Kirk Douglas turns 100 next month, and he isn’t slowing down — literally.
“He’s doing absolutely great,” Kirk’s son Michael Douglas said on ITV’s The Jonathan Ross Show in an episode airing Saturday at 9:50PM in Britain. “He’s got a walker with wheels … He tends to fly, he’s at about a 45 degree angle at all times and moving great.”
The legendary actor’s centennial birthday is Dec. 9, and his oldest son is taking charge of the festivities. “I said, ‘Let’s maybe have an afternoon lunch,’ but then he doesn’t like to watch people eat so we said, ‘Let’s do a tea.’ So we’re down to a tea and we’re just trying to get the details worked out but it’s turning out to be a major function.”
As for a toast, Douglas said, “I’ll probably wish him 101 … He is rocking, I can easily see him going on.” The actor revealed that his dad is working on his 11th book. “He’s a great literary writer. It’s a lost art. He’s got a long history of letters he and his wife [wrote to each other]. My stepmother Anne, she’s been my stepmother for 65 years. I’ve noticed they’re working on a book together so he’s quite content, quite satisfied, he’s just an extraordinary guy.”
Always proud of his father, Douglas took a moment to reflect on what he called Kirk’s “incredible rags to riches story.”
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Born in 1916 to Russian immigrants who “never really learned to read or write English,” Kirk “went to college in the back of a manure truck,” Douglas said. He went on to become a wrestling champion and later found “tremendous success” as an actor. “Then about 15 years ago, he proceeded to give away all this money he has made so he’s been very charitable and returned everything back. I’m super, super proud of him,” Douglas added.
He also spoke about his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, 47, and joked about her plans for taking care of him when he starts getting closer to his father’s age. “[She’ll say], ‘Oh honey I can’t wait when you get older and you’re going to be in the wheelchair and I’m going to be wheeling you around and you’re going to be saying, ‘Where are we going?’ and I’ll whisper it to you, ‘Cartier darling, Cartier.’ She’s got it all figured out,” he said with a laugh.