Ernesto Cardenal, the Nicaraguan poet, priest and revolutionary whose works included Prayer for Marilyn Monroe, has died aged 95, the New York Times reports. “I was studying for the priesthood in a seminary in Colombia,” he explained, “and, during a theology class, we got the news of Marilyn Monroe’s death. That’s when I wrote the poem.” (You can read it in full here.)
“Forgive her, Lord, and forgive us for our 20th Century for this Colossal Super-Production on which we all have worked. She hungered for love and we offered her tranquilizers. For her despair, because we’re not saints psychoanalysis was recommended to her …
And her life was unreal like a dream that a psychiatrist interprets and files.
Her romances were a kiss with closed eyes and when she opened them she realized she had been under floodlights as they killed the floodlights! and they took down the two walls of the room (it was a movie set) while the Director left with his scriptbook because the scene had been shot…
… The film ended without the final kiss. She was found dead in her bed with her hand on the phone. And the detectives never learned who she was going to call. She was like someone who had dialed the number of the only friendly voice and only heard the voice of a recording that says: WRONG NUMBER. Or like someone who had been wounded by gangsters reaching for a disconnected phone.
Lord whoever it might have been that she was going to call and didn’t call (and maybe it was no one or Someone whose number isn’t in the Los Angeles phonebook) You answer that telephone!”
Mamie Van Doren is one of the last surviving bombshells from Marilyn’s era – and at 89, she is still glamorous and vital. Born in South Dakota, she came to Los Angeles in 1946 and was ‘discovered’ by Howard Hughes. She was married five times, including to bandleader Ray Anthony. As rock and roll music swept the nation, Mamie played the ‘bad girl’ in a series of teen movies, among them Untamed Youth (1957), High School Confidential (1958), and The Beat Generation (1959.) She later developed a nightclub act and starred in a stage production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Her autobiography, Playing the Field (1987), revealed affairs with famous names like Clark Gable and Tony Curtis.
Mamie spoke recently to Fox News‘ Stephanie Nolasco about her memories of Hollywood stars including Marilyn, whom she first met during the late 1940s.
“Fox News: How difficult was it to make your mark as a blonde bombshell at the same time Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield were stars? Van Doren: I didn’t have much of a choice. Marilyn, I liked very much. I got along with her fine. I started going to her drama coach, Natasha Lytess. But she just wasn’t right for me. So I went to another one… But I went along with it because I really didn’t have much of a choice. And it was all men that ran everything. I don’t think I saw one woman in charge of anything. So I don’t know – I just managed to get it done and it seemed like I was able to do it. A lot of girls couldn’t. They would be on contract for six months and then disappear… But I was lucky. And when I did Untamed Youth, that’s when I really got to be myself.
Fox News: What’s your favorite memory of Marilyn Monroe? Van Doren: It’s strange, but some of my memories of Marilyn are sad ones. When she wasn’t around people, she was sad. She was sad most of the time. But when she would go out, have a few drinks, she became Marilyn Monroe, the one everyone knew. She became what she wanted to be. But Marilyn expected too much from herself. As she got older, she wasn’t quite as popular as she used to be. And I think that really upset her very much because she had so much attention during those early years in Hollywood. She couldn’t do too much back then without everyone knowing. But as she entered her late 30s, things weren’t as easy for her. She also had a problem with men. She couldn’t seem to hang on to them. A very strange thing. She just couldn’t hang on to a man.
She had strained relationships. And she didn’t know very much except the movie business… She wanted to be a good actress. She worked very hard for that. But it didn’t come easy for her. It was hard to accept the fact that someone would reject you. Her expectations were way beyond what reality was like. She couldn’t accept that. I don’t think she had the ability to do that.”
Former child actress turned librarian and teacher Ann E. Todd, who starred in Marilyn’s second film, Dangerous Years, has died aged 88. Born in Denver, Colorado, Ann was distantly related to former first lady Mary Todd Lincoln. Amid the hardships of the Great Depression, she was raised by her grandparents.
As Ann Todd, she began her film career aged seven, in George Cukor’s Zaza (1938.) She also appeared in Intermezzo (1939), which launched the Hollywood career of Ingrid Bergman; Destry Rides Again (1939), starring Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart; with fellow child star, Shirley Temple, in The Bluebird (1940); in All This, and Heaven Too (1940), starring Bette Davis; as a younger Linda Darnell in Blood and Sand (1941); and in John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley (1941.)
