Kirk Douglas





12/9/1916 , Amsterdam, New York

Birth Name

Issur Danielovitch Demsky




KIRK was born of Russian immigrants. He put himself through St. Lawrence University by working as a waiter. While in college he studied some school dramatics and was also a good wrestler. He also put himself through the American Academy of Dramatic Arts by working as a bellhop, usher and professional wrestler among other things. He had two small roles on BROADWAY and then enlisted in the Navy during WWII. He returned to BROADWAY in 1945 and in 1946 left for HOLLYWOOD.

KIRK formed BYRNA PRODUCTIONS in 1955, turning out his own films and films of other Stars. He later created JOEL PRODUCTIONS.

KIRK has played a variety of off-beat heroes. Many of his characters were moody, intense, brazen, incapable of accepting the Status Quo. Not able to adjust to or accept the World around them or the World couldn't accept them. Many of his characters suffered injuries or were killed such as in SPARTACUS, THE CHAMPION, LONELY ARE THE BRAVE, CAST A GIANT SHADOW and IN HARM'S WAY, one of his best movies in which he co-starred with JOHN WAYNE. Some were based on true stories such as SPARTACUS and CAST A GIANT SHADOW. His characters were action heroes who ran toward trouble, rather than run from it.