Kirk Douglas Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1916 - present *** Full Name: Issur Danielovitch, Kirk Douglas and Izzy Demsky *** Occupation: American Actor, Producer, Director and Author *** Date of Birth: Kirk Douglas was born on December 9th 1916 *** Place of Birth: Kirk Douglas was born in Amsterdam, New York, United States *** Family background: His father was Herschel “Harry” Danielovitch and his mother was Bryna “Bertha” Sanglel *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with the name Izzy Demsky, which was the surname adopted by his uncle and his father having been Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire, he kept this name until he joined the United States Navy. He also grew up with six sisters *** Education: Kirk Douglas was educated through the usual school system. Although it has been said he talked his way into attending St Lawrence University and having been granted a loan, worked part time as a janitor and gardener to pay his way ***
Kirk Douglas Fact 1: Kirk Douglas was born on December 9, 1916 and became one of the most enduring movie actors of the century.
Kirk Douglas Fact 2: It was during his time at school when he was acting in school plays that the acting bug really bit and he knew that he wanted a career as an actor.
Kirk Douglas Fact 3: He would be noticed by the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and would granted a special scholarship. While there he met Betty Joan Perske who would become Lauren Bacall and also Diana Dill who he would later marry.
Kirk Douglas Fact 4: During one summer while he was working the summer stock theatre while on term break from college he began using the name Kirk Douglas. The summer was the first time he actually earned money as an actor.
Kirk Douglas Fact 5: His first Broadway acting debut was as a singing telegraph boy in Spring Again after he had graduated from college.
Kirk Douglas Fact 6: Just after the United States entered the Second World War he had enlisted in the United States Navy in 1941. Just prior to joining the navy he had his name legally changed and it was as Kirk Douglas that he enlisted. It would be in 1944 that he would be medically discharged for injuries sustained in the service of his country.
Kirk Douglas Fact 7: In November of 1943 he married Diana and together they had two sons, Michael Douglas and Joel Douglas, but they would divorce in 1951.
Kirk Douglas Fact 8: He returned to New York post war and took work in theater, commercials and radio. It would be the radio work he felt was most beneficial as he learned to use his voice in ways a live actor would not necessary do.
Kirk Douglas Fact 9: Having not even considered auditioning for film roles it was only when Lauren Bacall recommended him for part to director Hal Wallis that he even considered it.
Kirk Douglas Fact 10: It was noted right off the bat that Kirk Douglas had a certain quality about him that went beyond mere talent.
Kirk Douglas Fact 11: It was his eighth film, Champion in 1949 that would catapult him into the big league. Portraying a selfish boxer would garner him an Academy Award nomination with the film being nominated for six awards in total.
Kirk Douglas Fact 12: Throughout his career has acted opposite some the screens greatest female actors including Lauren Bacall, Jane Greer, Eve Miller as well as most of institutions leading male actors such as Robert Mitchum, Anthony Quinn, James Mason and Jack Nicholson.
Kirk Douglas Fact 13: Kirk Douglas would make almost forty films between the 1970’s and 2000’s.
Kirk Douglas Fact 14: When put to him what he felt was most important in being an actor, Kirk Douglas stated that application and determination were critical “You must know how to function and how to maintain yourself, and you must have a love of what you do. But an actor also needs great good luck. I have had that luck.”.
Kirk Douglas Fact 15: Throughout the majority of his acting career Kirk Douglas enjoyed excellent health.
Kirk Douglas Fact 16: After his marriage broke down it was several years before he met and married Anny Buydens while on location for a film in Paris. They married in May of 1954 and celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary in 2014.Kirk Douglas Fact 17: Kirk and Anne have two sons together, Peter Douglas and Eric Douglas. Eric Douglas sadly died of a drug overdose in 2004.
Kirk Douglas Fact 18: Kirk Douglas contributed to bringing an end to the Hollywood Blacklist of the McCarthy era. Kirk Douglas having starred and produced the movie Spartacus, publicly acknowledged scriptwriter Dalton Trumbo in the credits of Spartacus. It was a brave decision as Kirk Douglas realised it could have ruined him.
Kirk Douglas Fact 19: In January of 1996 Kirk suffered a severe stroke that would leave him with impaired speech. Anne was told that unless he tried to regain his voice quickly it was likely he would lose it for good. After intensive treatment and many long hours of therapy he learned to speak again although there were limitations.
Kirk Douglas Fact 20: Kirk Douglas reached his ninety ninth birthday in December of 2015.
Influence & Legacy: This man has a back catalogue of in excess of ninety films he has made during his career.
List of Film starring Kirk Douglas: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers *** Champion *** Ace in the Hole *** The Bad and the Beautiful *** Act of Love *** 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea *** The Indian Fighter *** Lust for Life *** Paths of Glory *** Spartacus *** Lonely Are the Brave *** Seven Days in May ***
Short Facts about Kirk Douglas for Kids: The above short facts detail interesting information about the life, milestones, history and key events that occurred during the life of this famous character, Kirk Douglas. A fast, simple way to present a short biography of Kirk Douglas with important dates and info that provides details such as the date of birth (birthday), place of birth, education, family, work and career. An ideal educational resource for kids, schools, teachers and social studies.