1. After an impoverished childhood with immigrant parents and six sisters, he had his film debut in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers with Barbara Stanwyck.
2. Douglas soon developed into a leading box-office star throughout the 1950s and 1960s, known for serious dramas, including westerns and war movies.
3. During a sixty-year acting career, he has appeared in over 90 movies, and in 1960 was responsible for helping to end the Hollywood blacklist.
4. In 1949, after a lead role as an unscrupulous boxing hero in Champion, for which he was nominated as Best Actor, Douglas became a star.
5. His style of acting relied on expressing great concentration, realism, and powerful emotions, and he subsequently gravitated toward roles requiring strong characters.
6. Among his early films were Young Man with a Horn, playing opposite Lauren Bacall .
7. He received a second Oscar nomination for his dramatic role in The Bad and the Beautiful , where he played opposite Lana Turner.
8. His powerful acting performance as Vincent van Gogh in Lust for Life is considered one of his finest roles.
9. He is among the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
10. In 1955, he established Bryna Productions, which began producing films as varied as Paths of Glory .
11. In those two films, he starred and collaborated with then relatively unknown director, Stanley Kubrick.
12. He produced and starred in Lonely Are the Brave , opposite Burt Lancaster, with whom he made seven films.
13. As an actor and philanthropist, Douglas has received three Academy Award nominations, an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, and the Medal of Freedom.
14. After barely surviving a helicopter crash in 1991 and then suffering a stroke in 1996, he has focused on renewing his spiritual and religious life.
15. My father, who had been a horse trader in Russia, got himself a horse and a small wagon, and became a ragman, buying old rags, pieces of metal, and junk for pennies, nickels, and dimes.
16. Even on Eagle Street, in the poorest section of town, where all the families were struggling, the ragman was on the lowest rung on the ladder.