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.
Dear Trump: I’ve Lived Through The Nazi Regime. Don’t Let History Repeat Itself.
- Created on Thursday, 24 August 2017
- Written by Anne Douglas
--Huffinfron Post August 23, 2017
I was living in occupied Paris under the Nazis in 1941 when President Roosevelt delivered his State of the Union address to Congress. He talked with passion about bedrock American values, the “four freedoms”―freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. In my native Germany and in France―as well as all other countries Hitler conquered―each of these fundamental freedoms of a democratic society had completely disappeared. You cannot imagine the joy and sense of rebirth in Paris when the Americans liberated us in 1944.
A decade later, I became a naturalized American after I married Kirk Douglas. My husband believes, because I lived for so long under fascism, I love my adopted homeland with a ferocity that few native-born citizens can imagine.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” said John F. Kennedy when he became the 35th President of the United States. Soon after, he created many opportunities for citizen participation like forming the Peace Corps and suggesting to my husband that an American movie star, representing the U.S. as a goodwill ambassador, could enhance our understanding among nations.
Kirk solidified the arrangement with the State Department and for the next 20 years―under both Democratic and Republican presidents―Kirk and I traveled to more than 40 countries at our own expense to talk about America. Some of the countries had totalitarian or military regimes. We always came home relieved to report that, even behind the Iron Curtain, there was affection and respect for America.
Kirk is now 100, and there’s little he hasn’t experienced during his lifetime. He’s eternally grateful his parents escaped the anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia so that all of their children could be born in America. He’s seen the greatness of our country, but also its dark side of discrimination against minorities, immigrants, and its Native American populations.
He helped to break the blacklist that grew out of Congressional hearings that destroyed lives of those who had once belonged to the Communist Party, a party whose existence was never made illegal. He knew people who were terrified that their sexual orientation would be exposed. He saw how easy it was for people in power like Senator Joseph McCarthy to persecute with impunity until a courageous lawyer for the Army named Joseph Welch destroyed him with these damning words, “At long last, have you left no sense of decency.”
Those are words I wish our congressional leaders would have quoted to the current inhabitant of the White House when he blamed “both sides” for the tragic events at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The American-bred racists and neo-Nazis who gathered there have never experienced firsthand what a totalitarian regime inflicts upon its people when it takes power. I have. They have lived all their lives in a country which protects their free speech even when it is hateful.
As a child in Germany, I had to join Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth) where we were indoctrinated with Nazi beliefs and encouraged to spy on our parents and neighbors. Later, when I was surviving in Paris by writing German subtitles for films, my maid denounced me to the Gestapo, eager to report the strange phrases on the work I brought home. I was picked up at 5:00 a.m. and interrogated for hours. I finally convinced the officer I was not a spy, but only because I could speak German. It was the most terrifying moment of many for me during World War II.
Neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan seem convinced that President Trump is their friend. He has said little to dissuade them. His first wife Ivana said her husband kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside, so I wonder where his sympathies lie.
Movements like these openly share their goals of taking over the government. Our president, our elected representatives, and our military and law-enforcement leaders must tell them in no uncertain terms that there is no place for hate groups in America.
The Home of Spartacus
- Created on Saturday, 19 August 2017
- Written by Linda Kremer
--Palm Springs Life August 18, 2017
Joel Douglas remembers the gate behind his parents’ home in the Old Las Palmas neighborhood of Palm Springs. It connected to the home of Dinah Shore.
“It was a terrific place to live; we had so many friends who were neighbors — Dean Martin, Sidney Sheldon lived next door, and Dinah Shore’s house was behind us,” Douglas says. “We had tennis parties every Sunday.”
Douglas is the son of actor Kirk Douglas, who will turn 101 in December, and the younger brother of actor Michael Douglas — the two were both offspring of Kirk’s first marriage to Diana Dill. Together with their half-brothers, Peter and Eric, from Kirk’s second longtime marriage, to Anne Douglas, the family often spent summers in Palm Springs.
“Mike and I would come out on vacations from about age 12 or so. The home has quite a history to it,” Joel recalls. “Every guest you can imagine visited. When Henry Kissinger was up there for a week, we had to install special phones with 10 lines. They’re still there.” Designed by Donald Wexler and built by Robert Higgins in 1954, the 4,000 square-foot home was originally built for Bob Howard, whose father owned the legendary thoroughbred racehorse, Seabiscuit. Howard kept it for a short time before selling the property to the Douglases in 1957. Kirk Douglas sold the home in 1999.
The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation will host a tour of the spectacular Kirk Douglas Residence during Modernism Week Fall Preview, which runs Oct. 19 through 22. The tour will be held from 1 to 4 p.m., Oct. 21.
Joel, who owned a home in the same neighborhood until a few years ago, remembers Palm Springs as a close-knit community. “It was really a village then,” he recalls. “It was a wonderful place and my father was so much a part of their community. He was the grand marshall of Desert Circus one year and Mike and I were deputies.”
Desert Circus was one of the valley’s first festivals — a week of community fundraising and festivities, established in 1934 and popular through the ’80s.
The current owners of the former Douglas estate, Michael Budman and Diane Bald from Toronto, bought the house in April 2016 and have given it a “sensitive renovation” during which some of the original architectural features have been restored.
Modernism guests will have an opportunity to tour the property, not to mention the tennis pavilion where Kirk Douglas papered the walls with colorful (now vintage) movie posters from his long and distinguished career in which he received three Oscar nominations (Champion, The Bad and the Beautiful, and Lust for Life), an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In addition to this rare peek inside a Wexler-designed celebrity home, each guest will receive a copy of Palm Springs Preservation Foundation’s 60-page tribute journal, Donald Wexler: Architect.
Modernism Week Fall Preview, Oct. 19–22, modernismweek.com
Celebrities remember Barbara Sinatra through the years
- Created on Wednesday, 26 July 2017
- Written by Bruce Fessier
--The Desert Sun July 25, 2017
Barbara Sinatra, who rose to social prominence as "Lady Blue Eyes" and then developed a legacy of her own, has died at her Rancho Mirage home at age 90.
Among the quotes gathered about her over the years is the following:
Anne Douglas, friend and wife of actor Kirk Douglas, from their book, 'Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter and a Lifetime in Hollywood," by permission of co-author Marcia Newberger
"Back in 1985, Barbara approached me to help her build a home for abused children. She said I had a reputation for fundraising and organization and she was going to open a facility at Eisenhower. I had no idea there was such terrible thing as child sexual abuse. I said yes of course, and the fabulous journey began! We created a board and the children came.
"Barbara's passion and dedication became mine, and I had the pleasure of working with her, as President for several years, and sharing the joy of healing our kids. At this time, we have worked with and healed over 20,000 youngsters...and my own life was changed because of Barbara Sinatra."