2016 may have been like the Grim Reaper insofar as the number of celebrity deaths that seem to have occurred, from that of astronaut and senator John Glenn to musician David Bowie, but Kirk Douglas, the legendary actor, yet abides, just having turned 100 years old. Douglas has had a career spanning seven decades and has made numerous iconic films.

The best-known movie Douglas starred in was 1960s “Spartacus” in which he depicted the leader of a slave rebellion against Ancient Rome. The film, which also features Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis, and Peter Ustinov, was directed by Stanley Kubrick and was written by the formerly blacklisted Dalton Trumbo.

The movie was often called the “thinking person’s” historical epic in its examination of issues of human freedom and the necessity of taking up arms against tyranny, ironic as it was penned by a former supporter of the Soviet Union.

“Paths of Glory” was the other Kubrick directed film Douglas starred in, starring as a French officer in World War I dealing with the corruption and cowardice of his superior officers who send his men on useless offenses against a German-held position and then executes three innocent men to cover up their failures.

The movie was one of the better anti-war statements ever created.

Another film, under appreciated, that Douglas appeared in was “Cast A Giant Shadow,” in which he starred as an American officer who participates in Israel’s War of Independence. The movie is of the sort that politically correct Hollywood would never make in the modern age in that it takes an non-nuanced stance of support for the Jewish state.,

Other Movies that Kirk Douglas graced by his participation included “The Bad and the Beautiful,” “The Vikings,”20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” “Lust for Life,” “Seven Days in May,” “In Harms Way, and “The Man from Snowy River.” Douglas primarily played heroes, some of them flawed, some of them pure.

Understandably Douglas has not been in any recent projects. His last appearance was in a TV movie “Empire State Building Murders.” A stroke has softened his once vigorous, distinctive voice. But he has accomplished the rare feat of reaching a triple digit age, married to the same woman for 63 years, and that is something to celebrate.

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