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.
Palm Springs gives historic status to Kirk Douglas home in Old Las Palmas neighborhood
- Created on Monday, 13 January 2020
- Written by Shane Newell
--Palm Springs Desert Sun January 10, 2020
The Palm Springs home that once belonged to legendary actor Kirk Douglas has been awarded historic status by the Palm Springs City Council.
On Thursday, the City Council voted 5-0 to designate the home as a Class 1 historic site. It will join a list of more than 100 historic homes and structures in the city that possess Class 1 or Class 2 historic status.
Built in the early 1950s on West Via Lola in the Old Las Palmas neighborhood, the home was owned and occupied by the star of "Spartacus" and "Lust for Life" from 1959 to 1999, according to the city.
With the historic designation, the property owner may now apply for a Mills Act contract that could lead to reduction in property taxes. The designation also ensures a citizens group must weigh in before significant changes are made to the home's exterior.
The home, which is located about a block west of Palm Canyon Drive, qualified as a historic site, according to the city, since it had historic integrity, an association with a significant person and possessed certain design characteristics.
The Diane Budman Bald Family Trust, which purchased the $3.5-million home in 2016, sought the designation.
When it was on the market in 2016, the listing agent Jim Schweitz, with Bennion Deville Homes said of the home: "There are a lot of houses in Las Palmas that are million-dollar celebrity homes, but very few estates with famous architects and iconic celebrity ownership that have been maintained with the integrity of the period."
Designed by Donald Wexler and Richard Harrison, the home was one of their earliest commissions, according to the city. The Douglas home featured many of the designers' iconic tenets: minimal use of materials, post and beam construction and roof eaves protecting large expanses of glass from the sun.
It was originally built for Robert Howard, then-owner of the Colony Palms hotel. It was sold to Douglas a few years later.
One wing of the nearly 4,000-square-foot house has four ensuite bedrooms. Another, separated from the living area by butler doors, includes a kitchen refurbished in the 1980s and another bedroom.
After purchasing the home, Douglas added a carport, pool, spa, pool house and gym. One of the home's most stunning features is the tennis pavilion, which was added in 1976 and designed by Wexler and Michael H. Morrison.
In addition to featuring unique features, the house also has ties to old Hollywood stars.
In 2016, then-listing agent Schweitz called one of the home's bedrooms the "Kate and Spencer" room since Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy allegedly had an affair there.
Frank Sinatra also occasionally cooked meals in the home's kitchen. A gate was installed between the Douglas home and the adjacent home that formerly belonged to Dinah Shore so the guests could go back and forth.
There's even a plaque on the Douglas side that describes Shore's tennis court as "the Douglas B-Court."
In 2016, when the house was on the market, longtime real estate agent Nelda Linsk described its location as being in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Palm Springs.
"It's considered the Bel Air of Palm Springs. People that live in Palm Springs want to live in Las Palmas," Linsk said, adding that the south side of Via Lola, when Douglas lived there, was known as "Millionaires Row."
Historic site preservation has been going on for decades in Palm Springs.
In 1981, the City Council created the Historic Site Preservation Board, which identifies potentially historic sites and districts. The city's historic site and district ordinance preserve certain areas to promote civic beauty, strengthen the economy and "promote the use of specific buildings for the education and welfare of the citizens of Palm Springs."
To ensure historic homes aren't permanently altered, owners wishing to substantially alter the home's exterior must complete an architectural application and have it approved by the preservation board.
Kirk Douglas Is 103!
- Created on Thursday, 12 December 2019
- Written by Megan Stein
--countryliving.com December 9, 2019
Kirk Douglas is celebrating a milestone birthday. The legendary actor turned 103, and his famous family, specifically Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, are sending him plenty of love once again.
His daughter-in-law, 50, posted an adorable photo of the two on Instagram. “This guy on my knee, is 103!!!!! Happy birthday Pappy!!! I love you with all my heart,” she wrote.
Michael, 75, posted a similarly sweet tribute. “Happy Birthday Dad! You are a living legend and your entire family sends you all the love in their hearts!” he captioned a picture of Michael laying a kiss on his father's head.
Kirk was born on December 9, 1916. He’s known for films like Spartacus, The Vikings, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and so many more. (He has 95 acting credits on IMDB!). He’s also served as an executive producer on 31 projects and been featured on 17 soundtracks.
Kirk was married twice, first to Diana Douglas from 1943-1951. Kirk and Diana, who passed away in 2015, shared two children together: Michael and Joel, 72. Kirk tied the knot with his current wife Anne Buydens, 100, in 1954, and they had sons Peter, 64, and Eric, who died in 2004.