In 1942, Ann developed blood poisoning and almost died after cutting her foot while playing in her backyard. She went on to appear in King’s Row (1942), starring Ronald Reagan; in Pride of the Marines (1946), and The Jolson Story (1946.)
At sixteen, Ann was among the stars of Dangerous Years (1947), a youth crime drama directed by Arthur Pierson, and produced by Sol M. Wurtzel for Twentieth Century Fox. Ann plays Doris Martin, one of a group of teenagers who becomes part of a criminal gang led by Danny Jones (Billy Halop.) (Marilyn played a smaller part as Evie, a waitress at the diner where the kids hang out. It was actually the first film she had made, with two short scenes – Ann appears with her in the second, seen below – but was released in January 1948 after her next movie, Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!, in which her role was mostly cut.)
From 1950-53, Ann played Joyce Erwin in over 100 episodes of an early television sitcom, The Stu Erwin Show (aka Trouble With Father.) To avoid being confused the British actress Ann Todd, she was credited as Ann E. Todd. In 1951, she married Robert David Basart, a composer and professor of music. They had two children, Kathryn and Nathaniel, and remained together until Basart’s death in 1993.
Ann left acting behind to study at UCLA, later attaining a Master’s degree at Berkley, where she worked as a reference librarian from 1970-90, edited the library newsletter, and wrote extensively for Notes, a journal of the Music Library Association publication, earning a Lifetime Achievement citation in 1993. She also taught at the San Francisco College for Women. In 1984 she established Fallen Leaves Press, publishing music titles until 2000.
Ann Basart died peacefully on February 7, 2020, according to the San Francisco Chronicle (via Legacy.)
With roles in Knives Out, No Time to Die and the upcoming Blonde, Ana de Armas could be the breakout star of 2020. In a cover story for Vanity Fair, Ana talks about the challenge of playing Marilyn.
“Like all actors, fresh and seasoned alike, de Armas has nothing but diplomatic adjectives for her projects and costars, but she absolutely beams when she talks about Blonde, adapted from Joyce Carol Oates’s Pulitzer-nominated fictionalization of Norma Jeane Baker and directed by Andrew Dominik.
‘I only had to audition for Marilyn once and Andrew said “It’s you,” but I had to audition for everyone else. The producers. The money people. I always have people I needed to convince. But I knew I could do it. Playing Marilyn was groundbreaking. A Cuban playing Marilyn Monroe. I wanted it so badly.’
Before the script came her way, her knowledge of Monroe was limited to a few iconic roles and photos, but now she’s become a human conveyor belt of fun facts. Even her dog, Elvis, plays Monroe’s dog in the film. (‘His name was Mafia. Sinatra gave him to her. Of course.’) She also identifies with Monroe in a more profound way: ‘You see that famous photo of her and she is smiling in the moment, but that’s just a slice of what she was really going through at the time.’
‘I have never worked more closely with a director than I worked with Andrew. Yes, I have had collaborative relationships, but to get phone calls at midnight because he has an idea and he can’t sleep and all of a sudden you can’t sleep for the same reason…’
‘I remember when she showed me a video of her screen tests for Blonde,’ says Jamie Lee Curtis, whose father starred with Monroe in Some Like It Hot. ‘I dropped to the floor. I couldn’t believe it. Ana was completely gone. She was Marilyn.'”
As another awards season ends, All About Eve comes third in Vulture‘s ranking of the all-time best Oscar-winning movies – right behind Casablanca and The Godfather.
“Filmmaker Joseph L. Mankiewicz once described his movies as ‘a continuing comment on the manners and mores of contemporary society in general and the male-female relationship in particular.’ Which meant they were also darkly, piercingly funny. Inspired by a Mary Orr story, which had been based on an anecdote relayed to Orr about a particularly ambitious aspiring actress, All About Eve is a wellspring of razor-sharp dialogue and despicable human behavior, telling the story of Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), a massive fan of Broadway giant Margo Channing (Bette Davis) who, slowly but surely, usurps her stardom. A takedown of ego, theater, actors, writers, vanity, and other deadly sins, All About Eve puts the dagger in with such elegance — and then does it again and again.”
