- (Photo: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi)
Actor and philanthropist Kirk Douglas has no intentions of slowing down at the age of 95. He recently gave an interview in which he revealed the most important lesson he's learned in his active life.
"To me, the most important thing is that a person should always try to help another person. My charity, The Douglas Foundation, recently gave $50 million to the Motion Picture & Television Fund's retirement home. It made me feel so good to do that. Helping other people makes me happy," Douglas told News.com.au.
The Douglas Foundation, founded by Kirk and Anne Douglas, is "one of the entertainment industry's largest and oldest private philanthropic institutions… and is committed to carrying on the vision of helping others who might not otherwise be able to help themselves," states the foundation's website.
Douglas attributed his philosophy to his upbringing, which is not typical of most.
"My parents were illiterate Russian peasants. They escaped by boarding a ship to America. Because of that, I had the opportunity to go to college and go into the field I wanted. Everybody here can become a movie star or a millionaire," he explained.
"In America you have the chance to be anything, anyone. One of our most famous presidents, Ronald Reagan, was an actor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger became the governor of California," Douglas added.
He himself has had a successful career, starring in the critically acclaimed film "Spartacus" and not stopping for a single moment after its success. Not only has he starred in several films, Douglas also started a family dynasty that includes his son, actor Michael and daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta-Jones.
"My greatest joy comes from my wife, Anne. We've been married for 58 years, and married twice!" Douglas exclaimed. "There's a secret to our success. In 'The Prophet,' Kahlil Gibran wrote, 'Let there be spaces in your togetherness.'"
Now 95, Douglas is able to reflect back on the things that have made him most happy, which are moments with his family. "We have a ritual where we sit in front of the fireplace to talk every night before dinner. Communication is so important. At that moment of the day, we're just two people who love each other," Douglas gushed.