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Remembering Kirk Douglas

February 10, 2020

Last night’s not so hot, often “doubled up, still too short Academy Award’s “In Memoriam” did get it right by ending with the incredible Kirk Douglas, who died last week at the age of 103.

Mr. Douglas gave and left us an incredible body of work in film and in a number of books that he wrote. He endured despite suffering a stroke and made the most of the longevity granted him.

Critic and friend Chris MacLeod, not given to gushes even for the just deceased, was bereft at the loss and heaped high praise on Kirk Douglas.

Ms. MacLeod cited the transition by Kirk Douglas from a milquetoast character in his debut film, “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers” (1946)  to the snarling boxer he played three years later in “Champion,” which garnered him his first Academy Award nomination.

 

Other highly assertive roles included Oscar nominated performances in “The Bad and the Beautiful” and “Lust for Life.”

Somehow in “the apples/oranges” Oscar process, Kirk Douglas was not nominated for his performance in “Spartacus.”

The list of Mr. Douglas’ accomplishments is long and incredible.

I saw him once and stood on the other side of the room, as he signed copies of one of his books.

From that distance I thanked him for putting the blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo’s name on the screen credits for “Spartacus.” (1960).

The distance made Mr. Douglas’ “thank you,” not all that audible.

However, his action in fighting that injustice, rings loud, so loud and so relevant, as history arcs on.

 

Kirk Douglas Tonight Show guest host 1975.JPG

The one and only, Kirk Douglas, pictured above.

 

 

 

 

 

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