Kirk Douglas dies at 103; leaves behind a legacy of movies

Michael Douglas’s father, Kirk Doglas dies at the age of 103. Kirk had suffered a severe stroke in 1996 which took a toll on his health. He had a long and difficult recovery.

Kirk was born to an illiterate Russian Jewish family, where the father was a drunk and an absentee. In his autobiography, Kirk calls himself a ragman’s son since his father had to pick rags along with selling used goods. The family also faced a lot of hardship due to their faith. Kirk’s father had to take up rag picking only because he was refused employment in the local mills for being a Jew.

Before taking up acting Kirk had his twist with wrestling. During his days as wrestler, Kirk had to face what he had father faced long ago, for being a Jew: Rejection.

Post all of these struggles, Kirk decided that he inclined towards acting. He made a beeline for a summer job in a theater and got to play small roles. His love for theater was nourished here and it remained intact till his last days.

Here is a list of films that Kirk did. Perhaps the most memorable for him and the world was “Champion” which made him a star.

Some of kirk’s movies are: Out of the Past (1947), Champion (1949), Ace in the Hole (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Lust for Life (1956), Paths of Glory (1957), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), The Vikings (1958), Spartacus (1960), Lonely Are the Brave (1962) and many more.

As Kirk aged and he saw his family grow, the projects he took up reflected his changing psyche. Now his acting choices were more about families and reconciliations of fathers and sons. He worked with his son Michael in real and that seemed like the perfect way for Kirk to windup to his closure. Probably Kirk was never going to get over the fact that he never got to be with his father.

Post his stroke and his subsequent recovery in 1999, Kirk came back to play the role of Diamonds, a former boxing champion who hunts for missing jewels.  Metaphorically, this was Kirk looking to go back to his acting which was always his most precious days.

Kirk lived a full life. He wrote his autobiography as well. Stories of Kirk will long be told and his work on the screen will inspire many to overlook criticism and enjoy what they do.