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Biography

Cleft-chinned, steely-eyed and virile star of international cinema who rose from being "the ragman's son" (the name of his best-selling 1988 autobiography) to become a bona fide superstar, Kirk Douglas, also known as Issur Danielovitch Demsky, was born on December 9, 1916 in Amsterdam, New York. His parents, Bryna (Sanglel) and Herschel Danielovitch, were Jewish immigrants from Chavusy, Mahilyow Voblast (now in Belarus). Although growing up in a poor ghetto, Douglas was a fine student and a keen athlete and wrestled competitively during his time at St. Lawrence University. Professional wrestling helped pay for his studies as did working on the side as a waiter and a bellboy. However, he soon identified an acting scholarship as a way out of his meager existence, and was sufficiently talented to gain entry into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He made his Broadway debut in "Spring Again" before his career was interrupted by World War II. He joining the United States Navy in 1941, a

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Filmography