Kirk Douglas quotes

Who the heck is Kirk Douglas?

Kirk Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch Demsky, was an American actor, producer, director, and author. As the son from immigrant parents, Douglas made a name for himself (quite literally) in Hollywood. He is known for playing the lead in a Stanley Kubrick film twice in Paths of Glory and Spartacus which helped the career of the genius director who was relatively unknown at the time. Douglas has been praised for helping to break the Hollywood blacklist by having Dalton Trumbo write Spartacus with an official on-screen credit. Kirk was the father of actor Michael Douglas and father in-law of actress .

Kirk Douglas books

Kirk Douglas quotes

“Acting is a youthful profession.”

Kirk Douglas

“Acting is make-believe. I never believe I'm the character; I want you to believe.”

Kirk Douglas

“All children are natural actors, and I'm still a kid. If you grow up completely, you can never be an actor.”

Kirk Douglas

“At 98 years old, I have learned one lesson from history: It very often repeats itself.”

Kirk Douglas

“Being seventy has its advantages. I was outspoken before, but now what have I got to keep quiet about?”

Kirk Douglas

“Compared to Thoreau, Saint Francis of Assisi was peanuts.”

Kirk Douglas

“Don't crucify me because of what your idea of a movie star is. I didn't start out to be a movie star. I started out to be an actor.”

Kirk Douglas

“Fear is a terrible thing. It makes you do awful things.”

Kirk Douglas

“I came from abject poverty. There was nowhere to go but up.”

Kirk Douglas What I've Learned

“I don't need a critic to tell me I'm an actor. I make my own way. Nobody's my boss. Nobody's ever been my boss.”

Kirk Douglas

“I don’t know who any of the new stars are, and they probably don’t know me.”

Kirk Douglas

“I guess I was a bad boy... Yes, yes, I've had lots of women in my life.”

Kirk Douglas

“I have a great respect for actors like Clint Eastwood, who's a wonderful director. I think two pictures that I directed were not successful, so I decided not to make any more.”

Kirk Douglas

“I have always been grateful that my Russian mother and father came to this country to give me a better chance, and I have had a better chance.”

Kirk Douglas

“I have been trying to create a campaign to have our country make an apology for slavery, for the way that blacks were treated before the Civil War and after the Civil War.”

Kirk Douglas

“I have one computer that my wife gave me. All I know how to do, and I do it every day, is play Spider Solitaire. And I don't have a cell phone.”

Kirk Douglas

“I love champions. A champion has something special about him.”

Kirk Douglas

“I think half the success in life comes from first trying to find out what you really want to do. And then going ahead and doing it.”

Kirk Douglas

“I think religion has caused so much catastrophe in the world.”

Kirk Douglas

“I was going to play in First Blood, but I suggested to changing it and I dropped out. I said to Sylvester Stallone, "You know, I almost stopped you from making millions of dollars," because in my suggestion, I killed his character at the end of the picture.”

Kirk Douglas

“I was not a tough guy. I just acted like one.”

Kirk Douglas

“I'm glad they gave women the right to vote, but sometimes I'm sorry they have the right to smoke.”

Kirk Douglas

“I’m too old to change. Like Popeye, ‘I yam what I yam.’ Love me or hate me, just don’t be indifferent.”

Kirk Douglas

“I’ve lived through the horrors of a Great Depression and two World Wars, the second of which was started by a man who promised that he would restore his country it to its former greatness. I was 16 when that man came to power in 1933. For almost a decade before his rise he was laughed at – not taken seriously. He was seen as a buffoon who couldn’t possibly deceive an educated, civilized population with his nationalistic, hateful rhetoric. The ‘experts’ dismissed him as a joke. They were wrong.”

Kirk Douglas

“I’ve made a career of playing sons of bitches.”

Kirk Douglas

“I’ve never tried to win popularity contests. I’ve always been blunt – never hesitated about expressing myself.”

Kirk Douglas

“If I thought a man had never committed a sin in his life, I don't think I'd want to talk with him. A man with flaws is more interesting.”

Kirk Douglas What I've Learned

“If you want to know about a man you can find out an awful lot by looking at who he married.”

Kirk Douglas

“In order to achieve anything you must be brave enough to fail.”

Kirk Douglas

“Know what a loner is? He's a born cripple. He's a cripple because the only person he can live with is himself. It's his life, the way he wants to live. It's all for him.”

Kirk Douglas

“Life is like a B-picture script! It is that corny. If I had my life story offered to me to film, I'd turn it down.”

Kirk Douglas

“Love has more depth as you get older.”

Kirk Douglas

“Making movies is a form of narcissism.”

