Kirk Douglas

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Kirk Douglas (born Issur Danielovitch or И́сер Даниело́вич;[1] December 9, 1916) is an American stage and film actor, film producer and author. His popular films include Champion (1949), Ace in the Hole (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), Lust for Life (1956), Paths of Glory (1957), Spartacus (1960), and Lonely Are the Brave (1962).

He is #17 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest male American screen legends of all time. In 1996, he received the Academy Honorary Award "for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community".


Early life

Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch in Amsterdam, New York, the son of Bryna "Bertha" (née Sanglel) and Herschel "Harry" Demsky, a businessman.[2] Douglas's parents, originally surnamed Danielovitch, were Jewish immigrants from Gomel, Belarus.[3][4] His father's brother, who emigrated earlier, used the surname Demsky, which Douglas's family adopted in the United States.[1] In addition to their surname, his parents also changed their given names, to Harry and Bertha. Douglas grew up as Izzy Demsky, and legally changed his name to "Kirk Douglas" when entering the navy during World War II.[5]

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