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Kirk Douglas Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 2:07 PM EST, Tue November 19, 2013
Kirk Douglas was born in Amsterdam, New York, on December 9, 1916. He made his Broadway debut in 1941, served in the U.S. Navy and embarked on a screen career in 1946. Popular films include "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Spartacus" and "The Bad and the Beautiful." Douglas also worked as director. Douglas is shown in a studio portrait, circa 1955. Kirk Douglas was born in Amsterdam, New York, on December 9, 1916. He made his Broadway debut in 1941, served in the U.S. Navy and embarked on a screen career in 1946. Popular films include "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Spartacus" and "The Bad and the Beautiful." Douglas also worked as director. Douglas is shown in a studio portrait, circa 1955.
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Kirk Douglas through the years
Kirk Douglas through the years
Kirk Douglas through the years
Kirk Douglas through the years
Kirk Douglas through the years
Kirk Douglas through the years
Kirk Douglas through the years
Kirk Douglas through the years
Kirk Douglas through the years
Kirk Douglas through the years
Kirk Douglas through the years
Kirk Douglas through the years
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(CNN) -- Here's a look at the life of Kirk Douglas.

Personal:
Birth date: December 9, 1916

Birth place: Amsterdam, New York

Birth name: Issur Danielovitch Demsky

Father: Herschel "Harry" Danielovitch Demsky, a Russian Jewish immigrant

Mother: Bryna "Bertha" (Sanglel) Danielovitch Demsky, a Russian Jewish immigrant

Marriages: Anne (Buydens) Douglas (May 29, 1954-present); Diana Dill (November 2, 1943-February 23, 1951, divorced)

Children: with Anne: Eric, June 21, 1958-July 6, 2004; Peter, November 25, 1955; with Diana: Joel, January 23, 1947; Michael, September 25, 1944

Education: St. Lawrence University, AB, 1935-1939; American Academy of Dramatic Arts, 1939-1941; St. Lawrence University, DFA, 1958

Military: U.S. Navy, 1943-1944

Other Facts:
His parents changed their name from Danielovitch to Demsky after immigrating to the United States.

Changed his name several times before settling on Kirk Douglas, from Issur Danielovitch Demsky to Issur Danielovitch, to Isadore Demsky.

Appeared in two movies with his son Michael, "Cast a Giant Shadow" and "It Runs in the Family" , which also starred grandson Cameron and ex-wife, Diana.

Starred in movies such as "Spartacus," "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," "Lust for Life" and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

Through the Anne and Kirk Douglas Playground Award, has distributed over $8 million toward the building and refurbishing of more than 400 school playgrounds for the children of Los Angeles.

Nominated for three Emmys and three Academy Awards. Recipient of an honorary Academy Award.

Timeline:
1941 - Broadway debut in "Spring Again."

1946 - Film debut in "The Strange Loves of Martha Ivers."

1952 - Founds own production company, Bryna Productions.

1960 - First time as a producer, for "Spartacus," in which he also stars. His insistence that blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo's name appear in the credits is the beginning of the end of the Hollywood blacklist.

1962 - Founds his second film company, Joel Productions.

1964 - Founds The Douglas Foundation, a philanthropic organization run by Douglas and his wife Anne.

1973 - First time directing, for "Scalawag," in which he also stars.

1981 - Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role as a goodwill ambassador for the State Department.

1986 - Becomes a spokesperson against elder abuse after appearing in a television movie on the subject, "Amos."

February 1991 - Survives a helicopter accident, in which two people die.

1991 - Receives the Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.

1995 - Suffers a stroke that initially leaves him without the ability to speak.

1996 - Receives an honorary Academy Award for "fifty years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community."

2001 - Receives the Producers Guild of America Milestone Award, their highest honor, in recognition of his contribution to entertainment history.

2001 - Awarded the National Medal of Arts.

March 2009 - Performs his one-man show, "Before I Forget," for a limited engagement at the Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre in California.

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