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.
Kirk Douglas donates $15 million toward new care center in Woodland Hills
- Created on Friday, 11 December 2015
- Written by Susan Abram
--Los Angeles Daily News December 10, 2015
A $35 million care center to be named after screen legend Kirk Douglas will be built at the Motion Picture Television Fund campus in Woodland Hills to help Hollywood industry members struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, officials announced Wednesday.
Construction on the two story Kirk Douglas Care Pavilion will begin next year and will include a garden for 80 industry members struggling with Alzheimer’s as well as those with long-term skilled nursing care needs.
Douglas, who turned 99 on Wednesday, and his wife have donated $15 million toward the project.
“We are grateful to Kirk and Anne for making this leadership gift of $15 million,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chairman of the MPTF Foundation in a statement. “It will kick the design and planning of this incredible new facility into high gear.”
Douglas wanted to formally donate the funds on his birthday, Katzenberg said.
“With their recent commitment to MPTF, Kirk and Anne Douglas are some of the largest donors in the history of MPTF giving, with over $40 million of lifetime philanthropy,” Katzenberg said. “We will never be able to thank them enough for all that they have done.”
The pavilion will allow the Motion Picture Television Fund to expand its services and will house Harry’s Haven, an Alzheimer’s unit that was created by the Douglas family in 1992.
“Kirk was visionary when in 1992 he recognized the implications of dealing with Alzheimer’s not only for those directly impacted but for their family members as well,” Bob Beitcher, MPTF President and CEO, said in a statement. “MPTF is honored to be a part of the legacy of caring for our own that Kirk Douglas embodies by his words and his actions.”
The nonprofit Motion Picture & Television Fund was founded in 1921 by movie pioneers Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith. The intention was to provide services to members and family within the film industry. The group has operated several outpatient health centers throughout greater Los Angeles, a children’s center, a retirement community and health plans.
In a statement, Douglas said he and his wife Anne created Harry’s Haven because they wanted to help families in the entertainment community struggling to care for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
“What MPTF has done at Harry’s Haven over the past 25 years never ceases to amaze me,” Douglas said in the statement. “We wanted visitors as well as patients to experience a warm and loving environment, and MPTF has fulfilled our wishes admirably.
“When Jeffrey Katzenberg explained the urgency of enlarging the current facility to accommodate more patients, we had to say yes! Jeffrey knows it is our philosophy to provide funding where it is needed most. The Kirk Douglas Care Pavilion is going to help a lot of families in our community.”
Kirk Douglas Turns 99! See Son Michael Douglas's Sweet Facebook Post
- Created on Thursday, 10 December 2015
- Written by Lindsay Kible
--People December 9, 2015
Storied film actor Kirk Douglas celebrated his 99th birthday on Wednesday, and he marked the occasion with sweet well-wishes from his son.
Michael Douglas shared a red carpet photo with the legendary Spartacus star on Facebook in honor of his father's big day.
In the image, Michael, 71, gives his father a sweet forehead kiss.
"Happy 99th Birthday Dad," Michael wrote. "I love you."
Michael has previously praised his father's illustrious career, while thanking him for letting him forge his own path in the industry.
Although Kirk has clearly lived a long life, the Honorary Academy Award winner recently told PEOPLE about how he nearly was a passenger on Elizabeth Taylor's husband's private plane, which crashed and killed everyone aboard in 1958.
The actor's longtime wife, Anne Buydens, wouldn't let Kirk join on the plane ride – and thankfully so, as the Lucky Liz suffered engine failure,
"Why was I spared? I was so grateful," Kirk told PEOPLE. "My wife has saved my life many times."
Kirk Douglas Reviews 'Trumbo'
- Created on Friday, 20 November 2015
- Written by Andrea Mandell
--USA Today November 20, 2015
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — How odd to watch history replayed on the big screen when it's your own.
That's where Kirk Douglas, 98, found himself when recently viewing Trumbo (in select theaters; opens nationwide Nov. 25), a new biopic of Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (played by Bryan Cranston), who was forced to work under a pen name for more than a decade during the McCarthy years when he, along with hundreds of others, was blacklisted as a communist sympathizer.
Douglas' Spartacus plays a key role in the film: It was the first major movie to break the blacklist by putting Trumbo's real name back on the big screen in the credits in 1960. (Exodus, also written by Trumbo, followed suit shortly after.)
Douglas sits in a cardigan and slacks in his sun-drenched living room. "You know, I did a lot of movies with Dalton," he says in good spirits though he speaks slowly (his speech has been impaired since a stroke at age 80). "They were all good." (His favorite is 1962's Lonely Are the Brave.)
An original copy of Trumbo's National Book Award-winning Johnny Got His Gun has been pulled from Douglas' shelf. The author sent it to Douglas as a token of gratitude after the actor pledged to use Trumbo's real name on Spartacus.
The June 1959 inscription reads:
Here, for what it is and for what I hope I still am, is the only existing copy of this book that's signed with the name to which I was born — and that other name you've enabled me to acquire under circumstances that blessedly permit me to respect and cherish both the new name and the new friend who made it possible.
Affectionately, Sam Jackson/Dalton Trumbo."
In Trumbo, Dean O'Gorman (a startling Douglas lookalike) plays the screen legend. O'Gorman wrote Douglas a letter last September seeking advice.
Douglas' shares his response to the 38-year-old actor seen in The Hobbit franchise (as the dwarf Fili).
It's amusingly spare. "Playing Kirk Douglas, forget him ... just play the part and you will be fine," he wrote.
In his book I Am Spartacus! Making A Film, Breaking the Blacklist, Douglas details how he waited for a majority of the film to be shot as leverage to push Universal to allow Dalton's real name on screen.
"What I never understood, you know, a guy should be able to write something and be paid," Douglas says, pointing out that even President Kennedy supported Spartacus by crossing picket lines to see it.
In the book, Douglas wrote, "When I hired Dalton Trumbo to write Spartacus under the pseudonym Sam Jackson, we all had been employing the blacklisted writers. It was an open secret and an act of hypocrisy, as well as a way to get the best talent at bargain prices. I hated being part of such a system."
Douglas describes Trumbo as an egoless writer who wasn't precious about his work. And Trumbo was fast. "Dalton Trumbo, if you told him, 'I don't like that scene' — 'You don't like it?' " (Douglas mimics the screenwriter crumpling up a paper and tossing it.)
Trumbo's many eccentricities are displayed in the film, aided by Cranston's portrayal, which Douglas praises. "Trumbo was a strange guy," says Douglas, happy that a parrot (nicknamed Sammy) he gifted the writer made the film.
The bird, Douglas recalls, used to sit on Trumbo's shoulder while he worked in the tub, where the prolific writer often held meetings. "He was a nut," Douglas says.
Douglas' overall impression of Trumbo? "It's a very good film," he says, "and its spirit is true to the man I admired."
A centennial year of celebration is in store for the three-time best actor nominee. "I'm going to be 99 years old (on Dec. 9). I don't like it," says Douglas who is working on a new book of letters from his life.
How does he feel? Douglas smiles and squints. "I think I'll make another picture."