While there were no direct nods to Marilyn at this year’s ceremony, British actress Florence Pugh – nominated as Best Supporting Actress for her role as flighty Amy in Little Women – wore a Louis Vuitton gown to Vanity Fair‘s Oscar party which brought to mind a 21st century version of Marilyn’s gold lamé gown, designed by Travilla for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
On the streets in Hollywood, meanwhile, W magazine profiled some of the faces in the crowd…
What’s your name? Monika Ekiert. What brings you to the Oscars tonight? I’m an actress and I just finished a film about Marilyn Monroe, because before, I was in a play, The Seven Year Itch. Are you looking to see any celebrities on the red carpet? I am not looking, I’m an actress. I was famous in Europe, so when I came here it was different, it’s not the same system. Maybe someday soon I can be like them, at the Oscars.
Actress Terry Moore began her movie career in 1940, and would later make a successful transition from child performer to adult star when she was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for her role in an adaptation of William Inge’s Come Back, Little Sheba (1952.) After director Elia Kazan cast her in Man On a Tightrope (1953), she was signed by Twentieth Century Fox. She was photographed with Marilyn at public events including the 1953 wedding of columnist Sheilah Graham (see above), and at the premiere of How to Marry a Millionaire (below.)
Terry had previously been signed to Columbia Studios in 1948, the same year when Marilyn was briefly under contract there, starring in the low-budget musical, Ladies of the Chorus, before being dropped by boss Harry Cohn. It was during this period that Marilyn met Natasha Lytess, who became her acting coach until 1954.
Now 91, Terry recalls her encounters with Marilyn and other stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age in an interview with Stephanie Nolasco for Fox News.
“Fox News: What’s the story behind your friendship with Marilyn Monroe?
Moore: I met Marilyn when she was put under contract. I was under contract to Columbia Studios at that time. We both then went to 20th Century Fox at the same time. And if you read anything about Marilyn, her acting coach was Natasha Lytess. The directors got so mad that she was always looking at Natasha while filming her scenes. Natasha was behind the cameras trying to guide her. It got so bad the directors later threw Natasha off the set.
I was with her when she met Natasha. They brought her into Natasha’s acting lessons. I was the only one in the class. And so I really wanted someone to do scenes with. I was told, ‘This is a new contract player named Marilyn Monroe. Now you and Natasha will have someone to act with.’ I was so happy to meet her. And we became close, fast friends. I would take her home to dinner with me. My parents were just crazy about her. She was one of the sweetest, loneliest girls I ever met. But she learned so quickly as an actress.
Fox News: What do you think made Marilyn feel so lonely?
Moore: Well sometimes the biggest stars are usually very shy … They’re very much like John Wayne. He was so backward, very backward. He also had to learn to get out there and have self-confidence. Most actors when they start out have little confidence. Marilyn didn’t have confidence. She had to have everyone in the world believe in her and love her before she had any confidence.”
Back in 2018, Camila Cabello referenced ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ while performing her hit song, ‘Havana’, at the iHeart Radio Awards (see here.) Now in the video for her latest single, ‘My Oh My’, Camila plays a vintage movie star who ditches her studio bosses (and her Monroesque blonde bombshell image) to party with bad boy rapper DeBaby.
The Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar has referenced Marilyn before – in Broken Embraces (2009), Lena, an actress played by Penelope Cruz, impersonates both Monroe and Audrey Hepburn (see my review here.)
Ten years on, Almodovar has once again called on his cinematic muses in Pain and Glory, chosen by Time magazine as its film of the year in 2019. Antonio Banderas plays Salvador Mallo, a filmmaker plagued by ill-health and depression. In one scene, actor Alberto Crespo (Asier Etxeandia) visits him at home. After they smoke heroin together, Salvador falls asleep and Alberto reads a document on his computer, entitled ‘Addiction’. As Alberto sits at Salvador’s desk, you may notice Donald Spoto’s 1992 book, Marilyn Monroe: The Biography, on the shelf behind him (to the left – open gallery below.)
Alberto then begins to read the text, and imagines performing it onstage. In it, Salvador remembered his first encounter with the magic of Hollywood, when he was a poor boy living in the Spanish village of Paterna.
