Santa Barbara > Community > Familar Faces > Kirk Douglas

Santa Barbara resident Kirk Douglas welcomed his fans to a book signing at Borders Bookstore on State Street. 

Movie (5 MB) - Kirk Douglas enjoys a sunny Sunday afternoon signing books and greeting his fans.

"I think I might get the Nobel Prize for medicine," mused Kirk Douglas. "I discovered a cure for depression."

Douglas writes about his attack and his recuperation in this, his eighth book.

"When I first had my stroke, I went through suicidal impulses," he said. "An actor who can't talk! What would he do?"

My Stroke of Luck, published by William Morrow, deals with the various aspects of the stroke and the struggles of Douglas' recovery.


Birth Name: Issur Danielovitch
Birthdate: December 9, 1916
Birthplace: Amsterdam, New York


Actor, Director, Writer, Producer


"I raised something like $2 million for the Alzheimer's wing [at the Motion Picture hospital and Country Home in Woodland Hills, CA], and we named it Harry's Haven, after my father. Somebody complained that that made it sound like a saloon. That would have made my father very happy, because he used to spend a lot of time in saloons. It's the highest-rated unit of its kind in the country. People come to study it all the time." --The New York Times, March 22, 1996
Claim to Fame: 1956: Vincent Van Gogh in Lust for Life

Significant Other(s):
Wife: Diana Dill (aka Diana Darrid), actress; married November 2, 1943; divorced February 1950
Wife: Anne Douglas (aka Anne Buydens), former publicity agent, producer; married May 29, 1954; Douglas was a client; produced husband's feature directing debut, Scalawag (1973)

Father: Harry Danielovitch, ragman
Mother: Bryna Danielovitch (née Sanglel)
Son: Michael Douglas, actor, producer; born September 25, 1944; mother, Diana Dill
Son: Joel, producer; born January 23, 1947; mother, Diana Dill
Son: Peter Vincent, producer; born November 23, 1955; mother, Anne Buydens
Son: Eric Anthony, actor, producer; born June 21, 1958; mother, Anne Buydens

1956: Heart and Torch Award
1956: New York Film Critics Circle: Best Actor, Lust for Life
1956: Golden Globe: Best Actor (Drama), Lust for Life
1957: George Washington Carver Memorial Fund and Splendid American Award of Merit
1958: Golden Scissors Award
1960: Golden Globe: Best Motion Picture (Drama), Sparticus
1968: Cecil B. DeMille: For contributions in the entertainment field; presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association
1980: Honorary Cesar
1981: Presidential Medal of Freedom
1983: Jefferson Award: for public service by a private citizen
1985: Named a Knight by the Legion of Honor in Paris
1990: Appointed Officier de la Legion d'Honneur for distinguished service to France in arts and letters
1991: Chaim Weizmann Award in Sciences and Humanities: for his lifelong service to Israel
1991: American Film Institute: Life Achievement
1991: Writers Guild of America: Robert F. Meltzer Award "In recognition of a singular act of courage in defense of freedom of expression and the rights of writers"; given to Douglas for his actions that helped end the McCarthy-era blacklisting of writers
1993: NATO: Lifetime Achievement
1994: Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award
1995: National Dyslexia Research Foundation: Einstein Award
1996: Honorary Oscar: Lifetime Achievement
1998: Screen Actors Guild: Life Achievement

Douglas' charitable foundation has supported Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Los Angeles Mission (home of the Anne Douglas Center for Women) and the Access Theater for the Handicapped

St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York; B.A., 1938; Honorary D.F.A., 1958; donated $1 million to the university; American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York, New York (1939-41)