He was of my heroes growing up…..”I AM SPARTACUS!”
By Alex Dobuzinskis
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – For more than 60 years, Kirk Douglas portrayed death-defying tough guys and conquering heroes in the movies, and at age 92 he’s not giving up.
But his latest challenge is taking place on the Internet instead of movie screens, as Douglas has become the oldest celebrity blogger on social networking Web site MySpace.
Even though he’s not a teenager or 20-something and may not know the difference between a good book and Facebook, Douglas understands one key thing about the Internet — it’s a place for stimulating discussion, in this case between him and those who comment on his blog.
“I express my opinion, and I tell them that they don’t have to agree with me because it’s a free country,” he said. “And their answers are very, very interesting.”
In an online universe where blogs are often grammatically incorrect or stream-of-consciousness screeds, Douglas’ distinguishes himself with reasoned entries that cover everything from acting (he calls it “a disease”) to his memories of once spending Thanksgiving in Pakistan.
He also brings humor to his site. When listing his favorite movies he wrote, “‘Champion,’ ‘Spartacus,’ ‘Paths of Glory’ and ‘Lonely Are the Brave’ (I just happen to be in these movies.)” Some 4,400 MySpace users linked to his page as “friends.”
“All the comments that he gets on his page are so supportive, and people really find him truly inspirational,” said Angie Allgood, director of talent relations at MySpace.
Douglas, the father of actor Michael Douglas, became a major star in the 1950s and has long been part of Hollywood royalty. As their household got ready for the holidays, the Douglases had a gift on their table addressed to Nancy Reagan, the former U.S. First Lady.
Blogging is only part of Douglas’ life, something the actor began in March 2007 to promote his memoir “Let’s Face It.”
But the actor has kept blogging since then, after seeing the interest generated by his posts.
Douglas in one entry last year wrote that he was receiving too many comments and messages to answer each one personally, which was his goal when he started.
“But I want you to know that I appreciate each comment that I receive — positive or negative. And I enjoy the opportunity to talk to so many people much younger than I am,” he wrote.
Douglas in person tends to punctuate his phrases with short jabs of his hands, like a boxer, and on his blogs he makes full use of mood icons such as an animated cat with accompanying words like “creative” and “contemplative.”
He said even though his wife, Anne, is more computer literate than he is, he intends to keep blogging.
“I take it seriously. Otherwise I wouldn’t do it,” he said. “I don’t have to do it, I don’t make money. It’s something that gives me personal satisfaction.”
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)
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