure to approve of my taste and my ability to get a last-minute reservation. Once again, she turned me down. "No, I think I'll stay in and have some scrambled eggs," she said.

The fact that I didn't impress her certainly impressed me, and I was determined to win her over. Anyone who knows my story knows the rest. She did join the production, and we courted in France and Italy. After I returned to the States, I invited her to come for a visit.

We had a wonderful time together. And then she announced she was going back to Paris. I'm not proud that it took me until then to realize how much I didn't want to lose her, and I'm not proud that I put so little thought into our wedding. I was making "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" for Walt Disney, working six days a week. I left the studio on a Saturday afternoon and picked up Anne, my lawyer and my publicist, and we flew to Las Vegas. Anne and I joined our lives before a hastily summoned justice of the peace. I was eager to get the vows over with so I could take everyone to my pal Frank Sinatra's show at the Desert Inn.

I don't know why Anne stuck with me through those early decades. If anyone I worked with is still alive, they will attest that I wasn't Mr. Popularity. I had a lot of anger matched by a lot of arrogance. Some people put up with me, I think, simply because I had such a wonderful wife. Everyone loved her, including my first wife and my two eldest sons, Michael and Joel.

Anne never tried to change me, but she never hesitated to speak her mind — usually gently and often with great humor and subtlety. But she did change me and very much for the better. I began to see my native land through the eyes of a naturalized American who had lived through Nazi occupation and the terrors of war. I learned not to take our rights and privileges for granted. Anne joined me as a goodwill ambassador for the U.S. Information Agency, and we traveled to more than 40 countries, paying our own way. I received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but she should have received one too.

Over the years, Anne has run my production company, raised our sons and encouraged me to join her in good works. We rebuilt 401 Los Angeles Unified School District playgrounds. Through the Anne Douglas Center at the Los Angeles Mission, we have seen hundreds of women turn around their lives. There is Harry's Haven (named after my father) for Alzheimer patients at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills and, of course, the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

Kirk and Anne Douglas

 

Anne has saved my life more than a few times. With uncanny intuition, she refused to let me join Mike Todd on his fateful flight east. We stopped speaking over that one until we heard the news the next morning. Elizabeth Taylor became a widow, but not my Anne. When I had my stroke 17 years ago, she drove me to the hospital like a Formula One racer. And when I wallowed in self-pity because of my impaired speech, she made me get up and work with a speech therapist. To this day, I write her love poems; to this day, she continues to give me tough love.

On our golden anniversary in 2004, I finally gave Anne the wedding she never had at Greystone Manor in Beverly Hills, with some 300 guests sharing our happiness. She surprised me by converting to Judaism before the ceremony, which was held under the traditional wedding canopy with our friend Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple officiating.

This year, I was superstitious about planning a celebration too far in advance of our May 29 diamond anniversary. After all, I am only three years shy of my personal centennial, and my Spartacus days are well behind me. But my son Michael and his wife, Catherine, were determined to help us celebrate our 60th anniversary in style.

They surprised us with a magical night with family and friends. Once again, we were at Greystone Manor, now transformed into an alfresco Cocoanut Grove-style nightclub. Anne looked as glamorous as she had the day she walked into my life in Paris, and I was proud to be by her side. A newly engaged friend asked, "Kirk, why did your marriage last so long?"

"That's easy," I replied. "I just told my wife, if you ever leave me, I'm going with you!"

Douglas, an actor-producer and the author of 10 books, lives in Beverly Hills. He recently completed a book of original poems titled "Life Could Be Verse."

 

 

 

Ace in the Hole – Philip French on Billy Wilder's masterly newspaper film noir

--The Guardian (U.K.) 7 June 2014

ace in the hole

Billy Wilder worked as a hard-nosed newspaperman on tabloids in Vienna and Berlin during the 1920s and brought this experience to bear on Ace in the Hole. Made immediately after the corrosive Sunset Boulevard, it was his first film as producer-director following the dissolution of his longtime partnership with the older, relatively conservative Charles Brackett, with whom he'd worked since arriving in California as an exile from Nazi Germany. Now regarded as an uncompromising masterpiece, it was a major box-office and critical failure in the States at the height of McCarthyism, despite a memorable performance by Kirk Douglas, who is at his most uningratiatingly forceful in virtually every scene.

