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 "Reflections" and "Activities" posts.
Clicking 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.
Clicking 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.
Clicking the "Kirk Douglas Theatre" button, you'll get the latest news about productions at the theatre, named to honor Kirk Douglas and established as the newest and most intimate of the Center Theatre Group's spaces, which include the Ahmanson and Mark Taper Theatres at the Los Angeles Music Center.
By clicking “Fan Mail,” you’ll have the opportunity to share your thoughts with Kirk.
Kirk Doulgas's new book, written with his wife Anne, Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood is now available. This link will enable you to order a copy, and have part of the proceeds go to the work of The Douglas Foundation.
Film legend Kirk Douglas and Anne Buydens, his wife of nearly sixty-three years, look back on a lifetime filled with drama both on and off the screen. Sharing priceless correspondence with each other as well as the celebrities and world leaders they called friends, Kirk and Anne is a candid portrayal of the pleasures and pitfalls of a Hollywood life lived in the public eye.
Compiled from Anne's private archive of letters and photographs, this is an intimate glimpse into the Douglases' courtship and marriage set against the backdrop of Kirk's screen triumphs, including The Vikings, Lust For Life, Paths of Glory, and Spartacus. The letters themselves, as well as Kirk and Anne's vivid descriptions of their experiences, reveal remarkable insight and anecdotes about the legendary figures they knew so well, including Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Elizabeth Taylor, John Wayne, the Kennedys, and the Reagans. Filled with photos from film sets, private moments, and public events, Kirk and Anne details the adventurous, oftentimes comic, and poignant reality behind the glamour of a Hollywood life-as only a couple of sixty-two years (and counting) could tell it.
Joachim Ronneberg, saboteur who crippled Nazi atomic bomb project, dies at 99
- Created on Tuesday, 23 October 2018
- Written by Harrison Smith
--Washington Post October 22, 2018
The plan was audacious, requiring a midnight parachute jump onto a snow-covered mountain plateau, cross-country skiing in subzero temperatures, and an assault on an isolated, heavily guarded power plant in southern Norway.
And the stakes, though no one in the five-man commando team knew it at the time, were spectacular: destroy the Nazis’ sole source of heavy water, a recently discovered substance that Hitler’s scientists were using to try to develop an atomic bomb, or risk the creation of a superweapon that could secure a German victory in World War II.
“We didn’t think about whether it was dangerous or not,” Joachim Ronneberg, the 23-year-old Norwegian resistance fighter charged with leading the mission, later told Britain’s Telegraph newspaper. “We didn’t think about our retreat. The most important decision you made during the whole war was the day you decided to leave Norway to report for duty. You concentrated on the job and not on the risks.”
Mr. Ronneberg went on to land a crippling blow against Nazi Germany’s atomic ambitions, blowing up much of the plant and destroying its heavy-water stockpile without firing a shot or losing a man. He was 99, and the last of Norway’s celebrated heavy-water saboteurs, when he died Oct. 21, according to the state-owned broadcaster NRK, which confirmed the death but did not provide additional details.
“Ronneberg is one of the great heroes of Norwegian war history,” Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg told the media company after his death. In 2015, British military historian M.R.D. Foot told the New York Times that Mr. Ronneberg’s mission “changed the course of the war” and deserved the “gratitude of humanity.”
While historians have argued over how close the Nazis came to developing an atomic bomb, and over what prevented them from succeeding, German officials at the time seemed to agree that Mr. Ronneberg’s actions were pivotal. After visiting the damaged heavy-water plant, Nikolaus von Falkenhorst, the Nazi general overseeing occupied Norway, was said to have declared, “This is the most splendid coup I have seen in this war.”
Yet even as Mr. Ronneberg’s exploits were chronicled in books, television series and movies such as “The Heroes of Telemark,” a popular 1965 film starring Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris, Mr. Ronneberg resisted being glorified as a war hero. “There were so many things that were just luck and chance,” he told the Times. “There was no plan. We were just hoping for the best.”
