Hollywood Veteran Kirk Douglas Receives Standing Ovation At Golden Globes
Bona fide Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas received a standing ovation at last night's Golden Globe awards while appearing on stage alongside daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The 101-year-old American actor, producer, director and author was applauded by the star-studded crowd, following a short video tribute to his outstanding career.
The veteran movie star and filmmaker, who is one of the last living people from the film industry's Golden Age, celebrated his 101st birthday last month with friends and family, including Zeta-Jones and his son, Michael Douglas.
"What do you say?" Zeta-Jones began at the awards ceremony. The veteran actor replied: "Very good!"
Zeta-Jones continued: "In 1991, my father-in-law, this living Hollywood legend Kirk, was recognised by the Writer's Guild Of America for his role in ending the Hollywood Blacklist."
She went on to tell the audience how her father-in-law hired Dalton Trumbo, one of many blacklisted communist-aligned Hollywood writers, to write the script for Stanley Kubrik's Spartacus.
"Catherine, you said it all," Douglas beamed at her. "I worked on a speech but I don't want to say it because I could never follow you."
Born Issur Danielovitch in 1916, Douglas grew up in Amsterdam, New York, the son of two Russian immigrants.
He discovered an interest in acting whilst in high school and won a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, which would prove to be the catalyst that sparked a lengthy career in the film industry.
Douglas served in the US Navy throughout WWII, but was later discharged for war injuries.
After his time in the forces, Douglas found work as a stage actor before his friend recommended him to director Hal Wallis, who cast Kirk in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers in 1946.
"I never wanted to be in movies," he told Variety. "I always considered myself a stage actor. I started working in the Broadway stage. And Betty Bacall helped me. She went to Hollywood, she was living with [Humphrey] Bogart and she said to Hal Wallis, 'You must look at Kirk Douglas'.
"Hal Wallis came to New York, and he offered me a contract. I didn't know what to do. I needed the money. So, I came to Hollywood."
He went on to star in more than 90 movies and was one of the biggest stars of the 1950s and '60s.
Speaking to the magazine about his old age, Douglas said: "I read about Hollywood, and I don't know the people. Where is Burt [Lancaster]? Where is Laurence Olivier? They're all gone. I miss them. I feel lonely."
Featured Image Credit: NBC