Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas turns 100

"Spartacus" star's remarkable Hollywood career spans no less than 7 decades

10 December 2016, 10:00am
Douglas in the role of Spartacus in 1960. Photo: BRYNA/UNIVERSAL/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
Douglas in the role of Spartacus in 1960. Photo: BRYNA/UNIVERSAL/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas, star of classic movies “Spartacus” and “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea,” turned 100 on Friday.

Born to Russian-Jewish parents in 1916 New York, Issur Danielovitch – Douglas' birth name, went on to become one of the 20th century’s most famous movie actors.

He has said his favorite acting roles, in a glittering career spanning 70 years, were in “Ace in the Hole” (1951), “The Bad and the Beautiful” (1952), “Act of Love” (1953), “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (1954) and “Spartacus” (1960) among others.

Despite his success as a Hollywood movie star, Douglas’ passion was the stage.

“On the stage, you give something to the audience, more comes back” he recently wrote before condemning the camera as a “cyclops” that left him feeling empty.

Despite suffering a severe stroke in 1996 which affected his speech, Douglas went through years of voice therapy to get back into acting and starred in Diamonds in 1999 alongside Lauren Bacall, playing an old fighter recovering from a stroke.

His last movie appearance was in the 2008 picture “Empire State Building Murders.”

Douglas has been married twice and has four children including eldest son Michael.

In 2003, three-generations of the Douglas family appeared in the film, “It Runs in the Family,” which included son, Michael, and grandson, Cameron. Kirk Douglas’ first wife Diana, mother of Michael, also stars in the film.