Kirk Douglas will be honored by the Berlin International Film Festival with a Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement during the upcoming Berlinale 2001, which runs Feb. 7-18.
He has been invited to receive his award Feb. 16 at the Berlinale-Palast Theatre in Potsdamer Platz. A special festival showing of his 1957 film “Paths of Glory” will also take place that evening.
“Kirk Douglas unmistakably embodies the quintessence of the pioneering spirit and typical American individualism,” said festival director Moritz de Hadeln. “His characters are marked by a tremendous drive for independence. They are tough and uneven and at times difficult. Not unlike Kirk Douglas himself when, for instance, he engaged Dalton Trumbo — who was on McCarthy’s “Black List” — as screenwriter for “Spartacus,” and insisted that Trumbo also be included in the film’s opening credits. By honoring Kirk Douglas, a personality is singled out who, beyond his screen work, has been extremely committed to social issues and America’s democratic ideals.”
Douglas has performed in over 80 films and worked with directors such as Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Billy Wilder, William Wyler, Howard Hawks, Stanley Kubrick, Otto Preminger, Elia Kazan and Brian de Palma.
Nominated for three Academy Awards, he was awarded an Oscar in 1996 in recognition of his outstanding cinematic oeuvre and his integrity as a human being.
Previous recipients of the Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement include James Stewart (1982), Sir Alec Guinness (1988), Dustin Hoffman (1989), Gregory Peck (1993), Sophia Loren (1994), Alain Delon (1995), Jack Lemmon (1996), Kim Novak (1997), Catherine Deneuve (1998), Shirley MacLaine (1999) and Jeanne Moreau (2000).