The Ace in the Hole star also has a slew of grandchildren, including Michael’s son, Cameron, 40, from his former marriage to Diandra Luker, and Michael and Catherine’s two kids, son Dylan, 19, and daughter Carys, 16.
With a big family like that, you know they have something special planned for Kirk’s party. Happy birthday Kirk!
Review | SBIFF Martin Scorsese Tribute
- Created on Sunday, 24 November 2019
- Written by Josef Woodard
--Santa Barbara Independent November 18, 2019
For 14 years, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has had as a pre-festival teaser and fundraiser (for its educational arm) the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film evening.
But what made Thursday’s gala event at the Bacara something special had to do with timing and legendary status. The recipient: Martin Scorsese, reasonably called “America’s greatest living director” and one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. His film-of-the-moment: the soon-to-be-released and strong contender for Oscars and Top 10 lists The Irishman, a grand, visceral yet also elegiac epic, starring his frequent muse, “Bob” De Niro, Al Pacino (remarkably, in his first Scorsese project), and Joe Pesci.
As SBIFF head Roger Durling noted in his glowing introduction, “At age 76, he has taken on one of his most ambitious films to date. … You are cinema, Martin Scorsese. Long live you.”
In the house this night were Pacino and another Scorsese regular, Leonardo DiCaprio (Gangs of New York, Shutter Island, The Aviator, The Wolf of Wall Street). Although not in the new film (Scorsese hinted DiCaprio would be in his next project), the actor spoke glowingly of The Irishman, which he said “plays like an elegy. It’s a movie about looking upon what you’ve left behind and squaring off with all of it. For me, what’s more astounding about this film is that Marty transcends his own signature genre and creates a film that methodically transforms itself into an exploration of our very own, universally shared mortality.”
Working on The Irishman, Pacino said, “As an actor, he makes you feel safe. He sets the stage for you. You take chances, push things as far as you can go.” Speaking more broadly, Pacino commented that Scorsese “doesn’t care about success, or failure. He’s not gonna stand still or rest on his laurels. He’s gonna go on.”
In a video appearance, Kirk Douglas called Scorsese a great director but quipped “I forgive him for not using me in Raging Bull or Taxi Driver or Cape Fear. …When you do your next movie, I’m available.” Scorsese, a passionate cineaste and film historian who recently critiqued Hollywood’s reliance on the box-office bonanza of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a New York Times op-ed piece, ended his acceptance speech with a word of warning about the value system and artistic integrity in modern cinema. “Today,” he said, “it’s a new world, and we have to be extra-vigilant. Some actually believe that these qualities we’re talking about can be replaced by algorithms and formulas and business calculations. But please remember that’s all an illusion, because there’s no substitute for individual artistic expression, as Kirk Douglas knew and expressed through his long film career.”
Martin Scorsese Loves Kirk Douglas
- Created on Tuesday, 19 November 2019
- Written by Pete Hammond
--Deadline November 15, 2019
Speaking of Scorsese, if you made the long trek up the coast to Santa Barbara last night (sadly, I couldn’t make it this year due to too many conflicts), you would have been among the lucky to see him receive the 14th annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film presented by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. When this starry evening began in 2006 with Douglas attending, the veteran star was a mere 89 years old. It’s still going strong — and so is he at 102. In fact he turns 103 in less than a month on December 9. At this rate Douglas is going to outlive every one of his KD Dinner honorees. Frequent Scorsese star Leonardo DiCaprio and The Irishman co-star Al Pacino presented the award to him in an evening that also included words from SBIFF director Roger Durling and Board Chairman Lynda Weinman.
Although this evening is perfectly timed to awards campaigns, and certainly Scorsese’s latest The Irishman is in the thick of it, no one could be a better choice especially –since you just knew that Scorsese, more than anyone else, would throw the spotlight on Douglas (who sent his best wishes and a couple of barbs on tape) and know more about the impact of this legendary actor than anyone else. In his acceptance speech, Scorsese made note of many classic Douglas films and their importance, but he pointed out interestingly that he was so obsessed by the two movies about the Hollywood film industry he starred in for Vincente Minnelli, that he had wanted to remake them. Those films are 10 years apart: 1952’s multi-Oscar-winning The Bad and the Beautiful and 1962’s Rome-set Two Weeks in Another Town. I am equally obsessed with them but had no idea until I read press reports of Scorsese’s speech that he wanted to do new versions for years and even had writers including Paul Schrader and Richard Price working on them. Scorsese said he had the gorgeous one-sheet from Bad and the Beautiful hanging on his office wall for 30 years. No one knows movie classics better than Scorsese, or has done more to preserve them, so I would give him an award just for that.