Kirk is an actor, producer, author, philanthropist and Torah student who is celebrating his 100th birthday on Friday. Douglas has been observing strict medical orders to keep away from alcohol, but his cardiologist, Dr. P.K. Shah, promised the actor that if he made it to 100, he could have a glass of vodka. Shah will be in attendance to personally administer the “medication”.
150 birthday guests, ranging from extended family, including three sons and seven grandchildren, to old friends like director Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Don Rickles and other Hollywood luminaries.
Hosting the event will be Kirk Douglas’ son, famed actor Michael Douglas, and his wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. The couple will welcome non-profit leaders from United States and Israel that have received approximately $118 million over the years from Douglas.
“You have to give back,” Douglas once explained. “I came from abject poverty. I didn’t dream of becoming a millionaire. So you have to pay back.”
On December 9th 1916 Kirk Douglas was born in the upstate New York town of Amsterdam as Issur Danielovitch, the son of an illiterate Russian-Jewish immigrant who supported his family of six daughters and one son as a rag picker and junkman. His rise to one of Hollywood’s top male stars in the 1950s and ‘60s is the stuff of American legend.
Kirk appeared in 87 movies, is the author of 11 books, including harsh childhood recollections, explaining the Holocaust to children and love verses to his wife, as well as tracing his recovery from a helicopter crash, stroke and attempted suicide.
Douglas is now reading the proofs for his 12th book, co-authored with his wife and titled, “Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter and a Lifetime in Hollywood.”