“Do the best you can”: Kirk Douglas and Michael, a fatherly love that lasted 75 years

“Let me finish with the words that I said to you on your last birthday and which will forever be true. Dad, I love you very much and I am proud to be your son ”. Is he exciting tribute that Michael Douglas (75 years old) has dedicated to his father Kirk (1916-2020), who has died at 103, on his official Instagram account.

The veteran actor, who leaves behind three children and a wife, Anne Buydens (who is 100 years old), was not only a screen legend, but had a life that touched heavily on 20th century American politics (crucial was his work to end the Hollywood witch hunt) and several episodes of overcoming that led him to survive a helicopter crash in 1991, a heart attack in 1996 and the loss of his son Eric (from an overdose) in 2004.

In Hollywood, where families that grow up in front of the cameras are often broken by the pressure of fame and the millions of dollars to be shared, the Douglases, father and son, have always been an example of mutual support and affection until the last day. .

“When he turned 101 I told him: ‘We’re going to have a nice party.’ ‘Again?’. ‘Dad, it’s 101 years old. You have to have a party. ‘ ‘Agree’. And suddenly 102. And then she begged me, ‘Please, let’s just have dinner, family together. Bring your children. “

Michael Douglas’ first great success in Hollywood was not as an actor, but as a producer, and it was in that facet that he received his first Oscar in 1975. And it was thanks to his father: it was Kirk who had the rights to adapt the novel Some one flies over the cuco’s nidus to the cinema and it was he who sold them to his son to produce it. He wanted to play the lead himself, but when Michael told him that maybe he was too old for the character, Kirk dropped out and Jack Nicholson took the role. Nicholson also picked up his first Oscar.

It wasn’t the only time through Kirk DouglasDirectly or indirectly, Michael came up with a project that would provide him with the greatest satisfaction of his career. Many years later, after having triumphed as an actor in some of the highest grossing films of the eighties and nineties, Michael Douglas decided to play the showman Liberace en Behind the candelabra, a risky and eccentric role that won him an Emmy and a Golden Globe in 2013. Kirk Douglas had a house in Palm Springs where Michael was going to spend some vacations, and the house was very close to another that Liberace had. A young Michael Douglas crossed paths with the pianist several times and his interest in him began there. Another striking fact that shows us who Kirk Douglas was: When Liberace died of AIDS in 1987, he was the only Palm Springs celebrity to attend his funeral, according to reported the newspaper USA Today.

Michael Douglas celebrated every birthday of his father, aware that there might be few left. On his 100th anniversary, in 2016, he gave a speech about him. It went like this: “One of the things I find most incredible about my father is the third act of his life. After everything he achieved in his professional career and what he did for his country, everything he has achieved in the third act of his life is simply extraordinary ”. Of course, Kirk got tired of so much celebration and made it known to his son with a certain humor. “When he turned 101,” he said in the program from the American Jimmy Kimmel, “I told him: ‘OK, let’s have a nice party.’ ‘Again?’. ‘Dad, it’s 101 years old. You have to have a party. ‘ ‘Agree’. And suddenly 102. And then she begged me, ‘Please, let’s just have dinner, family together. Bring your children. “

“Whatever you do in life, do the best you can,” Kirk Douglas once advised his son. Michael remembered it last October during an interview with the American program Entertainment Tonight. And the father added to the son: “Do it with the utmost commitment and, if you don’t succeed, give it to something else. But you will always have abandoned it with the clear conviction that you tried to the end.”

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“Do the best you can”: Kirk Douglas and Michael, a fatherly love that lasted 75 years