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Kirk Douglas Turns 100 Today. Here Are 9 Of His Best Films

Happy birthday, Kirk!

Screen icon Kirk Douglas turns 100 on Dec. 9. 

In his century on this earth, Douglas has appeared in dozens of films, including “Spartacus” and “Out of the Past,” and earned plenty of accolades, including three Oscar nominations for Best Actor and an honorary Academy Award. The actor also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 2004, he had an avenue in Palm Springs, California, named after him. 

To celebrate Douglas’ major milestone, we’re looking back at some his best films. Here are our top 9 picks, in no particular order:

  • "Out of the Past," 1947
    Douglas played gangster Whit Sterling in this film noir, which has been called a "textbook example of the genre."
  • "Champion," 1949
    Douglas played boxer Midge Kelly in "Champion," a breakthrough role for the actor. His role earned him his first Academy Award nomination in the Best Actor category. 
  • "Ace in the Hole," 1951
    Douglas gave a wonderful performance in this 1951 film, which was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Story and Screenplay
  • "The Bad and the Beautiful," 1952
    Douglas earned his second Best Actor Oscar nomination for this role in "The Bad and the Beautiful," a film that went on to win five Academy Awards despite not being nominated for Best Picture.
  • "Lust For Life," 1956
    Douglas stepped into the shoes of painter Vincent van Gogh for "Lust For Life," shedding his tough guy image for the role. He earned his third Best Actor Oscar nomination.
  • "Paths of Glory." 1957
    Douglas starred as a World War I French colonel in this film, which Criterion considers one of "the most powerful antiwar films ever made." 
  • "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," 1957
    "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" starred Douglas as Doc Holliday, a role which Bruce Eder at AllMovie said was one of his "more complex performances ever given." 
  • "Spartacus," 1960
    "Spartacus" is hands down one of Douglas' most well-known films and roles. The Stanley Kubrick-directed film was a huge success both with critics and at the box office.
  • "Lonely Are The Brave," 1962
    Douglas starred as a cowboy named Jack Burns in "Lonely are the Brave," which the actor considers to be his "best movie." 
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