Kirk Douglas is an American actor, producer, director, and author. After an impoverished childhood with immigrant parents and six sisters, he had his film debut in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers with Barbara Stanwyck. Douglas soon developed into a leading box-office star throughout the 1950s and 1960s, known for doing serious dramas, including westerns and war movies. During a sixty-year acting career, he has appeared in over 90 movies, and in 1960 was responsible for helping to end the Hollywood blacklist.\nIn 1949, after a lead role as an unscrupulous boxing hero in Champion, for which he was nominated as Best Actor, Douglas became a star. His style of acting relied on expressing great concentration, realism, and powerful emotions, and he subsequently gravitated toward roles requiring strong characters. Among his early films were Young Man with a Horn, playing opposite Lauren Bacall, Billy Wilder's controversial Ace in the Hole, and Detective Story. He received a second Oscar nomination for his dramatic role in The Bad and the Beautiful, where he played opposite Lana Turner. And his powerful acting as Vincent van Gogh in Lust for Life is considered one of his finest roles.