“It seems as if only now I really know who I am. My strengths, my weaknesses, my jealousies – it’s as if all of it has been boiling in a pot for all these years, and as it boils, it evaporates into steam, and all that’s left in the pot in the end is your essence, the stuff you started out with in the very beginning.”
AWARDS / ACHIEVEMENTS
Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1984.
Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Jimmy Carter on 17th January 1981. This is the highest US honor a civilian can receive.
Received a UCLA Medal of honor 14 June 2002 from the University of California, Los Angeles, during school’s graduation ceremony for theater, film and television students.
Previous recipients include former US Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, and actors Laurence Olivier and Carol Burnett.
AFI Life Achievement Award:
1991 Accepted AFI Life Achievement Award
1996 Honorary Award for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community
1995 nominated for Honorary Awards
1956 Lust for Life nominated for Best Actor
1952 Bad & the Beautiful nominated for Best Actor
1949 Champion nominated for Best Actor
Berlin International Film Festival:
1975 Posse nominated for Competing Film
New York Film Critics Circle Award:
1956 Lust for Life won for Best Actor
1951 Detective Story nominated for Best Actor
President of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980.
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1970.
He was awarded the American National Medal of Arts in 2001 from the National Endowment of the Arts.
“Unknown to many, Kirk has long been involved in humanitarian causes and has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the US State Department since 1963. His efforts were rewarded in 1981 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in 1983 with the Jefferson Award. Furthermore, the French honored him with the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. More recognition followed for his work with the American Cinema Award (1987), the German Golden Kamera Award (1987), The National Board of Reviews Career Achievement Award (1989), an honorary Academy Award(1995), Recipient of the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award (1999) and the UCLA Medal of Honor (2002).”
Helped break the Hollywood blacklist by hiring Dalton Trumbo, a member of the “Hollywood Ten”, to write the screenplay.
Despite widespread criticism from many in the industry, including John Wayne and Hedda Hopper, Douglas refused to back down and Trumbo received a screen credit under his own name.
When presenting Douglas with an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement at The 68th Annual Academy Awards (1996) (TV), Steven Spielberg thanked Douglas for his courage.
His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 6263 Hollywood Blvd.
Has a street named after him near Palm Springs International Airport: Kirk Douglas Way. (2004)
Kirk Douglas / Author of books:
The Ragman’s Son: An Autobiography (1988, memoir)
Dance with the Devil (1990, novel)
The Gift (1992, novel)
Last Tango in Brooklyn (1994, novel)
Climbing the Mountain: My Search for Meaning (1997, memoir)
My Stroke of Luck (2002, memoir)
Let’s Face It: 90 Years of Living, Loving, and Learning (2007, memoir)