‘Lust for Life’ – Actors who played Vincent Van Gogh

“Normal people do not create art.”
― Irving Stone, Lust for Life (the book)


Lust for Life Taglines:
(original print ad)
The best-seller comes to the screen…the drama of a man who lived with insatiable passion.
He had a lust for life. Sometimes he was brutal, sometimes delicate—always he lived with insatiable passion!

Over the years there have been many documentaries and several notable Films portraying Vincent Van Gogh.
I’d say this is a daunting challenge for any Actor, but at least 4 of my favorite Actors have made the attempt:
Kirk Douglas (Lust for Life /1956), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate / 2018)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Van Gogh: Painted with Words / 2010) and Tim Roth (Vincent and Theo / 1990).
Strangely – though Van Gogh was Dutch, and I’m uncertain that he spoke any English at all? the most notable Film productions are by English speaking Actors: Kirk Douglas (American), Benedict Cumberbatch (English), Willem Dafoe (American) and Tim Roth (English).
These 4 have received Critical praise for their portrayals
and I have not seen any of these films!
I’m going to change that.
But from the outside let’s have a look.

Lust for Life / 1956

Lust for Life (1956) - IMDb

Amazing! Douglas was really able to look a lot like Van Gogh. 
And we know what he looked like from all his self portraits.

Unsure why Douglas tackled Van Gogh,
but he was surely ‘all in’ on the project.
Likely he read the book.

Everybody liked this.

On the Set of Lust for Life : News Photo

Lust For Life : News Photo

Lust For Life : News Photo

Nice work Kirk.

Academy Awards

Best Actor – Kirk Douglas – Nominated
Actor in a Supporting Role – Anthony Quinn – Won
Best Screenplay – Adapted Norman Corwin – Nominated
Best Art Direction (Color) Art Direction: – Nominated
Set Decoration: – Nominated

Golden Globe Awards

Best Motion Picture – Drama – Nominated
Best Actor – Motion Picture Kirk Douglas – Won
Best Supporting Actor – Anthony Quinn – Nominated
Best Director – Vincente Minnelli – Nominated

The Book:

Lust For Life eBook : Stone, Irving: Amazon.ca: Kindle Store
Republished several times.

Book and Movie available on Amazon and likely at your local Library.