Douglas showed his mettle as a boxing champ in this rags-to-glory tale that earned the actor his first of three Oscar nominations and captured the fighting spirit he would bring to future roles.
– ‘The Bad and the Beautiful’ (1952) –
Douglas teamed up with Hollywood directing legend Vincenti Minnelli for this melodrama about a sharp-suited, slick-haired film producer strutting around movieland, seductive and ruthless in equal measure.
– ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ (1954) –
This popular hit, adapted from a Jules Verne children’s story, won two Oscars for effects and design and brought Douglas high praise as an intrepid deep-sea explorer battling a terrifying sea monster.
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– ‘Lust for Life’ (1956) –
In one of the most memorable screen incarnations of Vincent Van Gogh and a radical break from his tough-guy roles, Douglas captured the tortured artist’s brilliance and madness and notched a third Oscar nod.
– ‘Spartacus’ (1960) –
Kirk Douglas and British actress Jean Simmons are pictured during the filming of "Spartacus" by Stanley Kubrick in 1960
Douglas “gave humanity to a legendary hero”, wrote The Guardian in 2017 of the actor’s celebrated performance as the leader of a slave revolt against the mighty Roman Empire.
– ‘Lonely Are the Brave’ (1962) –
The actor’s personal favourite, Douglas starred alongside Gena Rowlands as a noble cowboy who refuses to adapt to the modern world in this low-budget Western