Raised by a prominent Norwegian family in the port town of Alesund, he was born Joachim Holmboe Ronneberg on Aug. 30, 1919, and was working for a fish export company when Germany invaded in April 1940. With a few friends, he fled to Britain aboard a fishing boat and linked up with the Special Operation Executive, a wartime espionage unit that Winston Churchill dubbed his “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.”
Mr. Ronneberg studied the dark arts of sabotage, including how to lay a bomb, fire a weapon and kill a man with his bare hands, before serving as an instructor for recruits in Norwegian Independent Company 1, an SOE unit sometimes known as Kompani Linge.
His rise through the organization occurred as Allied forces received reports that the Nazis were increasing cold-water production at Vemork, an industrial facility and hydroelectric power plant — once the world’s largest — built by Norsk Hydro in the Telemark region of southern Norway.
The plant was already the world’s leading commercial supplier of heavy water, a moderator, or medium, that German scientists were using to try to produce weapons-grade plutonium for an atomic bomb. It proved less effective than graphite, which their American rivals working on the Manhattan Project used to create the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
By the time Mr. Ronneberg was enlisted to lead Operation Gunnerside, the mission to destroy the plant, 41 men had already died in a November 1942 raid dubbed Operation Freshman, in which a pair of gliders crashed in bad weather in Norway. The survivors were executed by the Nazis.
Rather than risk another glider mishap, Mr. Ronneberg and the four commandos he selected for the mission parachuted into Norway in February 1943. They landed in the wrong location, but waited out a snowstorm inside a cabin and met up with four local fighters in Hardangervidda, a desolate plateau northwest of the plant.
The group reached Vemork the night of Feb. 27, after scrambling down a steep gorge, crossing a frozen river and climbing up the far side to avoid a bridge guarded by the Nazis. Timing his infiltration of the plant to match a changing of the guard, Mr. Ronneberg said he was able to gain entry undetected, quickly and quietly breaking through a chain on the gate, only with help from a pair of heavy-duty metal cutters. He had purchased them in Britain “entirely by chance,” he said, after walking by a hardware store during a trip to the movies.
Drawing on intelligence from a Norwegian escapee who had worked at the plant, Mr. Ronneberg crawled through a ventilation duct and found his target — a row of pipes — without understanding its significance as a source for a mysterious new weapon in Germany.
The charges, he later said, “fitted like a hand in a glove,” and in a last-minute change he trimmed the fuse, causing the explosion to go off in about 30 seconds, rather than two minutes, so that he and his team could ensure it went off — and, he hoped, escape the facility without being caught in the explosion.
“It was a mackerel sky. It was a marvelous sunrise,” Mr. Ronneberg later told the Telegraph, recalling the moment hours later when he and his team had returned to the mountains, safely out of reach of Nazi guards. “We sat there very tired, very happy. Nobody said anything. That was a very special moment.”
Mr. Ronneberg and his fellow commandos skied 200 miles across southern Norway, escaping into neutral Sweden before returning to Britain.
He went on to lead Operation Fieldfare, an effort to break German supply lines in Norway by damaging bridges and railroads, and Allied forces continued to monitor Vemork. The plant was repaired after several months, leading U.S. planes to bomb the heavy-water factory later in 1943.
When the Nazis decided to move their supply of heavy water to Germany in 1944, one of Mr. Ronneberg’s fellow commandos, Knut Haukelid, led a successful operation to sink the Hydro, a Norwegian ferry carrying the substance, while it was traveling across Lake Tinn.
Mr. Ronneberg received Norway’s highest military honor, the War Cross With Sword, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in Britain. He returned to his hometown of Alesund after the war, and worked as an editor at NRK before retiring in 1987, according to the broadcasting company.
He married Liv Foldal in 1949. A complete list of survivors was not immediately available.
