Kirk Douglas – from unlikely beginnings he strode stage and screen


The legendary Kirk Douglas, one of the old-style Hollywood stars, and father to Michael has died aged 103. He was renowned as difficult to work with and admitted to having anger issues, the legacy of a poor childhood with an aggressive alcoholic father, a Russian-Jewish immigrant rag peddler, but he was also liberally-inclined. He helped dissolve the blacklist against communist writers in the late 1950s, by hiring the non-grata Dalton Trumbo to rewrite the Spartacus script and giving him an on-screen credit, rather than the noms de plumes he’d recently become accustomed to.

Born 9 December 1916 10.15 am New York, he was a Sun Sagittarius in a lucky, confident trine to Jupiter in Aries, sextiling onto a maverick Uranus in his 1st house. His restless Gemini Moon opposed his Sun and fell in his performing 5th house. His Venus squared Uranus and he had Neptune Saturn on his Descendant so committed fidelity wasn’t his style and he had endless affairs through both of his marriages. He also notably had a do-or-die-determined and ruthless Mars in Capricorn opposition Pluto.

That last aspect clashed badly with his son Michael, 25 September 1944 10.30 am New Brunswick, New Jersey, who is a Sun Neptune in Libra square Saturn opposition a Capricorn Moon. He would experience his father with suspicion, creative certainly, but also exacting and critical as well as evasive. And scary to boot since that Mars Pluto is volcanic when it lets rip. Although they made up in the end there was a long and fractious period when there was major strain between them. Their relationship chart is a classic of love and hate with a composite affectionate Sun Venus and a resentful, hostile Mars trine Saturn Pluto.

His second wife Anne to whom he was married for sixty five years said she accepted his affairs since she was more European though it was an odd match. Born 23 August 1919 in Germany, she had a stalwart and stubborn Sun Mars in Taurus on the focal point of a T Square to an Aquarius Moon opposition Neptune; with her Sun Mars sextile a super-confident Jupiter Pluto in Cancer. She was a strong, enduring personality who was clearly able to live with his wandering ways for the benefits the match brought. Their relationship chart had a needs-space Sun conjunct Uranus but it also opposed an affectionate Venus and squared onto an expansive and lucky Jupiter. Though it wouldn’t be easy at times with a composite Mars trine Pluto.

11 thoughts on “Kirk Douglas – from unlikely beginnings he strode stage and screen

  1. There was no doubt that Kirk was a difficult and demanding man. However, his social credentials
    were impeccable, especially when standing up against the rabid anti-communist wave which
    destroyed many careers in the 1950s. There are a lot of similarities with Frank Sinatra, who
    was born almost exactly one year earlier. Both were socially liberal, driven and very promiscuous.

    His letter regarding Trump makes very interesting and chilling reading. It is worth checking out.
    Kirk was a hundred years old when he wrote it.

  2. The allegations surrounding him brutally raping a teenage Natalie Woods are disturbing. It’s all over the net, and I’m finding it hard to separate them from any deep sadness about his passing.

    • Yes, I’m where you are on this, too. Also, poor Natalie Wood. Truly the one of most tragic of all the tragic lives in Hollywood.

      • Yes, I think there’s truth in it. I remember a few years ago when Kirk won a lifetime award, I think it was, and when he was on stage he was getting a standing ovation from all these celebrities. But I specifically remember Robert Downey jnr. sitting there defiantly looking utterly disgusted and angry at kirk. It was believed by many, especially by those in the industry that he refused to stand because he believed Kirk had raped natalie and didn’t deserve to be aknowledged. Apparently, it was an open secret the same way a large number of people knew how predatory and dangerous Harvey weinstein was. Even in his latter years in the wheelchair there were stories of Kirk being a dirty lecherous man who couldn’t keep his hands from touching women. But because he was ancient and infirm it wasn’t seen as such a threat. Robert’s reaction to kirk’s award cannot be found anywhere on the internet today which I think is very revealing. I think with Downey’s fan base too many people would be looking into it.

        Poor Natalie. She was brutally and violently raped and was viciously beaten at 16. her mother’s reaction to her rape absolutely sickens me “But it’s ( name of actor),” she said starstruck. Evil woman. I think all the sordid stories of Kirk will come out shortly, especially in today’s climate. How disappointing that people knew of this man’s behaviour but helped cover it up.

      • “There are a lot of similarities with Frank Sinatra, who
        was born almost exactly one year earlier. Both were socially liberal, driven and very promiscuous.”

        Being “promiscuous” really isn’t the issue with these men. Being abusive towards vulnerable people, such as women and children, is. Although Sinatra may have come to regret some of his behaviour in his later years. He was always very protective towards Mia Farrow and even Mia’s kids.

        Interestingly, both Douglas and Sinatra were Sadgittarius Suns and actually born almost exactly a year apart in New York to immigrant parents. In an age when where you lived affacted the way you perceived the World in a way we can’t imagine due to mass media just being formed, their basic attitudes would have been really similar.

        To make the difference in character that’s immediately visible to me is Moon. Kirk Douglas’ was in Gemini, Frank Sinatra’s in Pisces. Douglas’ approach to Black List was definitely more celebral, he saw the injustice on a more intellectual level, possibly as distroying Hollywood’s social networks. Frank Sinatra’s approach came more from compassion. He became involved when his “pal” was affected.

        • Both men were physically fearless, and not afraid to stand up for the underdog.
          When Nat Cole was attacked onstage by racist thugs in the Deep South, during
          a tour in 1956, Frank arranged for a plane to fly Nat and his group back to New
          When he died, Frank had his own signet ring placed on Nat’s finger before his
          coffin was sealed. The Rat Pack also played benefits for Martin Luther King in
          the early 1960s. Tina Sinatra said the only time she saw her father cry, was when
          he heard the news MLK had been assassinated. Kirk also took the vicious Anti –
          Semantics during the 1940s and 50s, by any means necessary.

          They both appeared in “Cast A Giant Shadow” in 1966.

  3. Those old classic Hollywood stars came from an amazing, tough generation. I suspect most of them had challenging natal charts, reflecting the struggles they endured – both inner and outer – often as first and second generation immigrants. It’s the inner battles and turmoil that gives charisma on screen I suspect. Kirk Douglas was also a generous philanthropist, in the old American tradition. Doubtless “difficult”, but legendary nonetheless.

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