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Kirk Douglas and the Leading Ladies

Yes I’ve been celebrating the films and career of Kirk Douglas since starting this online project 5 years ago so with December 9th upon us and the cleft chinned icon turning 102 years old it’s time once again to shine the light on one of my movie heroes. From Spartacus to Doc Holiday to Midge Kelly he has always captivated me from my childhood years discovering movies till now as I rewatch them. Put a Kirk movie on the TV and I’m pretty much hooked. He played the tough guy just just as well as anyone but let us not forget the famous women he appeared with on camera. So on that note let’s celebrate some of the leading ladies that I’d like to think had a great time starring opposite Kirk. Many of them iconic names themselves in Hollywood history.

First up in 1946 was Barbara Stanwyck in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers.

An early turn to comedy teamed Kirk with Laraine Day in My Dear Secretary.

In Champion he had Marilyn Maxwell on his arm so long as he remained at the top.

As the Young Man With a Horn he starred opposite one of Hollywood’s most popular leading ladies, Doris Day.

Sparring with Virginia Mayo Along the Great Divide.

One of his best pictures The Bad and The Beautiful teamed him with Lana Turner.

For a Top Secret Affair it was Kirk and Susan Hayward.

With Jo Van Fleet by his side they brought an explosiveness minus any six shooters to the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Holding tight to Janet Leigh in The Vikings with Tony Curtis lurking.

With Kim Novak in Strangers When We Meet.

With Jean Simmons in Spartacus. Honestly, I’ve been in love with Jean ever since and jealous as heck that Kirk captured her heart and not me.

Angie separated from Kirk in Cast a Giant Shadow.

and romancing Senta Berger in the same film.

Kirk and Faye in Kazan’s The Arrangement.

As The Villain opposite Ann-Margret in this western satire.

In 1980 Kirk was the envy of young men everywhere when he starred opposite Farrah Fawcett in Saturn 3.

Reuniting on screen with life long friend Lauren Bacall in 1999’s Diamonds.

Kirk and his real life leading lady Anne.

As is the custom whenever possible I dig into the vault and unearth a movie poster that suits the moment. In 1963 Kirk starred in For Love or Money with a trio of leading ladies. Mitzi Gaynor, Julie Newmar and Leslie Parrish. Here’s the original one sheet with Number 2 son doing the honors. Rather fitting I thought since my wife and I named him Kirk even though he doesn’t have the cleft chin.

11 Comments »

      • Mike, I want you to know you have a wonderful film site with so many great reviews that interest me and that I am on the staff of “Classic Film Noir 1940-1958” on Facebook and we would love to have you as one of our members. You can contribute your vast knowledge which our members would enjoy so please check us out. Jay Kanter

        • Thankyou so much for the kind words. As a matter of fact I do follow the Noir site on facebook under my name, Mike Perry. Love that billboard pic you posted of This Gun For Hire at the theater. I’m always looking for those pics so I can cry over the movie posters and props theaters used that were probably tossed out at the end of the movie’s run. Breaks my heart.

  1. Mike, I see your request for membership and we would enjoy having you as a member but we have certain rules that forbid us from adding another site as a member and I know you can understand this because your followers are not strictly film noir lovers and our site is just for the subject of film noir 1940-1958. We are a serious film noir site with many scholars, buffs, and some of the most famous names in film noir and even families of many of Hollywood actors that you are most certainly familiar with. If you can join us as Mike Perry an individual that would be the only way and we would welcome you. Thank you,Jay

  2. Just watched Champion, it was most excellent and Marilyn Maxwell a knockout.
    Also caught Detective Story last month another great movie. Eleanor Parker was very arresting!
    “Young Man With a Horn”? Was this one of his blue movies?
    Ok I know, I’ll get my coat hehe…

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