Mr. Ronneberg began speaking about his experiences as a resistance fighter only in recent years. His story, he told the Telegraph, had lessons for politicians and ordinary civilians even today. “A few years ago,” he said, “I realized that I am part of history. Having been more or less silent for years, now I realize it is important and quite natural for people to ask about the past so they can plan for the future. People must realize that peace and freedom have to be fought for every day.”
Hugh Jackman To Receive Santa Barbara Film Festival’s Kirk Douglas Award For Excellence In Film
- Created on Thursday, 04 October 2018
- Written by Pete Hammond
--Deadline Hollywood October 1, 2018
Hugh Jackman will be the recipient of this year’s Kirk Douglas Award For Excellence In Film, presented for the 13th year by the Santa Barbara Film Festival. The black-tie awards gala will be held November 19 at the Ritz Carlton Bacara hotel.
Jackman, riding high off the global box office success of 2017’s surprise hit musical The Greatest Showman, has won acclaim for his latest film The Front Runner. He plays U.S. Sen. Gary Hart, whose 1988 Presidential campaign was derailed by a sex scandal.
The film, directed by Jason Reitman, premiered at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals early last month and won high praise, particularly for Jackman’s performance which is being heavily Oscar-buzzed. Sony Pictures will open the movie, appropriately, on election day November 6 before going wide later in the month.
Since 2006, the annual Kirk Douglas Award has been given to a lifelong contributor to cinema through their work in front of the camera, behind, or both. Past honorees include Judi Dench, Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, Forest Whitaker, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino, Ed Harris and John Travolta.
“I am delighted that Hugh Jackman will receive the 13th annual Kirk Douglas Award. He’s an exceptional talent of stage and screen, and one of the nicest people in the business. It’s my honor to have my name linked with his on this year’s award,” Kirk Douglas said.
The 34th annual Santa Barbara Film Festival is set to run January 30-February 9.
Kirk Douglas Spartacus actor, 101, in heartwarming moment with great-granddaughter
- Created on Friday, 31 August 2018
- Written by Samantha Masters
--Express.co.uk August 29, 2018
The 101-year-old former actor was captured admiring baby Lua Izzy, the daughter to his grandson Cameron Douglas, 39.
Baby Lua was seen holding her arms out to the Spartacus actor who smiled proudly.
The father of Michael Douglas, 73, dressed in casual attire and hid behind sunglasses as he sat on a chair.
Admiring the moment, Cameron took to his Instagram to upload the adorable snap.
In view of his 11,000 followers, he simply captioned the picture: “LOVE.”
Many of his social media fans flocked to his page to comment on the cute offering.
One user commented: “Beautiful. This is life.”
Another added: “That’s an amazing treasure,” another penned: “That is a gorgeous photo!”
Back in January, Kirk proudly cradled his great-granddaughter as Cameron sat alongside him.
Cameron shared the picture with the caption: “Words cannot express. #Powerful #Bloodline.”(sic)
Earlier this month, Kirk was pictured being helped by two nurses during a rare sighting in Los Angeles.
Kirk was seen receiving help assistance from two staff members before he settled down in a wheelchair.
His appearance comes shortly after Michael revealed an interesting fact about his father’s approach to life.
Speaking to Lorraine Kelly on her self-titled show, he said: “He still has a trainer. He works out with a trainer at 101.”
Recalling a memory of his father, he continued: “I remember when dad was 90 and he had a guy that he worked out with for 30 years, Mike.
“So I went to see dad one day and I go, ‘Dad, what’s wrong? You don’t look good.’
“He said, ‘Mike died.’ ‘Oh dad, I’m so sorry. Mike died… how old was Mike?’” he continued.
“He said, '94.’ So his trainer was 94-years-old when he was 90.”
Aside from Michael, Kirk also has three other sons Joel, Eric and Peter.
He has tied the knot twice in his lifetime and has been married to Anne Buydens, 99, since 1954.