douglas at 102i am grateful for all i have been given
Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Douglas at 102 'I am grateful for all I have been given'

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Arab Today, arab today Douglas at 102  'I am grateful for all I have been given'

Kirk Douglas
Los Angeles - DPA

In 1999, the American Film Institute issued a list of the top 50 cinema legends from Hollywood's golden era. Only three people on that list are still alive today: Sophia Loren, 84, Sidney Poitier, 91, and Kirk Douglas, who turned 102 years old on Sunday.

dpa: How are you going to celebrate this milestone? Who will be at your side? 

Douglas: I am celebrating this year with a party, just family and close friends. All of my boys will be there as well as a lot of my grandchildren. And, good friends like Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and Ron Meyer. 

dpa: Which friends and colleagues from the past "golden years" of Hollywood would you have liked to have around, if they were still with us? 

Douglas: I miss my old friends like Burt Lancaster. I used to call him "Boit" and he called me "Koik." He was a great friend, I miss him a lot.

dpa: Do you have a special wish or wishes for your 102nd birthday?

Douglas: For the world to be a safer place for our children and grandchildren. There is so much animosity now, my wish is that people treat each other with kindness and respect.

dpa: You played so many tough guys - were those your favourite roles? Were you really a tough guy yourself, or did you just act like that? 

Douglas: I don’t think I’m a tough guy, but I did win the medal for wrestling in college.

dpa: You were indeed brave in the 1960s to be part of the rebellion against blacklisting - what made you do this, even possibly risking your career? 

Douglas: I was young and foolish but I meant everything I said, and did.

dpa: You once warned in a blog in the Huffington Post about an election win of Donald Trump and the danger of hate speech and anti-immigration rhetoric - what concerns you now the most? 

Douglas: That is still my concern. The world is a mess and it is up to us to fix that mess for our children and grandchildren. Shootings are happening every day, from schools to synagogues. People on the streets are being harassed and killed. The world is so divisive and that needs to stop.

dpa: You grew up as the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants - in poverty in New York - what are your memories about that time? And did this shape you into becoming a generous donor to fight homelessness and to support education? 

Douglas: My mother taught me to always give to someone who has less.  I remember that in our home we had a small tin box – a pushke – nailed to the wall. Pushke in Yiddish means tin can, but this one was more like a piggy bank. It was where we placed coins to be given to charity. Of course, we had barely enough to eat, so our pushke was never bulging. But my mother made sure that something was always in it. The Torah commands us to give to the poor. 

dpa: What is your daily life like today?

Douglas: During the day I work with my assistant Grace on my new book. In the evenings, my wife and I sit together and tell stories about our day or reminisce about the past, we call it our Golden Hour.

dpa: At 102, what is still on your "bucket list" that you want to get done? 

Douglas: I don’t have a bucket list, I have led a wonderful life and I have a fantastic family. I am grateful for all that I have been given.

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