Hero on the big screen–and in real life
Aside from the recent Golden Globe awards rites’ focus on female empowerment and anti-exploitation campaigns, one of its most attention-calling and inspiring moments was the appearance of the iconic action-drama star, Kirk Douglas. What made his participation memorable was his advanced age—101 years old!
Very few other entertainment luminaries (George Burns was one of them) have attained centenarian status, so Douglas’ feat itself is worth celebrating.
But, what makes it even more remarkable is the fact that, some years ago, he had a medical crisis that placed his survival in serious doubt—and robbed him of his normal speaking voice.
At the Golden Globes, it was heartening to see that the
“unsinkable” star could speak again, if only weakly. With the help and “interpretative” gift of his daughter-in-law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Douglas was able to communicate his best wishes to his younger colleagues and to millions of home viewers.
The seniors among them recalled Douglas’ halcyon days as a true-blue Hollywood sensation, starring in some memorable movies, like “Spartacus,” “Lonely are the Brave” and “Inherit the Wind.”
Douglas even portrayed the famously idiosyncratic artist, Vincent van Gogh, in a live-action bio film, predating last year’s “Loving Vincent” by many decades.
But, one of his most appreciated achievements in his long career was the key role he played in fighting film censorship in American movies.
An industry-wide, anticommunist witch hunt in the 1950s, prevented some gifted film artists from finding employment—but, Douglas was one of the few actor-producers who dared to counter the curtailment of artistic freedom.
He secretly got the gifted screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, to write some screenplays for him, thus saving him from dire penury. And, years later, he even got the industry to officially acknowledge and honor Trumbo’s once-verboten authorship.
It takes guts to do what’s forbidden, but Douglas was an authentically brave man, not just in his onscreen exploits, but also in real life.
So, at 101 (and counting), he’s emerged as a true-blue hero in Hollywood, exceptional and honored not just for his ability to survive, but also to continue to excel and inspire!
Other memorable Golden Globes highlights and low blows: Best actor nominee Timothée Chalamet, cited for his standout portrayal in the film “Call Me by Your Name,” impressed viewers with his youth and promise. It was made more striking by the company of other finalists he kept that night—who included the iconic likes of Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington.
Great things are expected of Timothée from here on in, and we’re confident that he’ll deliver.
Other promising and exciting young talents in the spotlight at the Golden Globes included TV comedy or musical best actor winner Aziz Ansari, honored for being so deadpan-funny on the sitcom “Master of None.”
On the “low blow” side of the awards night’s ledger was the victory in the animated film category of “Coco.” Yes, it was a standout flick, but we’d hoped that the award would go to the much more intrepid and artistic “Loving Vincent,” because of the new animation and filming process it pioneered in. Sense of history and proportion, everyone.
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