Kirk Douglas

“My kids never had the advantages I had. I was born poor.”

Kirk Douglas

“My mother and my father were illiterate immigrants from Russia. When I was a child they were constantly amazed that I could go to a building and take a book on any subject. They couldn't believe this access to knowledge we have here in America. They couldn't believe that it was free.”

Kirk Douglas

“My mother once said, "A beggar must always give to another beggar that's worse off than he is." That has always stuck with me.”

Kirk Douglas

“No matter how bad things are, they can always be worse. So what if my stroke left me with a speech impediment? Moses had one, and he did all right.”

Kirk Douglas What I've Learned

“Now, what does an actor who can't talk do? Wait for silent pictures to come back?”

Kirk Douglas

“Now, why is it that most of us can talk openly about the illnesses of our bodies, but when it comes to our brain and illnesses of the mind we clam up and because we clam up, people with emotional disorders feel ashamed, stigmatized, and don't seek the help that can make the difference.”

Kirk Douglas

“Obey the voice within - it commands us to give of ourselves and help others. As long as we have the capacity to give, we are alive.”

Kirk Douglas

“People are always talking about the old days. They say that the old movies were better, that the old actors were so great. But I don't think so. All I can say about the old days is that they have passed.”

Kirk Douglas

“People are composed of many things, and in my work, what influences me is the complexity of people - the chiaroscuro of dark and light. When I play a strong guy, I try to find, where is he weak? And, conversely, when I play a weak guy, where is he strong?”

Kirk Douglas

“Really, a bad guy is more interesting, dramatically, than the good guy.”

Kirk Douglas

“Sometimes, the thing that ties you down sets you free.”

Kirk Douglas What I've Learned

“The best wine comes from home, wherever it is.”

Kirk Douglas

“The biggest lie is the lie we tell ourselves in the distorted visions we have of ourselves, blocking out some sections, enhancing others. What remains are not the cold facts of life, but how we perceive them. That's really who we are.”

Kirk Douglas

“The cure for depression is to think of others, to do for others. You can always find something to be grateful for.”

Kirk Douglas

“The first thing I look for in a woman is warmth-femininity. It's got nothing to do with a pretty face.”

Kirk Douglas

“The learning process continues until the day you die.”

Kirk Douglas What I've Learned

“The older you get, the more awards you get. So, if you live long enough, then you get all the awards eventually.”

Kirk Douglas

“The only advantage I have found in being Jewish is that I can be openly anti-Semitic.”

Kirk Douglas

“They say there is nothing new under the sun. Since I was born, our planet has traveled around it 100 times. With each orbit, I’ve watched our country and our world evolve in ways that would have been unimaginable to my parents – and continue to amaze me with each passing year.”

Kirk Douglas

“Too often, I have not been what I wanted to be. I've succumbed to pressures. Yes, I have. The things I've done that I liked, I've always done against advice. The bad films everybody was high on. The good films, they advised me against.”

Kirk Douglas

“Unfortunately, once I did learn to smoke, I couldn't stop. I escalated to two packs a day very quickly, and stayed that way for about ten years. When I decided to stop, I adopted the method that my father had used when he quit. He would carry a cigarette in his shirt pocket, and every time he felt like smoking, he would pull out the cigarette and confront it: "Who stronger? You? Me?" Always the answer was the same: "I stronger." Back the cigarette would go, until the next craving. It worked for him, and it worked for me.”

Kirk Douglas

“Virtue is not photogenic. What is it to be a nice guy? To be nothing, that's what. A big fat zero with a smile for everybody.”

Kirk Douglas

“We look for wine when we should be hunting bread.”

Kirk Douglas

“What would my parents think about America if they arrived here today? Would they even want to come? I wonder.”

Kirk Douglas We Are Spartacus

“When I produced Spartacus, the writer was Dalton Trumbo, who spent a year in jail because he would not answer McCarthy's questions about other people. He submitted the picture under the false name of Sam Jackson.”

Kirk Douglas

“When you become a star, you don't change - everyone else does.”

Kirk Douglas

“When you get old the worst thing is you lose so many friends.”

Kirk Douglas

“When you get to my age, you find that most of your dear friends are gone.”

Kirk Douglas

“When you reach 95, after you get over your surprise, you start looking back.”

Kirk Douglas We Are Spartacus

“Why can't a woman be more like a dog, huh? So sweet, loving, attentive.”

Kirk Douglas

“You haven't learned how to live until you've learned how to give.”

Kirk Douglas

“You know, you have to have some inner philosophy to deal with adversity.”

Kirk Douglas

“You lose track of the human being behind the image of the movie star.”

Kirk Douglas