Hollywood actor Kirk Douglas has turned 100. He is best known for playing the title role in Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 film Spartacus, which he also produced. Douglas was nominated for the best actor Oscar three times, and awarded an honorary Academy Award in 1996.
His son, actor Michael Douglas, paid an early birthday tribute to his father at an October event for the Motion Picture and Television Fund, calling him an icon, a legend and “a true movie star from an era when movie stars were looked upon as our version of royalty”.
Recalling his work with Kubrick in an interview with Variety, Douglas said the director was “difficult … So we had lots of fights, but I always appreciated his talent. I always said he was a bastard, but he was a talented, talented guy,”
Douglas said the proudest moment of his career was helping to break the blacklist by giving credit to writer Dalton Trumbo for his work on Spartacus. No blacklisted writer had been given onscreen credit for 12 years. (Trumbo was the subject of a recent film starring Bryan Cranston.)
Douglas has almost 100 film and television credits to his name but says he still considers himself a stage actor. His career took him from the golden years of Hollywood, when he worked with directors such as Billy Wilder and Vincente Minelli; to ’80s TV movies; a role in the Australian film, The Man from Snowy River and a voice part on The Simpsons.
He told Variety that the Hollywood he once knew no longer exists.
“I am now 100 years old. I read about Hollywood, and I don’t know the people. Where is Burt? Where is Laurence Olivier? They’re all gone. I miss them. I feel lonely.”