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Kirk and Michael Douglas

Author: Lida added 17-11-2012, 05:08
Kirk and Michael DouglasKirk Douglas and his son Michael Douglas have Belarusian ancestry.

The parents of Kirk Douglas Bryna (Bertha) and Herschel (Harry) Danielovitch were Jewish immigrants from Chavusy, Belarus.

Kirk Douglas was born on December 9, 1916. His first name was Issur Danielovitch. The Douglas's family took surname Demsky when they came to the United States, the same surname as his father’s brother used there. In addition to their surname, his parents also changed their names to Harry and Bertha. Douglas grew up as Izzy Demsky and legally changed his name to Kirk Douglas before entering the Navy during World War II.

Kirk Douglas comes from the poor family, but he always knew that he want to be an actor. All in all his acting talents were noticed at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and they gave him a special scholarship.

During World War II he saw his former classmates Diana Dill appeared on the cover of Life magazine and decided to marry her. He did it and the couple had two sons together, the eldest of which is Michael Douglas, who is managed to become as famous as his father.

Kirk and Michael Douglas

The ancestors of Douglases lived in Chavusy, not in Gomel or Odessa, as some media says. In this Belarusian place lived the common ancestor of American and Belarusian branch of the family – Iser, who earтed for living delivering passengers and cargo from Chavusy to Mogilev and back. Iser had twelve sons, ten of which gone overseas in search for better life.

It is possible to find relatives of Kirk and Michael Douglas in Belarus. Their second cousin Michael Danilovitch lives in Mogilev nowadays.

According to Michael Danilovitch, he knows that he has so famous relatives from his childhood. For instance, when there was a movie on TV with Kirk or Michael his father always said that played "the son or grandson of Herschel."

Kirk and Michael Douglas
Michael Danilovitch.

Meeting with stellar kin could easily happen a few years ago in Mogilev. A former emigrant came to Michael Danilovitch in Mogilev with a news from Uncle Kirk, who, in order to restore the gaps in the family tree asked to find "the son of Isaac." The man gave a stellar family photograph, phone in America and promise to invite the guests. Michael was waiting for some time, but later, Kirk had a stroke and Michael fell ill. So, unfortunately, they haven’t managed to meet each other yet.

Kirk and Michael Douglas
This picture was sent to Mogilev by Kirk Douglas (he is the first on the left, Michael - on the right).


Kirk Douglas is an American stage and film actor, film producer and author. He is No.17 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest male American screen legends of all time. In 1996, he received the Academy Honorary Award "for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community."He is one of the last surviving actors from Hollywood's "golden age".

Michael Douglas was born on September 25, 1944. He is an American actor and producer, primarily in movies and television. He has won four Golden Globes, including Cecil B. DeMille Award, and two Academy Awards; as producer of 1975's Best Picture, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and as Best Actor in 1987 for his role in Wall Street. Douglas received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2009.

Kirk and Michael Douglas

Kirk and Michael Douglas

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