Kirk Douglas – a hundred years!

The legendary Patriarch of Hollywood celebrated the anniversary with family and friends

NEW YORK – a Rare acting anniversary is in the American media have such an emotional flurry of congratulations and highly complimentary articles, which caused the birthday Kirk Douglas. No joke – a hundred years old, the oldest veteran of the American film industry, who survived all his companions in the “Golden era” of Hollywood.

His brilliant career

As reported channels, 9 December at the celebration of the birth of Douglas in Beverly hills was attended by many stars of cinema, close friends of the celebrant, his three sons, including Michael Douglas and seven grandchildren. And, of course, next to him was his wife Ann.

Kirk Douglas was born in the town of Amsterdam in upstate new York the son of Jewish immigrants, who fled in 1912 the ocean from the Mogilev province of the Russian Empire from poverty, pogroms and oppression. His name, Issur (Icer, Izzy) Danielovich (a little later, he took the surname of his uncle – demskiy) he didn’t like. In addition, as mentioned knowledgeable people with this name career in Hollywood will not do. And that was exactly what he wanted from an early age.

Douglas graduated from College, then film school, and during the Second world war he served in the Navy, where he received a slight wound, fell ill with dysentery and was discharged from active service. In 1946, his film debut was the film “the Strange love of Martha Ivers” (The Strange Love of Martha Ivers). Over six decades of illustrious career he played more than 90 films, games and television, becoming the idol of several generations of viewers, both in the US and around the world. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including four autobiographies, including “face”, written at 90 years of age. Known as a generous philanthropist: according to published reports, the total amount they donated to different institutions of education and culture, and humanitarian projects and initiatives exceeds $ 120 million. In ‘ 94 he was recognized as the world’s oldest blogger.

He starred in the films of the major Directors of Hollywood, including William Wyler, Stanley Kubrick, Billy Wilder, John Frankenheimer, Howard hawks, John Huston, Elia Kazan, Joseph Mankiewicz, Vincent Minnelli and other masters.

Spartacus – champion!

Douglas spoke often producer of paintings, which starred, as an actor. In 1955 he set up his own production company, Bryna Prods., named for his mother. The second film project of his company, “Paths of glory” (Paths of Glory), he was invited by Director Stanley Kubrick. Despite the rough relationships, he offered it to Kubrick to shoot Spartacus, brought to both worldwide fame.

“Spartak” became for me one of the most vivid impressions of early youth, – has told “Voice of America” Oleg vidov known Russian actor, for many years living in the United States. – This picture of the heroic defender of the common man immediately caught the fancy of millions of Soviet viewers. After all, we have never had freedom, namely, freedom fighting leader of the slaves, Spartacus. As an actor, Douglas exuded incredible strength, powerful energy. To me he always resembled a Jaguar, ready at any second to jump on the enemy.”

“Unforgettable Spartacus and van Gogh, one of the last heroes of Hollywood, in which masculinity was not feigned and not a parody, – wrote on his page in Facebook Russian film critic Andrey Plakhov. His son Michael inherited the dimple on his chin, acting skills surpassed my dad at the number of prize-winning insignia, but charisma still lost”.

“Bogart without weaknesses”

But the film critic Sergey Kudryavtsev closer the display of the work of Douglas in more dramatic films – “ACE in the hole” (Ace in the Hole), Billy Wilder’s “Paths of glory” Stanley Kubrick, “Seven days in may” (Seven Days in May) by John Frankenheimer and “the Deal” (The Arrangement) Elia Kazan.

As said Sergey Kudryavtsev, “Voice of America”, “even the fact that kirk Douglas had bought at the time, the film rights to the novel by Ken Kesey “Someone flew over the cuckoo’s nest” (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), however, then ceded to his son, Michael, shows the willingness of the actor to get out far beyond the limits imposed by the role of “tough guy” or “tough guy” (one of the paintings with his participation were called on the tapes, “tough guys” (Tough Guys), to put on the screen complex, ambiguous, contradictory characters, sometimes seemingly not very attractive and prepossessing to himself. I think that kirk Douglas did in the movie ridogrel the role of such a plan, and were able to do more.”

Filmmaker, Professor of film Department at new York University Boris Frumin considers Douglas a “rigid, highly professional actor, with no failures – from movie to movie.” He calls him “Bogart without weaknesses.”

“Cynical certainty can be boring – said, “Voice of America” Professor Frumin. – He (Douglas) – “bad and beautiful” (The Bad and The Beautiful)”, “Detective story” (Detective Story), “Seven days in may”, bad guys in westerns, less interesting and unique he was in “Spartacus” and “Lust for life” (Lust for Life). I would also add that it is adequately protected TRUMBO in the era of Senator McCarthy”. We are talking about the period of spy mania in Hollywood of the late 40-ies – 50-ies, when in the list of “agents of the Kremlin” was recorded by the famous playwright Dalton TRUMBO, and like the other victims of the “witch hunt”, excommunicated from the profession. The author of the script of “Spartacus”, this is forced to work under pseudonyms, on the initiative of Douglas appeared in the credits of the film under his real name.

One hundred years of solitude

Douglas has been married twice and has four children. One of the sons, actor Eric Douglas, died in 2004 at age 46 from had overdosed on drugs. He experienced a lot. In 1991 there was a plane crash: the helicopter in which was the actor crashed. Two people died and he miraculously survived, escaped with minor injuries. In 1996, he was stricken by a stroke, which deprived him for a time speechless and freedom to move without assistance. Two months later, he still went on stage to receive an honorary Oscar.

“I was a hundred years old, he said in an interview with Variety. – I read about Hollywood, but no, I don’t know. Where’s Burt (Lancaster)? Where Lawrence Olivier? They are all gone. I miss him. I’m lonely.”

But the Patriarch cheerfully and says that in may plans to celebrate 63 years of marriage with his wife, Ann. At their home in Beverly hills, as described by reporters, a lot of exotic things, which the host, a tireless traveler, brought from different corners of the world. It is often delegated abroad as a goodwill Ambassador for the U.S. Information Agency and state Department.

“I donate money, because to me it is pleasant, – he said in the same interview. – I was poor in childhood. My mom and dad came from Russia. I don’t think today they would the move succeed. I have to be thankful for”.