Kirk Douglas turned 100 on Friday, as news outlets recounted his rags-to-riches story from his birth to poor Russian immigrants to his career as one of great movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era.
"My parents came from Russia and my original name was Izzy Danielovitch," Douglas told People magazine in a 2015 interview, saying that he changed his name to pursue an acting career. "I wish I had kept it. It's more interesting to keep your original name. But can you imagine that name on a marquee?"
Douglas grew up in New York and served in the Navy during World War II before being medically discharged in 1944, People magazine noted.
Father of two-time Academy Award winner Michael Douglas, Kirk Douglas was nominated three times for best acting Oscars – in 1950 for "Champion," in 1953 for "The Bad and the Beautiful," and 1957 for "Lust for Life." He received an honorary Oscar in 1996.
Douglas got his big break starring in the 1946 movie "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers," opposite Barbara Stanwyck, on the recommendation of friend and legendary actress Lauren Bacall, People magazine said. He was also known for starring in the 1960 movie "Spartacus," directed by Stanley Kubrick.
Variety reported that Douglas and his wife Anne Buydens will celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary in May. They share sons Peter and Eric Douglas. Douglas was married to Diana Dill from 1943 to 1951, and had sons Michael and Joel Douglas, the Daily Mail noted.
Fellow celebrities and fans wished Douglas a happy birthday on social media.
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