Kirk Douglas celebrates his 100th birthday today. For this interview, originally published in July 2011, Nigel Farndale spoke to the Hollywood star about his remarkable life
No sooner does Kirk Douglas sit down on the silk-covered sofa in his drawing room than he stands up again. He then sits down once more.
“Would you like me to show you again?” he asks with a grin. He stands up again. I’d asked how his knees were, you see, because six years ago he had them both replaced in an operation, against his doctor’s advice. Pretty good seems to be the answer.
In fact he’s in pretty good shape all round, considering his venerable age, 94, and the scrapes he has been in over the years. In 1991 he survived a helicopter crash, a mid-air collision with a light aircraft in which two people were killed. He got off relatively lightly with a compressed spine that left him three inches shorter. (read more)