“My idea of cinema was always linked to the breeze on summer nights. We only saw films in the summer. The films were projected on an enormous wall that had been whitewashed. I particularly remember the films where there was water: waterfalls, beaches, the bottom of the sea, rivers or springs. “
We then see a clip from Elia Kazan’s Splendour in the Grass (1961) projected onto an imaginary screen, with Natalie Wood swimming in a river. This image sparks an amusing memory…
“Just hearing the sound of water gave all the kids a tremendous desire to urinate and we did it right there, on both sides of the screen. In the cinemas of my childhood it always smells of piss, and of jasmine, and of the summer breeze.”
He then projects a seemingly rain-spattered clip of Marilyn in Niagara (1953), singing along to her favourite song, ‘Kiss’ (“Take me, take me in your arms…”)
Unlike the Natalie clip, however, in this one Marilyn goes full-screen, and the raindrops disappear. Salvador awakes, and asks what Alberto is doing. ‘Reading you,’ he replies. Salvador allows him to perform ‘Addiction’, so long as he remains anonymous. We then watch Alberto continue the story in a theatre, a blank screen behind him. A handsome man (played by Leonardo Sbaraglia) goes inside, and is moved to tears as Alberto re-enacts the story of Marcelo, Salvador’s lost lover from many years before.
“Under the whitewashed wall where the films of my childhood were projected. I prayed that nothing would happen to the leading ladies, but I didn’t succeed, neither with Natalie Wood or Marilyn. Then I tried to save Marcelo and myself. If Marcelo was saved, it was far away from me. As for me, I stayed in Madrid and the cinema saved me.”
It’s interesting that he gives Natalie Wood’s full name, but not Marilyn’s – perhaps because one need only say her first name for the audience to know who he means. In Splendour in the Grass, Natalie played a sensitive young woman who breaks down when forbidden to marry the boy she loves (Warren Beatty.) In Niagara, for the only time in her career, Marilyn played a woman who is murdered for her adulterous desires.
Both women seem out of their element. Splendour in the Grass (a line from a poem by W.B. Yeats) conjures the beauty of the land, but here we see our heroine in the water. Natalie, who was terrified of water, found the scene traumatic; and in 1981 (the same year in which Salvador and Marcelo’s affair began), Natalie died by drowning when she apparently fell from the deck of her husband Robert Wagner’s boat (named Splendour in her honour.)
Niagara is named after the famous waterfall, but Marilyn’s character Rose – with her hot pink dress and signature red lipstick, singing of lust – seems more akin to fire. Marilyn also died before her time, and like Marcelo, she had battled addiction. In her first film – Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay, in which a nine-year-old Natalie starred – Marilyn’s tiny role was mostly cut, but the two women would meet again, just days before Marilyn died in 1962, when Natalie attended a party with her Splendour co-star, Warren Beatty (see here.)
Earlier that year, Natalie had spoken to Redbook‘s Alan Levy about Marilyn, and her words echo Salvador’s wish to protect them both.
“When you look at Marilyn on the screen, you don’t want anything bad to happen to her. You really care that she should be all right … happy.”
David Crow digs deep into the ‘Diamonds’ homage in Birds of Prey, the new Harley Quinn movie produced by and starring Margot Robbie, over at Den of Geek.
“Robbie’s Marilyn Monroe homage has been at the center of Warner Brothers’ Birds of Prey marketing, from trailers to official clips. After all, what else says this ain’t your typical superhero movie than a ‘50s inspired musical number? And while it’s only a brief sequence in the finished film, it’s also one of the movie’s best moments. Tied up at the nightclub owned by Roman Sionis, the villainous Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), Harley has been captured simply because he believes she’s more vulnerable after her breakup with the Joker…
But Harley is neither silly or in need of protection. She quickly realizes that Black Mask is after a MacGuffin of great importance—a diamond, in fact—and Harley will be just the gal to retrieve it for him. Because Harley is resourceful, Harley is smart… and Harley is also a wee bit nuts. Hence when Sionis smacks her in the face, Harley vanishes into a musical fantasy where she gets to go into full Marilyn mode, vamping in pink attire and bejeweled accessories while singing ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.’ McGregor even shows up in the fantasy to dance along before shooting up the scene much too quickly.
