Tuesday 18 February 2020


Beverley Lyons HOLLYWOOD star Kirk Douglas waved his $75,000 plus fee after agreeing to speak in Glasgow for a charity dinner - and he told of his love of Scotland as he sang I Belong to Glasgow.
Theshowbizlion.com can reveal that the Hollywood A-lister insisted upon talking for no money and no expenses after deciding it was a cause close to his heart.
Kirk, who came to Scotland as a guest of the Jewish National Fund in 1995, made a personal phone call to the then chairman of the charity Stanley Lovatt after hearing that funds from the night were going to help a project in Jerusalem.
Stanley explained: “I approached Kirk’s agent in New York and he advised me his fee would be 75,000 plus expenses which was very expensive. I told him we couldn’t afford it. 
“It was funny. The agent asked me a few weeks later what the proceeds were going to and I told him it was for a project in Jerusalem.”
He asked if I had the details so I couriered a video and brochure of the project in Jerusalem to the agent in New York who passed it onto Kirk Douglas  in LA.“
Stanley couldn’t believe it when he got a personal call from the star a few weeks later.
He said: ”I was out shopping with my wife Carol and one of the boys from the committee said a guy claiming to be Kirk Douglas called and will phone you later. 
“He phoned me later that day and was the real deal. He was very charming on the telephone and said I will endeavour to come because I know what the project is and I made a movie there called  Cast A Giant Shadow. He insisted there was no question of a fee and that he wanted to pay all his own expenses.” 
Kirk arrived into London and Stanley had organised a private jet through the BBC’s Pebble Mill to bring him to Glasgow while he was being  interviewed by Gloria Huneford.  
He said: “He was absolutely charming. I went down to London to meet him and he was an absolutely incredible individual, charming, polite and very friendly. He told a story about visiting Edinburgh before and even sang I Belong To Glasgow.”
On the night Kirk indeed referenced his birth name Issur Dabiekovitch which he said he would have kept if he was going to be a ballet dancer, he added: “I’m glad to be here in Glasgow with a name like Kirk Douglas. “You know with my new name I went to New York City to attend a dramatic school and I rented a little room in an attic, and across the hall lived Bill Henderson. A short stocky fella from Glasgow. Now he was delighted to meet me, A fellow Scotsman. He asked ‘Now what part of Scotland are you from?’ Well I said that I might be somewhere east and south of Scotland like Russia.” 
Well he said ‘With a name like Kirk Douglas I’ll buy the first round.’ On Saturday nights we’d have a few beers when we had enough money and he taught me a Scottish drinking song. No as we see in movies cut, fade and dissolve into 40 years later. I was in Edinburgh Scotland for a big charity benefit for the Queen of Britain. Everybody was rushing round just before the curtain went up when I heard over the loudspeaker ‘ladies and gentlemen Mr Kirk Douglas’. I said ‘What do you want me to do?’ And they said ‘just do something’. The curtain went up and I thought of Bill Henderson. The Queen of England was in the audience and I had no musical accompaniment and I was in Edinburgh. Did I have guts?  This is what I sang. I belong to Glasgae. I tell you that song got a better reception here than it did in Edinburgh.”

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