Kirk Douglas was an American actor, producer, director, and author who served the Hollywood industry between 1946 to 2008. The recently deceased actor who was regarded highly by the people in the entertainment business and was honored by the Academy of Motion Arts and Science in 1996 for 50 years of service to the motion picture community.

Douglas dominated the box office during his prime in the fifties and the sixties. He was worth $60 million at the time of his death on the 5th of February, 2020.

How Rich Was Kirk Douglas?    

Kirk Douglas, who stayed active for the better part of the last century, was the most sought after leading actor between 1950 and 1970. During the era when actors would be signed to a studio and not necessarily get to pick the roles they were playing, Douglas made his debut working for the United Artist Studio.

He rose to fame after he signed on with the Warner Brother Studios. The actor who was cheated by his managers and studios still managed to earn enough from his acting career.

Medical Discharge From Military To A Leading Man In Hollywood        

In 1941, Kirk Douglas joined the United States Navy after the United States had entered World War II. He served as a communications officer in the submarine chaser USS PC-1137. Douglas was medically discharged from his service after he was injured due to the accidental dropping of a depth charge.

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After recovery, he joined radio networks and acted in soap operas later, making his stage debut in the 1943 Broadway-play Kiss and Tell. He stuck to stage acting until 1946 before starring in the film noir The Strange Love of Martha Ivers.

From the initial movies he played before 1950, he established himself as a tough-guy in Hollywood. For his role in the movie Champion portraying a struggling boxer, Douglas was nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor.

By 1950, Douglas was a major box office star and appeared in many western and war movies. He starred in movies such as Lonely Are the Brave, Along the Great Divide, Young Man with a Horn, Ace in the Hole, Detective Story, The Bad and the Beautiful and 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. He appeared in a total of 94 movies and was nominated for Oscar for best actor for three of them.

His other Oscar nominations include the performance in The Bad and the Beautiful in 1952 and Lust for Life in 1956. In 1960, Douglas’ most economically successful movie came out with him, starring as the title character in the epic historical movie Spartacus that earned $60 million against a budget of $12 million.

Kirk Douglas as Spartacus
Kirk Douglas as Spartacus

Source: Sky News

His latest screen presence came in 2004 in an independent movie Illusion, which was the actor’s last hurrah before retiring from the entertainment industry.

Year Movie Salary
1947 Out of the Past $25,000
1949 Champion $15,000 + % of gross
1954 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea $175,000
1957 Paths of Glory $350,000
1959 Last Train from Gun Hill $325,000 against ten percent of the gross
1961 Town Without Pity $1,000,000
1965 In Harm’s Way $400,000
1967 The War Wagon $300,000 + %10 of the gross


The vintage actor who was at the prime of his career bought a residence in Palm Springs, California, in the 1960s. The mansion, which was built in 1954, is a 4,000 square foot house containing five bedrooms, eight bathrooms.

The Kirk Douglas House
The Kirk Douglas House in Palm Springs

Source: Pinterest

Michael Budman recently acquired the Donald Wexler designed house in 2015 for $3.5 million and now has been turned into a vacation home for rent, advertising the property as The Kirk Douglas House. The rent for the vacation home is $632.50 per night.


Kirk and Anne Douglas founded the Douglas Foundation in 1964 in order to make various donations to charities and non-profit causes. The couple planned on donating $80 million from their net worth so that he could help the needy that have to go through the same stuff he went through during his childhood.

The actor donated $5 million dollars to St. Lawrence University and has chipped in $40 million to Harry’s Haven, an Alzheimer’s treatment facility in Los Angeles. In 2015, another donation from The Douglas Foundation raking up to $15 million was made for the expansion of the facility.

Short Bio

Kirk Douglas was born as Issur Danielovitch in Amsterdam, New York, to Bryna and Herschel Danielovitch on December 9, 1916. His parents were immigrants from Belarus. He changed his name to Kirk Douglas before entering the US Navy to serve the USA in World War II.

After being discharged from the military, he married his first wife, Diana Dill, on November 2, 1943, and had two sons Michael Douglas and Joel Douglas. The couple divorced in 1951. Michael Douglas went on to become a successful actor, winning two Academy Awards. Joel Douglas also worked as a film producer in Hollywood movies.

He met Anne Buydens in Paris to whom he got married on May 29, 1954. Anne was a multilingual lady who had escaped from Germany in order to survive the cruelty of Nazism. She was working in a studio in Paris when she met Douglas. Anne and Douglas have two sons Peter and Eric, both of them finding success in Hollywood as producers and actors.

Kirk Douglas and family
Kirk Douglas and Anne Buydens with Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones and grand kids.

Source: Hello Magazine

Douglas practices Judaism and had his second bar mitzvah in 1999 at the age of 83.

Did you know? His son Michael married actress Catherine Zeta-Jones after a year of his death, in 2000.


In 1996, Kirk Douglas had a stroke, which put him into hospital impaired him of his speaking abilities. The verdict from the doctors declared that Douglas was likely to lose his ability to speak permanently if there weren’t any rapid improvements in the actor’s health. After a daily implementation of speech-language-therapy for several months, he could finally speak.

In December 2016, Douglas crossed the 100-year milestone, marking the occasion with a celebration with close family and friend at the Beverly Hill Hotel.

Later on February 5, 2020, a 103-year-old Douglas said his farewell to the world after a deterioration in his health due to old age.