Legendary film and television actor Kirk Douglas is about to reach a milestone few of us will ever achieve when his December 9 birthday arrives and the Spartacus star turns 100-years-old. While most people might have retired long ago, Kirk is still active in the filmmaking community and in his support of causes close to his heart. Kirk will soon be gifted with an award honoring him for those latter endeavors, as the World Jewish Congress seeks to thank Douglas for his support of Israel. Some might think this is all too much action for one about to turn 100, but the veteran actor’s own son, Michael Douglas, says Kirk is doing great.
Spartacus Star Kirk Douglas To Be Honored By The World Jewish Congress
The Seattle Times shares the exciting news that Kirk Douglas is being recognized for his strong support of Israel, though Kirk’s efforts to support the nation is hardly surprising. Mr. Douglas, who was born Issur Danielovitch on December 9, 1916, has always been proud of his Jewish heritage on and off the big screen.
Bringing his love for his heritage to his film career, Douglas starred in 1953’s The Juggler as Holocaust survivor, Hans Muller. That film was filmed in Israel, bringing more attention to the area. Later in 1966, Douglas again brought attention to Israel, when he played David “Mickey” Marcus in Cast a Giant Shadow.
Unable to accept the award personally, Kirk was represented at the ceremony by son, Michael Douglas, who told attendees that Kirk was “so proud and so humbled” to be recognized by the Jewish community in such a way. The younger Douglas revealed that his father has long been concerned for the state of affairs in Israel, doing what he could to help contribute to a “peaceful and successful” Israel nation. Kirk’s greatest dream is to see an Israel where Arabs and Jews can live together in tranquility.
Michael Douglas Says Kirk Is “Doing Absolutely Great”
At 99-years-old, one might think that Kirk Douglas would be ill and bedridden, but, according to People, Michael Douglas was proud to tell audiences of ITV’s The Jonathan Ross Show that his father is doing really well. Michael says that Kirk makes plenty of use out of his walker, moving about with unexpected speed and always standing at a 45 degree angle, as though he’s preparing to head off again.
When it came to planning Kirk’s big 100 birthday bash, Michael says they started out with the idea of a dinner party but revealed that the elder Douglas has developed an aversion to watching people eat. Instead, they agreed on a tea party. When asked if he’ll say anything at the occasion, Michael says he’ll keep things simple.
“I’ll probably wish him 101 … He is rocking, I can easily see him going on,” said the younger Mr. Douglas.
While Kirk Douglas no longer acts, his last acting project having been in the 2008 TV movie, Empire State Building Murders, he has developed a passion for writing.
“He’s a great literary writer,” says Michael. “It’s a lost art. He’s got a long history of letters he and his wife [wrote to each other]. My stepmother Anne, she’s been my stepmother for 65 years. I’ve noticed they’re working on a book together so he’s quite content, quite satisfied, he’s just an extraordinary guy.”
Additionally, Kirk Douglas is listed as an executive producer on the Steven Spielberg drama, Montezuma. The film follows Hernán Cortés, as he wages an epic battle against Montezuma II, the emperor of the Aztec people.
Michael Douglas reveals great pride in his father for his rags to riches story, going from an uneducated and illiterate immigrant to achieving fame and fortune as both a professional wrestler and later as an actor.
“Then about 15 years ago, he proceeded to give away all this money he has made so he’s been very charitable and returned everything back. I’m super, super proud of him,” Douglas said of his father, Kirk.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]