How Kirk Douglas and Mitt Romney share spirit of Spartacus

Kirk Douglas helped end McCarthy’s blacklist, while Republican Senator Mitt Romney took a stand against Donald Trump.

Kirk Douglas has died at the age of 103 (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

Kirk Douglas was sometimes called the last great actor of Hollywood’s ‘Golden Age’, but he was more than that.

Douglas helped end the McCarthy-era blacklisting of ‘un-American’ writers and actors when he credited Dalton Trumbo for his work on the film Spartacus, despite being told this would label him as a “Commie-lover” and end his career.

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And in 2016, he warned against Donald Trump, saying the then presidential candidate’s talk of “screening tests” for migrants would not have been out of place in Nazi Germany.

On Wednesday, Mitt Romney displayed similar courage to Douglas’s decision over Spartacus, when he became the first senator in US history to vote for the impeachment of a president of his own party.

Trump had “asked a foreign government [Ukraine] to investigate his political rival” and “withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so” in an “appalling abuse of public trust”, he said.

Douglas and Romney may have disagreed about politics, but by their actions both demonstrated a willingness to take a stand against prevailing and sinister tides.

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Obituary, Kirk Douglas, actor, writer, producer, director and philanthropist