Still a star at 94: Flirty Kirk Douglas steals the show at the Oscars

--from Rachel Quigley, The Daily Mail, March 1, 2011

He ambled on to the stage with the help of a walking stick and his speech was a little garbled.

But these were the only signs that Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas is getting on in years - 94 years to be exact.

The three-time Oscar nominee kick-started the 83rd Academy Awards with gusto, presenting the third of the night for Best Supporting Actress.

And despite suffering a stroke in the nineties, it appears he is still as sharp as a button.

Immediately flirting with co-presenter Anne Hathaway when he arrived on stage he asked: 'Where were you when I was making movies?'


He was the life and soul of the party and had the audience in the palm of his hands within seconds.

Prolonging the announcement of the winner of the award by several minutes, he fired off more witty comedic commentary, eliciting raucous laughter from the crowd.

The nominees - Helena Bonham Carter, Melissa Leo, Amy Adams, Hailee Steinfield and Jackie Weaver - all squirmed in their seats while he dragged his role out. 

The Spartacus actor eventually announced the winner of the Oscar - The Fighter's Melissa Leo - and told her when she reached the stage: 'You are much more beautiful than you were in The Fighter.'

At one point, he pointed out that actor Hugh Jackman, an Australian, was laughing while actor Colin Firth, who is British, was not.

He said: 'I don't know why everyone in Australia thinks I'm funny.'

As well as reminiscing on his own Oscar success, he played games with the man who was holding his cane and continued to fire out hammy jokes, clearly ignoring the Teleprompter that most presenters rely on.

In 1996, Douglas suffered from a stroke which affected his speech, but in a true testament to his spirit, clearly visible tonight, he often speaks publicly about his long and prestigious career as well making TV appearances.

His son Michael Douglas has just battled with throat cancer but has been pictured looking happy and healthy at a string of public appearances lately.