Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Kirk Douglas celebrates his career

Kirk Douglas threw quarters to the crowd as he celebrated the launch of his book

Kirk Douglas threw coins into the crowd as he helped celebrate the 85th anniversary of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

The 95-year-old was celebrating the release of his new autobiography I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking The Blacklist, along with the refurbishment of his hand and footprints outside the theatre, which he first set in cement exactly 50 years ago.

Kirk told the crowd: "Today is very special for me. Today is the day that they released a book that I have been working on for years, I Am Spartacus.

"And you know, it's hard to write about something that happened 50 years ago, you forget so much, but it's surprising how much you remember!"

The book recounts anecdotes about Kirk's experiences during the Hollywood blacklist, denying employment to those in the industry because of their political beliefs.

The Paths Of Glory star said: "The blacklist was a witch hunt, destroying lives and careers without regard for the truth of the allegations.

"I made Spartacus with a blacklisted writer, Dalton Trumbo, who had to hide behind a pseudonym - Sam Jackson for Spartacus - in order to find work. I was making a film about freedom at a time when freedom in America was in jeopardy. There are parallels to today's political climate, and I thought it was timely to set down my recollections."

As part of Grauman's Chinese Theatre's 85th anniversary celebrations, it was showing Spartacus for just 25 cents.

The actor said: "I'm very happy that Grauman's Chinese Theatre will celebrate 85 years showing Spartacus, and they are charging not a dime, but a quarter.

"So if you have a quarter you can see Spartacus, and if you don't have a quarter, I'll help you out," and he threw quarters into the crowd.

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