Anne and Kirk Douglas given $20 million to the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s campaign goal of $350 million in one of the largest recent donations to the fund.
The contribution was announced Monday, a dozen days after Rupert Murdoch made a $20 million donation to the fund. Barry Diller contributed $30 million in June.
“When it comes to philanthropy, there is no one who I have admired more or learned more from than Kirk Douglas and so to be able to make this announcement today with Anne and Kirk is such a great privilege for me,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, who’s heading the MPTF campaign. “MPTF has had no greater friends than the two of them.”
The donation was made through The Douglas Foundation, which the couple founded in 1964.
“When Anne and I were deciding how much to give to MPTF this year, we looked again at the wide range of services the Fund provides,” Kirk Douglas said. “Then we doubled our pledge. Of course, my very persuasive friend Jeffrey Katzenberg gave us lots of encouragement.”
Kirk Douglas also said in the statement that he and his wife hope that their gift will inspire more giving. The MPTF has now raised about $250 million — or better than two-thirds — of its $350 million goal.
Katzenberg and George Clooney unveiled the $350 million campaign in February in order to raise funds to support the charitable programs and health and social services as well as child care and retirement care services to entertainment biz members.
Clooney noted last month that with more than 75,000 industry members likely retiring over the next 10 years, the campaign is aimed at ensuring that the MPTF will remain a “vital” part of the safety net of care at a time when state and federal programs are coming under stress.
Besides Clooney, Diller, Douglas and Katzenberg, other donors to the campaign unveiled in February have included Steve Bing, Tom Cruise, Fox Entertainment Group, David Geffen, Michael Lewis, Jerrold Perenchio, Todd Phillips, Joe Roth, Patrick Soon-Shiong, Steven Spielberg, Thomas Tull, Casey Wasserman and John and Marilyn Wells.
The MPTF has been rebuilding since its January 2009 announcement that rising costs amid the recession would force it to shutter its long-term care unit, which had 136 patients at the time, as well as its acute-care hospital.