Kirk Douglas, the patriarch of an enduring Holywood dynasty, celebrated his 102nd birthday.
Writing the history of Hollywood's Golden Era would be impossible without dedicating at least a chapter to the iconic Kirk Douglas.
Douglas' screen debut was in 1946, opposite the legendary Barbara Stanwyck in "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers." Douglas was then 30, and about to become Hollywood's premier leading man for the next 20 years.
Douglas turned 102 on December 9, 2018, reported Daily Mail.com, and considers his lifetime achievement to be his family, and marriage to 99-year-old Anne Buydens.
Douglas and Anne posed outside his Beverley Hills home in their wheelchairs and looked as loving as ever. Douglas was alert and chatting as he held hands with his wife.
Douglas had suffered a stroke in 1996, at the age of 80, which affected his speech. He shared the experience in a book "My Stroke of Luck", which he hoped would help and inspire others dealing with the same problem.
Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, who is married to Douglas' son Michael, paid tribute to her famous father-in-law by posting a video of him dancing with her two children - Dylan and Carys - and singing Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful".
She captioned the clip:
"Happy 102nd Birthday to the most beautiful man. We love you Kirk."
Cameron Douglas, 39 - Michael Douglas' son from his first marriage to Diandra Douglas, also paid homage to his extraordinary grandfather. He posted a photo of himself as a baby with the veteran star and captioned it:
"Happy Birthday to a gentleman's gentleman, with a true heart of gold."
Douglas discovered his vocation while acting in school plays in the 30s and decided he wanted to become a professional actor.
In November, Douglas was seen proudly accompanying his son Michael and Zeta-Jones at the ceremony in which Michael was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the second generation in the Douglas family to achieve the accolade.
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Kirk Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch Demsky to Russian Jewish immigrants in Amsterdam, NY, on December 9, 1916.
Douglas was nicknamed "Izzy," and was the only son in a family with six sisters. Douglas discovered his vocation while acting in school plays in the 30s and decided he wanted to become a professional actor.
Since he couldn't afford to study acting at St. Lawrence University, Douglas arranged a meeting with the Dean and talked his way into the school's Drama program, promising to pay back a loan if the school would accept him.
The future Hollywood star paid off his education by working as a part-time janitor and gardener at the university.
In 1939 he graduated from St. Lawrence's with a degree in English and won a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. That was when Izzy Demsky became Kirk Douglas and a Hollywood legend was born.
In a related story, Kirk Douglas and his and his beloved wife of six decades, 99-year-old Anne Buydens, share their incredible love story.
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