Kirk Douglas: His Contributions and Accomplishments and a Complete List of His Books
Kirk Douglas Mini Bio
Born the only son among six girls to immigrant Russian-Jewish parents in Amsterdam New York, Kirk Douglas was 103 years old on December 9th this past year (2019). Sadly, he died just a few weeks later on February 5, 2020 of what were described as natural causes. In other words, old age.
Named Issur Danielovitch at birth, Douglas changed his name first to Izzy Demsky as a young boy (or his parents did), and then later he changed it legally to Kirk Douglas just before enlisting in the U.S. Navy (1941) where he served as a communications officer. America had just entered World War II.
Kirk Douglas is number 17 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest male American screen legends of all time.
Douglas has many credits to his name. A Broadway actor originally who went to Hollywood and became a major box office screen star, Douglas also eventually directed and produced films. Early on in his movie career he formed his own production company named after his mother – Bryna Productions.
Kirk Douglas was presented with an Honorary Academy Award in 1996 for having been in the movie business for 50 years. He has now been in 90 films and is still very active in the movie business, though not so much in front of the camera.
Douglas has been married twice and had 4 sons, two from each marriage. One of his sons, Eric, died of a drug overdose in 2004.
In February 1991 Kirk Douglas survived a helicopter crash in which 2 people died.
In January 1996 Kirk Douglas suffered a severe stroke that impaired his ability to speak.
A Complete List of Kirk Douglas Books
If all that is not enough, Douglas is a successful writer as well. Here is a list of the books Kirk Douglas has written and published along with their main themes.
1990 Dance With the Devil (Fiction)
1992 The Gift (Fiction and romance)
1994 Last Tango In Brooklyn (Fiction and romance)
1997 Broken Mirror (Children’s book, religion and spirituality)
1999 Young Heroes of the Bible (Children’s book, religion and spirituality)
1999 The Ragman’s Son (autobiography)
2000 Climbing the mountain My Search For Meaning (Religion and spirituality)
2003 My Stroke of Luck (Religion, fitness and health, and spirituality)
2008 Let’s Face It 90 Years of Living Loving and Learning (Memoirs)
2012 I Am Spartacus Making a Film Breaking the Blacklist (Memoirs)
Kirk Douglas Modern Day Hero
Hollywood’s Golden Age (HGA) reports that Douglas started the 1960s as both the producer and star of the classic movie 'Spartacus,' the story of a gladiator revolt during the Roman Empire. The movie was a box office hit with the public.
HGA says that behind the scenes Douglas made a successful stand for principle by insisting that the screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, who had been blacklisted during the McCarthy 'Reds under the Beds' hysteria, be fully credited for his work.
For people who may not remember, the ‘Reds under the Beds’ hysteria refers to a modern day witch hunt (1950s) where Senator Joseph McCarthy accused everyone who did not agree with him of being a communist. Senate hearings were held and televised to interrogate and basically persecute the accused and many of their lives were ruined.
It was a courageous stand for Douglas to take and he played a significant part in the final ending of the notorious Hollywood blacklisting policy. Things could have gone differently with Douglas being accused of being a communist sympathizer and blacklisted himself.
I Am Spartacus Making A Film Breaking the Blacklist
The last book on the list above was recently released and it is likely to be well received like all of Douglas’s books. In it Douglas talks about his experiences in Hollywood as well as what he believes is today’s modern day oppression and tyranny, and how religious fanaticism has played such a big part in all the wars over history, and still continues to do that today.
Said Kirk Douglas on Huff Post Books (review): “After 95 years on this planet, I have come to the conclusion that the human spirit can never be crushed, no matter how cruel the oppressor or fanatic the belief. If we remember that simple truth--and act on it every day in small ways and sometimes in large movements--then freedom will ultimately win.”
Here is an interview with Kirk Douglas from 1988
A recent interview with Kirk Douglas
© 2012 C E Clark