But this is more than just an homage to a Marilyn Monroe scene or the abject cynicism of her song …. In the original movie, the song is a third act statement of intent by Monroe’s character, Lorelei Lee … Breaking into Hollywood because of her beauty and sudden success as a pin-up model during World War II, Monroe eventually signed multiple contracts with Fox before she became the defining image of a 20th century blonde bombshell and movie star sex symbol.
She didn’t necessarily want to be that—or certainly only that. Having a contentious relationship with studio head Daryl F. Zanuck, who disliked Monroe and her desire to be more than the dumb blonde gold digger in musical comedies, she was suspended in 1954 for refusing to do The Girl in Pink Tights. She eventually made up with Fox, but she also started her own production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions …
During this era, Monroe also struggled in her private life, including her marriage to Joe DiMaggio, the world famous baseball player …. Again the press took a disdainful sniff at the movie star who let the strong man get away—just as they sneered when she then married intellectual playwright Arthur Miller.
… The story of Monroe’s fight for credibility, both in association with 20th Century Fox or with Joe DiMaggio, and away from these men, is the kind of real world struggle Birds of Prey strives to reflect, even in its gonzo funhouse mirror … everyone, including other women, define Harley by her relationships to men, and view her to be, as one man says early in the film, ‘a dumb slut.’ These insults are hurled even though she has a PhD and, as she displays throughout the film, a rather quick witted intellect in which she can psychoanalyze her friends and foes alike.
Through it all, she struggled for legitimacy and respect as an actress when executives were content to just see her singing ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’: a male fantasy in which a beautiful woman purports the only thing she wants in this world are the presents powerful men can bestow on her. In her lifetime, Monroe was likewise defined by the men in her life and what they could give her …
Nevertheless, playing that game gave Monroe the tools to eventually make movies she was proud of, like Bus Stop, and to form her own production company—which was a crack in Fox’s power over her and another crack in the slowly crumbling Hollywood studio system…
That is exactly what Margot Robbie did after she realized the potential of the Harley Quinn character. Perfectly cast as the jester moll, Robbie’s Harley was the sole redeeming quality of Suicide Squad (2016), even as director David Ayer’s camera seemed to most value her for all the lingering shots of her skintight (or nonexistent) clothing. Nonetheless, Suicide Squad gave Robbie a lot more clout as a producer …
Robbie herself revealed last year that she actually loathes when journalists, usually men, describe her as a bombshell. ‘I hate that word,’ Robbie told Vogue in June. ‘I hate it — so much. I feel like a brat saying that because there are worse things, but I’m not a bombshell.’
One might suspect that in her time, Monroe thought similarly as Fox kept trying to cast her in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes type roles … But using the tools Monroe pioneered, Robbie is able to take preconceptions audiences might have for her, or for Harley Quinn after Suicide Squad, and blow them away.”
One of Hollywood’s most legendary stars, Kirk Douglas, has died aged 103.
He was born Issur Danielovitch to Belarusian immigrant parents in New York. His father was a ragman, and he and his six sisters grew up in poverty. He was known as Izzy Demsky, and began acting at high school, graduating from St. Lawrence University in 1939. He then studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts where his classmates included Betty Joan Perske, who later found fame as Lauren Bacall.
After joining the US Navy in 1941, he changed his name to Kirk Douglas. He was medically discharged in 1944, having sustained injuries while fighting in World War II. Back in New York he worked in the theatre and radio, until his old friend Bacall recommended him to movie producer Hal B. Wallis.
In 1947, Kirk starred with Robert Mitchum in a classic film noir, Out of the Past. Three years later, he played a character based on jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke in Young Man With a Horn. When starlet Jean Spangler, who had a small part in the film, vanished in 1951, her purse was found in Griffith Park, Los Angeles with a note addressed to ‘Kirk’. Douglas approached the police, stating that he was not the man Spangler was writing to, and that he was in Palm Springs at the time of her disappearance. His explanation was accepted, but the mystery remains unsolved.
In his 2007 memoir, Let’s Face It, Kirk recalled a brief encounter with a young Marilyn Monroe – probably dating back to the late 1940s.
