Kirk Douglas movies: 15 greatest films ranked worst to best

Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas died at the age of 103 in 2020. The three-time Oscar nominee defied the Hollywood black list when he gave rightful credit screenwriter Dalton Trumbo on the film “Spartacus.” That move gave new life to careers of many directors, actors and writers accused of Communist ties in the 1950s.

Over his own career and beyond, Douglas received an honorary Oscar, American Film Institute life achievement ward, Kennedy Center Honors, Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild life achievement award and National Medal of Arts. Tour our photo gallery above to see how we rank his greatest 15 films an an actor.

Born in 1916, Douglas kicked off his acting career after serving in the Navy during WWII. He made his film debut with a small role in “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers” (1946). His first Oscar nomination as Best Actor came just three years later for Mark Robson‘s boxing drama “Champion” (1949). He earned two more Oscar bids working with director Vincent Minnelli, first for the Hollywood melodrama “The Bad and the Beautiful” (1952) and again for the Vincent Van Gogh biopic “Lust for Life” (1956). The latter film brought him victories at the Golden Globes and New York Film Critics Circle.

Douglas found success on the small screen as well, reaping Emmy bids for “Amos” (Best Movie/Mini Actor in 1986), “Tales from the Crypt” (Best Drama Actor in 1992) and “Touched by an Angel” (Best Drama Guest Actor in 2000).

Proving that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, Douglas’s son, Michael Douglas, is having a successful career as well, winning Oscars for producing “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) and starring in “Wall Street” (1987). Though they seldom worked together the two presented the Best Picture Oscar to “Chicago” in 2002 and appeared together in the film “It Runs in the Family” (2003).