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Kirk Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch in 1916, is a much acclaimed American actor of Russian-Jewish descent, who became a leading star in the 1950s. He is also successful as a director, producer, and author.
Following his film debut in "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers," Kirk Douglas became a star for his role as a boxing hero in "Champion" (1949). He quickly became known for his "tough guy image" in westerns, war movies, but also numerous serious dramas, among them "Lust for Life" (1956) where he portrayed Vincent van Gogh. In 1963, he starred in the Broadway play "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" which his son Michael Douglas turned into a successful film. Kirk Douglas is one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood.