Kirk Douglas may be 95 years old, but that isn't stopping him from riding high on the recent success of his 10th book or going for his third consecutive Bar Mitzvah.
The legendary stage and film actor who has starred in classics such as Spartacus and The Bad and the Beautiful, recently made an appearance at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood to update his cemented hand, foot and dimpled chin print at the same spot he performed the ritual exactly 50 years ago.
While cementing his legacy once again, Douglas took a moment to comment on his new book I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist, saying that it is the most important he has written.
The written work elaborates on his role of producing and starring in 1960s Spartacus. Douglas explains to his readers that by publicly crediting Dalton Trumbo, a former communist, as the screenwriter, he effectively broke the studios' blacklist against professionals with communist ties.
I was making a film about freedom at a time when freedom in America was in jeopardy, Douglas said, according to JWeekly. There are parallels to today's political climate, and I thought it was timely to set down my recollections.
To commemorate Douglas and the film, the theater, which happened to be celebrating its 85th anniversary, screened Spartacus at the original ticket price of 25 cents.
The seasoned actor and author showed that he still had his sense of humor by telling the crowd that If you don't have a quarter, I'll help you out. He then tossed fistfuls of the coin to a mass of outstretched hands.
After a helicopter crash in 1991, which killed two younger companions but not Douglas, the actor went back to his religious routes of Judaism and decided to celebrate a second Bar Mitzvah at the age of 83.
In an interview in 2000 Douglas commented on his religious beliefs by explaining how he didn't always see things so clearly.
Judaism and I parted ways a long time ago, when I was a poor kid growing up in Amsterdam, N.Y. Back then, I was pretty good in cheder, so the Jews of our community thought they would do a wonderful thing and collect enough money to send me to a yeshiva to become a rabbi, Douglas said in the interview. Holy Moses! That scared the hell out of me. I didn't want to be a rabbi. I wanted to be an actor . . . It took me a long time to learn that you don't have to be a rabbi to be a Jew.
As he will be 96 when he repeats the ceremony for a third time in December, Kirk Douglas told ABC that he is still looking forward.
I Am Spartacus! is being published in print, eBook and audiobook formats, with the latter narrated by Kirk's son, actor Michael Douglas, with a foreword by George Clooney.