Kirk Douglas at 98 proves a sublime master of rhyme

December 9, 2014 3:08 PM

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Douglas, who survived a near-fatal stroke in 1996 that affected his speech, has been a part of the Hollywood landscape since he made his film debut in the 1946 noir "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers." He earned three Oscar nominations for lead actor for "Champion," which made him a star, 1952's "The Bad and the Beautiful" and 1956's "Lust for Life," in which he played Vincent Van Gogh, and he received an honorary Oscar shortly after his stroke.

A savvy producer, he also helped to break the Communist blacklist in Hollywood when he insisted that blacklisted "Spartacus" screenwriter Dalton Trumbo receive screen credit.

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