The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on September 22, 1946 · 121
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 121

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 22, 1946
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it 4 By LOUELLA O. PARSONS Motion Picture Editor k International Newt Service JT J'' -K in his chin a devil .within," is an old ax-Z V iom. Well, Kirk Douglas, VJwho you will meet for the first time in "The Strange Love ol Martha Ivors," has just such a deep cleft in his chin. But far from being a devil, he is a personable, attractive young man, happily married, and the lather of a 22-months-old son. He plays a heavy for the first time in "The Strange Love of Mar" tha Ivers," yet he wasn't nearly as much of a niennie as Barbara Stanwyck, who was just as criminally minded, in the role of Martha, as she was as the mercenary and ruthless business woman in "Double In demnity." I saw Kirk with Barbara before the picture was released and I was so delighted with his performance that I gave him a Cosmopolitan Magazine citation for the best supporting performance of the month. To those of you who haven't seen him, he looks just a little like Danny Kaye,' plus that fascinating dimple in his chin. I said to him, -when 1 met him for the first time: "Have you ever been told you look like Danny Kaye?" "Yes, I have," he said, "and 1 "iippose that is because we are both of Kiftsian parentage." "Douglas, a Russian name?" I questioned. "Oh," he I a u g h e d, "my real KIRi DOUGLAS ;' ' name is Issur Danielovitch." "No wonder you changed it," I said. "I can't even spell it, much less pronounce it." "That's why I changed to the nice .sounding name of Kirk Doug las. Before I settled for Kirk Douglas, I was known as Demski, Den ski, Danielski, and several other skis. My mother, you see, took the name of Dempski after she separated from my father, so I took her name." I gathered Kirk had had a rather hard time as a youngster he seems so appreciative of his good fortune now. He won a scholarship in St. Lawrence University, and he said with-a smile: "That's not bad for the son of peasants. My father and mother were peasants in Russia, and they wanted me most of all to have a university education. Then I won the scholarship and by doing odd jobs at the college I was able to get a degree. I think it was the happiest day of my mother's life when I received my diploma." Kirk said he always wanted to be an actor, and he made his debut on (0( BARBARA STANWYCK Hroadway witn Grace George and C. Aubrey Smith in "Spring Again." "I saw that, and I saw you," I interrupted. "I knew your faoe was familiar." "You're the only one that remembers me," he sighed. Kirk has a sense of humor, even though he will never be a candidate for Danny Kaye's comedy roles. He yearns for the more serious movies. He said: "I've been on the stage in more flops than any other person in the world. Why, after I did The Strange Love of Martha Ivers,' I went back to Broadway to play 'Woman Bites Dog,' and that lasted about a week." I asked him the old familiar question, "How did you happen to come into the movies?" "Well, Hal Wallis saw me," he said, "and made me an offer, but I thought I was going to go far on the stage, so I said no. But the play died a sad death. Then I was offered a radio job and that fizzled out. So just when I made up my mind I wasn't as good as I thought, a wire came from Hal asking me to make picture. I accepted so fast it must have v made his head swim. And now I've bought a house so that my son can grow up in the California sunshine." Kirk is married to Diana Dill, .who, under the name of Diana Douglas, is now under contract to Universal. She's English and was born in Bermuda, and is, according to Kirk, just the right wife for him I noticed the young man wore a discharged veteran's button. He told me he was in the submarine warfaie and was wounded and was in the hospital for some time. He is American born, even though his parents are Russian. In fact, his family left Russia so many years ago he knows no more about Joseph Stalin's land than does Danny Kaye. You'll hear more about Kirk. He says he never played a heavy until Hal Wallis put him in "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers." "I didn't want the boy to be too weak, because he wasn't actual) a vicious character," said Kirk. "Ho was so in love with the wife played by Barbara Stanwyck, tlmt he was putty in her hands."

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