Kirk Douglas is not relevant, even while reaching 100 years old. In fact, he was never relevant. Just as no entertainer is relevant. Seriously, we are supposed to take people seriously whose job it is to pretend to be someone that they are not? This entertainer worship is a scary thing.
Kirk Douglas is a classic. He was in the era of the big, famous, unadulterated movie star. Douglas has children that have also made classics. He had enough of a positive experience in the industry that his children chose to get involved in the industry, too. They have also made some classic films.
As a screen actor, Douglas straddles two different traditions. He arrived in Hollywood when the old-style studio system was in its last throes and appeared opposite very glamorous stars such as Bacall, Linda Darnell, Jane Greer and Ann Sothern. At the same time, he had a febrile, introspective quality which allied him with the new generation of Method actors.
Kirk Douglas will always be remembered for his varied and storied acting career and his phenomenal rags to riches story, but only within certain circles. While Douglas will remain a favourite among film students and critics, his career has largely been forgotten by the general public most of whom are not familiar with his work.