“I remember the first time I met Marilyn, at the home of producer Sam Spiegel. The only woman in the room, she sat quietly in a chair watching Sam playing gin rummy with his friends and hoping that he’d get her a job in movies. I felt sorry for her. I tried to talk with her, but it wasn’t much of a conversation.
On the screen Marilyn came to life. She was a different person.”
Kirk’s eight-year marriage to Diana Dill, mother of his sons Michael and Joel, ended soon after. He would marry producer Anne Buydens in 1954, and despite his rumoured infidelities, their union was one of Hollywood’s happiest and most enduring. They had two more sons, Peter and Eric, who sadly died of a drugs and alcohol overdose in 2004.
In 1951, Kirk starred in Billy Wilder’s first film as a writer/producer, Ace in the Hole. In 1952, he earned the second of three Oscar nominations for The Bad and the Beautiful. Three years later he formed an independent production company, with his first project, Paths to Glory (1957), launching the career of director Stanley Kubrick. Although not a box-office success, it is now considered one of the finest anti-war films ever made.
One of Kirk’s most memorable roles was as the artist Vincent Van Gogh in Lust for Life (1956.) In 1960, he reunited with Kubrick for his greatest role as Spartacus, with his insistence on giving screenwriter Dalton Trumbo full credit helping to end the Hollywood blacklist. He also made several Westerns, including Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) with his frequent co-star Burt Lancaster, and his personal favourite, Lonely Are the Brave (1962.)
In June 1961, Kirk and Anne celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary with a party at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. Among the guests was Marilyn, photographed gazing at her new beau Frank Sinatra onstage. Singer Eddie Fisher was also present with then-wife Elizabeth Taylor, plus Dean Martin and wife Jeanne.
In Let’s Face It, Kirk visited Marilyn’s final resting place at Westwood Memorial Park.
“In this cemetery there is a structure composed of vaults, one placed upon another, with the names of the deceased on small plaques. It’s always easy to recognise the vault containing Marilyn Monroe. Joe DiMaggio, the famous baseball player and one of Marilyn’s ex-husbands, arranged for fresh flowers to be placed in the metal urn attached to her vault every day [actually every week, for twenty years.] Every time I walk by, visitors are looking at the name Marilyn Monroe. Poor Marilyn, she never found the happiness that her fame denied her.”
After buying the rights to Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Kirk adapted it into a 1963 play, marking his return to the stage. He later gave the rights to his son Michael, who produced the Oscar-winning 1975 film adaptation starring Jack Nicholson.
In 1969, Kirk starred in Elia Kazan’s The Arrangement. A year later, he appeared with Henry Fonda in There Was a Crooked Man …, the penultimate film from writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz. He teamed up with Burt Lancaster again in the 1988 crime comedy, Tough Guys, and continued working in film for another two decades. In 2009, he capped off his career with a one-man show at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles.
During a 2007 visit to France, Kirk saw an exhibition featuring photos of Marilyn shortly before she died. “She will forever be thirty-six years old,” he wrote. “Here I am, staggering into my nineties, hard of hearing, hard of seeing, with replaced knees and an impaired voice. If I had died forty years ago, would I be remembered as the Viking dancing across the oars? Maybe.”
“It’s hard to make friends in Hollywood,” Kirk had written almost twenty years earlier, in The Ragman’s Son (1988.) “It’s a cruel, unhappy town, and success is even more difficult to handle than failure. You look around and you see what’s happened to Marilyn Monroe, John Belushi, James Dean, Freddie Prinze, Bobby Darin, and so many others.”
In 2012, a blind item on a gossip blog inferred that Kirk Douglas may have sexually assaulted actress Natalie Wood as a teenager during the 1950s. However, there is little corroborating evidence to support this claim; and in fact, they were photographed together several times at public events during the same period. While such grave allegations should always be taken seriously, it will probably remain a mystery.
The lives of Kirk Douglas and his illustrious family – a true Hollywood dynasty – is chronicled in the 2010 documentary, It Runs in the Family. Kirk’s last public appearance was at the Golden Globes in 2018, with daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta Jones, where he received a standing ovation.
Kirk Douglas, who died at home in Beverly Hills of natural causes on February 5, 2020, is survived by his wife Anne, now 100, and his three sons and grandchildren. Their 66-year marriage is documented in the 2017 book, Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter and a Lifetime in Hollywood.