Friday, December 9, 2016

Did You Get an Invitation?

Actor, writer, philanthropist Kirk Douglas is 100 years old today and it is bruited about that son Michael and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones are throwing an intimate little do for him and have asked 200 of his best friends.  I can't believe none of us missed the cut ... all of our invitations can't have gotten lost in the mail!  Although ... in the winter months at 5 dark 30, our mailman is wearing a miner's hat complete with a lit lamp ...

Since neither the date nor the location were mentioned (which pretty much cancels out crashing the party) I guess we will have to be content with merely sending our best wishes. 

He's already been honored with a party - the other day the Motion Picture and TV Fund had a gala to celebrate the organization's 95th anniversary.  Which the guest of honor predated by five years.  He and second wife Anne, 97, have given generously to this fund, providing a new 2-story building for memory-challenged movie and TV personnel as well as another section named for Anne Douglas.  He is estimated to be sitting on an $80 million fortune and has used it for such as the restoration of 400 decrepit playgrounds owned by the LA County School System.  What I liked, when I read about it, is that he and his wife visited every single one of them when they were reopened.  And they were by no means kids themselves.  No christening by romping on the teeter-totter or a slip down the slide. 

His long life has been eventful and here is a brief history that I gleaned by bopping around the internet.

Issur Danielovitch (you'd change your name, too) and his six sisters (six) were born to Bryna (1884-1958) and Herschel (1884 - 1950)  in Amsterdam, NY.  The parents had immigrated from what is now Belarus and they spoke Yiddish in the home. 

Patriotically and partly to get out of town (see sisters above) , he joined the Navy in 1941, but was sent home in 1944 due to an injury.  Meanwhile, he and Diana Dill married November 2, 1943. Michael was born in 1944 and Joel in 1947.  They divorced in 1951. 

Second wife Anne Buydens was born in 1919 and in 2014, the couple celebrated their 60th anniversary.  Their sons were Peter and then Eric, who died of a drug overdose in 2004.  A grandson was released from prison after a 7 year visit for heroin abuse. 

Kirk was nearly killed in a 1991 helicopter crash which did kill two others on board.  He became religious at that point and this morning's LA Times has an interesting article about this, written by his rabbi of the past 20+ years.  They have been studying the Torah.

Douglas suffered a heart attack in 1996 that robbed him of speech, but after hours and days of rehab, he can now make himself heard and understood. 

Maybe he'll call and invite us?  

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