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 will be available on May 2, 2017. This link will enable you to pre-order a copy, and have part of the proceeds go to the work of The Douglas Foundation.

kirkannebook

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 VikingsLust For LifePaths 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.

‘Trumbo’ gets Kirk Douglas’ stamp of approval

--pagesix.com  November 5, 2015

‘Trumbo’ gets Kirk Douglas’ stamp of approval

Bryan Cranston personally delivered a copy of his new film “Trumbo” — in which he stars as the titular blacklisted screenwriter — to show Kirk Douglas, 98, at the icon’s home.

Years ago, Douglas hired Dalton Trumbo to pen his 1960 hit “Spartacus” after Trumbo was banned from Hollywood for a decade and wrote a 1956 Oscar-winner, “The Brave One,” under a pseudonym.

“Cranston brought the film to Kirk’s house,” said a source. “They started at 3 p.m., took a break for dinner, then watched the rest. Kirk loved it. He gave Bryan a big hug, but wondered why [director] Jay Roach didn’t cast him to play himself.”

Michael Douglas has been telling pals that when his dad hits 99 next month, they’ll start a yearlong centennial celebration.

'Trumbo's' Dean O'Gorman plays Kirk Douglas and earns praise from the legend

--Los Angeles Times  October 30, 2015

Dean O'Gorman

When Dean O'Gorman was cast in the plum role of Kirk Douglas in "Trumbo," the new biopic about blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, he decided to ask the legendary actor if he wouldn't mind offering up a few tips on how to play him.

"I wrote him a letter," said O'Gorman, 38, by phone from his home outside of Auckland, New Zealand.

And Douglas, now 98, wrote him back. "He was very nice," said O'Gorman, best known as the dwarf Fili in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy. "He said, 'Don't worry about being me too much, just play the role, play the scene." I thought it was a great answer. I think it was Kirk Douglas' way of saying no one but me is me."

When Douglas enters Trumbo's (Bryan Cranston) life in the late 1950s, the screenwriter had long been forced to churn out screenplays under various pseudonyms. As a young actor and producer, Douglas hired the writer to adapt Howard Fast's novel "Spartacus," the 1960 epic he was producing and starring in as a Roman slave who leads a revolt. Despite threats that publicly using Trumbo would ruin his career, Douglas insisted he get screen credit on the film directed by Stanley Kubrick, helping to break the lengthy blacklist against Trumbo and other writers.

Douglas, said O'Gorman, has admitted that had he been older at the time he may have been more hesitant to use Trumbo's real name in the credits. But being so young, O'Gorman added, he was a little more headstrong. "One thing he has said is that he hated being told what to do. He was really inspired by the injustice of it. He could have lost a lot, and he was really nervous about the outcome of it."

O'Gorman had long been a fan of Douglas. "I read his autobiography, 'The Ragman's Son,' when I was a teenager," he said. "I always thought he was a fascinating force of nature."

Though he was aware of the Hollywood blacklist, O'Gorman didn't know the full story until he began work on the film. "It was quite shocking to find out these people who were deemed to be a threat to the nation were — only two years prior — sort of being revered as these incredible artists. And they were pushed aside."

O'Gorman, who looks strikingly like the young Douglas, heeded the advice of the veteran actor and "Trumbo" director Jay Roach not to do an impression. So there is no muscular posturing or "I'm KIRK DOUGLAS!" proclamations.

In an email interview, Roach noted, "Dean's interpretation of Mr. Douglas required more overlap of Dean's own heart and soul with the essence of Kirk Douglas. If Dean had tried to mimic Douglas, the iconic mask might have gone more opaque. What Dean did is much more like channeling Douglas through his own face and body."

One of the most difficult aspects of playing Douglas was having to wear the form-fitting "Spartacus" duds. "It took a while to get used to wearing little leather undies," O'Gorman said with a laugh.

Douglas, noted Roach, has seen "Trumbo" and went out of his way to compliment O'Gorman's performance. "He said the only guy who could have done better at playing Kirk than Dean was ... Kirk himself," said Roach. "Douglas said he was upset we didn't ask him!"

 

 

L.A. Mission gets another $5M from Kirk and Anne Douglas

--October 22, 2015

Angela George [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Actor Kirk Douglas and his wife, Anne, pledged another $5 million to the Los Angeles Mission’s women’s center, boosting their support of the mission to $15 million over the last three years, officials said Thursday.

“Anne and Kirk Douglas are the gold standard for giving to the mission and our L.A. community,” Los Angeles Mission President Herb Smith said. “They are doers and role models of service for us all. They have been very involved in every aspect of the Anne Douglas Center and the center’s substantial work to help desperate women who are out of options.”

Anne Douglas announced the donation during the mission’s Legacy of Vision Gala Tuesday night.

“We always say, ‘Caring is sharing,’” Anne Douglas said. “You really only own what you give away. It sounds like a contradiction, but it really is true. Our joy comes from what we have given away. To see women’s lives turned completely around means everything to us.”

Jane Fonda Ponders Art’s Impact on Youth at Santa Barbara Fete

--Variety  October 3, 2015

Jane Fonda Ponders Art's Impact on

GOLETA, Calif. — Two-time Oscar winning actress Jane Fonda kept the focus on social concerns in accepting a career achievement honor presented by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Saturday night.

The 10th annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film in hand, Fonda took a moment to recognize the programs that benefit from the annual fundraising dinner (which has honored luminaries such as Jessica Lange, Forest Whitaker, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas and Harrison Ford in recent years). She recalled formerly running a local performing arts camp herself for underprivileged children. It was there she said she discovered the impact art can have on youth, when one of the children there confessed she had never met people who think about the future. “When you’re poor or not loved, you see no future,” Fonda recalled understanding.

She also added with a twist that the camp was powered by alternative energies. “This was the end of the 70s,” she boasted. “So don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have the technology.”

Programs supported by the Gala include Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies, the 10-10-10 Mentorship program and competitions, the Film Studios Program, Apple Box Family Films and a new Film Camp initiative to be launched this summer.

Fonda admitted to having some difficulty watching her career fly by in a series of clip packages. “I’m 78 and I still feel like a student,” she said. “[I see this and think,] ‘I can do it better.'”

Nevertheless, it’s an impressive portfolio, one that builds to an explosive if fleeting performance in Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth.” Given the respect Fonda commands, the impact of her work in the film and her propensity to own podiums and red carpets, this isn’t likely to be the last honor she accepts on the awards circuit this season.

Actresses Elizabeth Banks (a big “9 to 5” fan) and Diane Lane presented tributes to Fonda throughout the evening, the former being applauded by both Fonda and SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling for helming a box office hit in “Pitch Perfect 2” while also delivering great, distinctive performances in films like “Love & Mercy” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” this year.

Quoting Edith Wharton and reading from meticulously assembled note cards, Lane pondered what it is about Fonda’s appeal on screen that penetrates so deeply. “You’re just elevated to a higher form of comprehension [when you watch her work],” the “Unfaithful” and “Man of Steel” star said.

Since 2006, the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film has been awarded to a lifelong contributor to cinema through their work in front of the camera, behind, or both. Douglas could not make the ceremony Saturday night, but he did send in pre-taped congratulations while showing off an impressive gray ponytail, still bursting with energy at nearly 99 years old.

The 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival runs Feb. 3 – 13, 2016.