Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas turned 100 years old on Dec. 9 and in true celebrity fashion, had a huge bash at the Beverly Hills Hotel in CA to celebrate his long and rich life.
The guest of honor was surrounded by his family, including wife of more than 62 years, Anne Douglas. Also in attendance were his son Michael and his wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and Douglas’ grandchildren. Other notable guests included Steven Spielberg, Jeffery Katzenberg and comedian Don Rickles.
During the party, Douglas’ entire life was celebrated.
USA Today reported Douglas’ son praised his father in a touching speech. He began by saying, “One of the things that I find most incredible about dad is the third act of his life,”
He continued by talking about what he had gone through and faced, including “adversity, losing a son, having a helicopter crash, having a stroke, and what he’s accomplished in this third act in his life, I find quite extraordinary.”
It was reported that Kirk Douglas kept his remarks short, sweet, but still funny.
“I wonder who he was talking about? He said some nice things about someone I don’t know.” He also joked that his son was the one taking care of the events since he was the richest.
Kirk Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch in 1916, is a beloved American actor, producer, director and author. After surviving an impoverished childhood with Russian Jewish immigrant parents and six sisters, he debuted in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946). He soon became a leading man, a position he held through the 50s and 60s. His acting career spanned more than six decades and his most famous roles are as Vincent van Gogh in Lust for Life (1956) and as the hero Spartacus (1960). Later in life he played an aging crook in Tough Guys with Burt Lancaster and was directed by Jeff Kanew (who was also present at the party). He also stared in Greedy with Michael J. Fox and Nancy Travis in 1994.
In 1960 helped end the Hollywood Blacklist by constantly hiring blacklisted writers, directors and performers. He was also involved in philanthropic endeavors throughout his life.
Douglas has received three Academy Award nominations, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Oscar. In 1981, Jimmy Carter presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1994 he was a recipient of the annual Kennedy Center Honors.
He is the author of 10 novels and memoirs including the 1988 New York Times Bestseller “The Ragman’s Son” by Simon & Schuster.
Douglas has been married twice, first to Diana Dill from 1943 to 1951. They had two sons, actor Michael Douglas and producer Joel Douglas. He met current wife Anne while on location for Lust for Life. They had two more sons producer Peter Douglas and actor Eric Douglas. Eric sadly passed away on July 6, 2004. Later in life, he returned to his Jewish theological roots.
The only other living centenarian star from Hollywood’s Golden Era is Olivia DeHavilland who turned 100 on July 1st.