#RIP – Kirk Douglas (1916 – 05.02.2020)

06/02/2020 § Σχολιάστε

103 years old

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Kirk Douglas, original name Issur Danielovitch, also called Izzy Demsky, (born December 9, 1916, Amsterdam, New York, U.S. —died February 5, 2020, Los Angeles, California ), American film actor and producer best known for his portrayals of resolute, emotionally charged heroes and antiheroes.

The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, he was born Issur Danielovitch and later became known as Izzy Demsky before taking the stage name Kirk Douglas. He worked as an usher, a bellhop, a waiter, and a professional wrestler while attending St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York (B.A., 1939) and the American Academy of Dramatic Art (1939–41) in New York City. He played mostly minor roles on Broadway before and soon after service in the U.S. Navy (1943–44) and then was drawn to Hollywood. After his first film, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck, Douglas played supporting roles in several notable films, including Out of the Past(1947), Mourning Becomes Electra (1947), and I Walk Alone (1948). He emerged as a star with an Oscar-nominated performance as a ruthless boxer in Champion (1949). In this film, Douglas established a screen persona of a cocky, intense, self-absorbed individual. His on-screen charismamade him an audience favourite despite numerous such roles in which he portrayed men with an abundance of tragic flaws. “I’ve made a career of playing sons-of-bitches,” he once said.

A robust, athletic man with a distinctive, much-imitated voice and a deeply cleft chin, Douglas worked with several renowned directors on some of the most highly regarded films of the 1950s. He portrayed a self-destructive jazz musician, loosely based on cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, in Michael Curtiz’s Young Man with a Horn (1950); an unscrupulous reporter who attempts to capitalize on real-life tragedy in Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole (1951, also released as The Big Carnival); a western marshal consumed with guilt over his father’s death in Raoul Walsh’s Along the Great Divide (1951); and a volatile and vengeful cop in William Wyler’s Detective Story (1951). He was cast as a corrupt motion-picture executive in Vincente Minnelli’s The Bad and the Beautiful(1952), and the performance earned Douglas his second Oscar nomination. One of Douglas’s most memorable performances was also one of his most atypical: his intense portrayal of tormented genius Vincent van Gogh in Minnelli’s Lust for Life (1956) earned another Oscar nomination.

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More at britannica.com

Kirk Douglas (1916-2020) | In Memoriam

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