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The real life fighter Kirk Douglas

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

I felt lucky when Kirk Douglas came to Reno for his 1999 feature Diamonds where he played a former boxer who left a treasure here in town. Of course, he was the treasure--and also a real-life fighter determined to work again after a debilitating stroke. By coincidence, my friends and I were eating at Bistro Roxy when Kirk and his wife came in and sat at a table. Surprised, I went over said I hoped his first day in Reno went well. He broke into a big grin, patted the seat next to him and had me join them because he wanted to talk about how wonderful it felt to be making a film again. During the shoot, he celebrated a birthday and co-star Jenny McCarthy sang a bump-and-grind "Happy Birthday" to him, which earned another (and bigger) smile.

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