Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Star Power on the Page

Remember to share with us (and PBS) your thoughts on the greatest American novels, as discussed this past weekend in PBS Scheduling Documentary on American Novel.

I am Spartacus!

Aren't you glad he's still around to write his final memoir?

In Let's Face It: 90 Years of Living, Loving, and Learning, the inestimable Kirk Douglas (born Issur Danielovitch, Ellis-Islanded to Izzy Demsky) dispenses with all vanity and Hollywood P.R. to tell the "real" story of his life.

For the first time, Douglas confronts the pain of the death of his son Eric, who overdosed on drugs. We learn how the star came back from a debilitating stroke while the world watched, and how he recovered well enough to rejoin his fellow actors on the set.

In the intro, this film icon talks about his name change and how his name was his trademark.

For fun, let's try this matching game. Who was who?

These actors were born as: 1. Muzyad Yakhoob; 2. Spanger Arlington Brugh; 3. Marion Morrison; 4. Mladen Sekulovich; 5. Frederick Austerlitz; 6. Antonio Dominic Benedetto; 7. Bernard Schwartz; 8. Mike Dowd; 9. Michael Douglas; and 10. Michael Douglas.

And took the stage names of: a. Fred Astaire; b. Tony Curtis; c. Mike Douglas; d. Michael Douglas; e. Danny Thomas; f. Karl Malden; g. Tony Bennett; h. Michael Keaton; i. Robert Taylor; and j. John Wayne.

Answers: 1-e; 2-i; 3-j; 4-f; 5-a; 6-g; 7-b; 8-d and c*; 9-h; and 10-d.
When Kirk's son Michael went for his SAG card, the singer/talkshow host Mike Douglas (born Mike Dowd)was registered as Michael Douglas. When young Michael John Douglas tried to register under the name "Michael Douglas," Kirk's son was established under that name, so he took the name Michael Keaton, in admiration of Diane Keaton.

Let's Face It: 90 Years of Living, Loving, and Learning by Kirk Douglas
ISBN 9780470084694 (John Wiley & Sons) March 2007 (Hardcover) $22.95

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