Kirk Douglas

Douglas in 2007, photo by s_bukley/

Birth Name: Issur Danielovitch

Date of Birth: December 9, 1916

Place of Birth: Amsterdam, New York, U.S.

Date of Death: February 5, 2020

Place of Death: Beverly Hills, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Kirk Douglas was an American actor, producer, director, philanthropist, and author.

Kirk was born in Amsterdam, in upstate New York, as Issur Danielovitch. Kirk’s parents, Bryna (Sanglel) and Herschel “Harry” Danielovitch, were Belarusian Jews. In the United States, his family took on the surname Demsky, and he changed his name initially to Isadore Demsky.

Kirk was married to German-born philanthropist and producer Anne Buydens (born Hannelore Marx), until his death. He had four children: two, including actor Michael Douglas, with his former wife, actress Diana Dill; and two with Anne. Anne was a convert to Judaism. Among his grandchildren is actor Cameron Douglas.

Kirk had a religious Jewish upbringing, and then became secular as he entered his adult life. In the 1990s, he rediscovered religion, and became a practicing Jew.

Kirk’s paternal grandfather was named Iser Danilovitch.

Kirk’s maternal grandfather was named Shalom Yitzhok Sanglel.


Genealogy of Kirk Douglas –

Kirk Douglas (then Isadore Demsky) on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

9 Responses

  1. Ardor says:

    An ancient person. The guy was born 3 years after the Titanic sank. Wow.

  2. levangelista36 says:

    Good actor.

  3. levangelista36 says:

    Ah . . . he’s a Eastern European Jew like Mila Kunis!

  4. Habe says:

    Belarus use to part of the Soviet Union. He is Jewish Belarusian.

  5. Beldame says:

    Not Russian, but Belarusian Jewish. Danielovitch is a Belarusian surname.

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