Douglas plays Chuck Tatum, a flamboyant reporter fired from big city papers for his unscrupulous conduct, drinking and lechery, trying to make a comeback in small-town New Mexico, working for a dull, honest editor whose motto, embroidered on framed samplers in his office, is "Tell the Truth". After a year of $60-a-week tedium, Chuck suddenly finds his ace in the hole by exploiting the plight of a sad loser, Leo Mimosa, who's managing a run-down diner and filling station in the desert with his disillusioned young wife Lorraine (a tough, vulnerable Jan Sterling). Leo is trapped underground in an ancient Indian cave dwelling, and Chuck manipulates Lorraine and a local sheriff into helping him protract the rescue so he can transform the incident into a national news story that will attract sightseers and catapult him back into the big time. "I've met a lotta hard-boiled eggs in my life, but you, you're 20 minutes," Lorraine tells Chuck, half admiringly.

Like the tarnished heroes of Double IndemnityThe Lost Weekend,Sunset Boulevard and The Apartment, Tatum is a characteristic Wilder protagonist, a self-loathing anti-hero on his way down and eventually finding redemption or salvation as he approaches rock bottom. Shot in a stark, tabloid black-and-white by Charles B Lang (the interior darkness contrasted with the blinding desert light), the film is closely based on a sensational real event from the 1920s that also inspired Robert Penn Warren's 1959 novel The Cave, and is morally gripping and unsentimental in its refusal to give the audience an easy point of sympathetic identification.

David Mamet, Culture Clash part of Kirk Douglas Theatre season

--June 3, 2014 Los Angeles Times

A production of David Mamet's 2009 play "Race" and a new version of Culture Clash's "Chavez Ravine" are among the highlights of the Kirk Douglas Theatre's 2014-15 season, which was announced Tuesday by Center Theatre Group.

The season will feature two other mainstage productions -- the new play “Luna Gale” by Rebecca Gilman, which was recently seen at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, and the 2010 musical "Girlfriend." 

"Race" (Aug. 31 to Sept. 28), which will open the season, comes in a production directed by Scott Zigler, who has had a long association with Mamet and who served as artistic director of New York's Atlantic Theatre Co.

Zigler directed the play at the Philadelphia Theatre Co. in 2011. The drama, which opened on Broadway in 2009, tells the story of a group of attorneys and their arguments over a case involving a white man's alleged crime against a black woman. 

Gilman's "Luna Gale" (Nov. 23 to Dec. 21) is a drama about a social worker who finds herself in an ethical dilemma when faced with having to find a home for a baby of two teenage drug addicts. The play opened in January at the Goodman Theatre, where it was directed by the theater's artistic director, Robert Falls.

"Chavez Ravine" (Jan. 27 to March 1, 2015) will be seen in a new version created by the group Culture Clash and director Lisa Peterson. The theater work, which Culture Clash debuted in 2003 at the Mark Taper Forum, follows a Mexican American neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles and the development of what would become Dodger Stadium. 

The musical "Girlfriend" (July 12 to Aug. 9, 2015), which opened at Berkeley Repertory in 2010, follows the relationship between two high school boys in Nebraska. The show features songs from the album of the same name by pop musician Matthew Sweet. The musical "Girlfriend" (July 12 to Aug. 9, 2015), which opened at Berkeley Repertory in 2010, follows the relationship between two high school boys in Nebraska. The show features songs from the album of the same name by pop musician Matthew Sweet. 

In addition to the mainstage offerings, the Kirk Douglas season will include sidebar productions as part of the DouglasPlus series. The lineup includes Dael Orlandersmith’s "Forever" (Oct. 9 to 26); "Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up" (May 21 to 31, 2015) by Lucy Alibar, co-screenwriter for the movie "Beasts of the Southern Wild"; and "How to Be a Rock Critic" (June 17 to 28, 2015) by Jessica Blank and Eric Jensen, based on the life of Lester Bangs.

The DouglasPlus series will also present "Facing Our Truth: Ten-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege” on July 13. The six plays, written in response to the death of Trayvon Martin and subsequent legal case involving George Zimmerman, were commissioned by the New Black Fest in New York and will be read at various theater companies around the country.