Kirk Douglas (born Issur Danielovitch, December 9, 1916 February 5, 2020) was a famous American actor and producer, who was active for roughly half a century. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Chavusy, Mogilev Region, in the Russian Empire (present-day Belarus).
Known for depicting tough, square-jawed men and once quoted as saying he "made a career out of playing sons of bitches"; actually quite nice in real life (depending on who you ask). Had something of a Large Ham reputation, though he proved that he could tone it down and still act pretty well. Often tag-teamed onscreen with Burt Lancaster, though some sources claim the two men strongly disliked each other.
He also played a very important role in ending The Hollywood Blacklist going on in the film industry during the '50s and '60s, most notably by defending the screenwriter he chose for Spartacus, Dalton Trumbo. His career was largely ended by a stroke that permanently affected his speech in 1996. He was one of the last living legends from the classic Hollywood era, eventually passing away at age 103.
He is the father of Michael, Joel, Peter and Eric Douglas.
- The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) — His debut film role.
- Out of the Past (1947)
- A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
- Ace in the Hole (1951)
- The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) as Ned Land
- Ulysses (1954) as Ulysses
- Lust for Life (1956) as Vincent van Gogh
- Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
- Paths of Glory (1957)
- The Vikings (1958) as Einar
- The Devil's Disciple (1959)
- Last Train from Gun Hill (1959)
- Spartacus (1960) as Spartacus
- The Last Sunset (1961)
- Lonely Are the Brave (1962)
- For Love or Money (1963)
- Seven Days in May (1964)
- The Heroes of Telemark (1965)
- In Harm's Way (1965)
- Is Paris Burning? (1966) as George S. Patton
- The War Wagon (1967)
- The Arrangement (1969)
- There Was a Crooked Man... (1970)
- A Gunfight (1971)
- Holocaust 2000 (1977)
- The Fury (1978)
- The Villain (1979)
- The Final Countdown (1980)
- Saturn 3 (1980)
- Oscar (1991)
- Diamonds (1999)
- It Runs in the Family (2003)
Portrayals in fiction:
- Albert Uderzo, who loved using the likeness of actors for some of his comic book characters, gave Kirk's face to former slave Spartakis in the Asterix adventure Asterix and Obelix All at Sea.
- Dean O'Gorman portrayed Kirk in Trumbo, about the life of Dalton Trumbo.