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Kirk Douglas Turns 100! A Look Back at the Legendary Actor’s Incredible Rags-to-Riches Journey in His Own Words

9 December 2016 7:59 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Spartacus is now a centurion.

Kirk Douglas, one of the last great stars of Hollywood’s golden era, turned 100 on Friday. Born during the height of World War I to poor, illiterate Russian immigrants living in upstate New York, the legendary actor pulled himself out of poverty to become one of the most famous men in the world.

“My parents came from Russia and my original name was Izzy Danielovitch,” Douglas told People in 2015. He changed his name, unwieldy and too Semitic for Hollywood at the time, to Kirk Douglas before pursuing a career in show business. “I wish I had kept it, »

- m34miller

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