Letter: Fond memories of Kirk Douglas
To the editor:
More than 60 years ago, when I was an intern at the Albany Hospital (before it became a medical center), I had the privilege of caring for Kirk Douglas' mother during her terminal illness. Her name then was Bryna Demsky and you may recognize that later his productions were labelled "Bryna Productions."
Kirk Douglas spent every day of his mother's last days at her bedside. He was an absolute gentleman and interacted with all her caregivers with great courtesy. He smiled at the student nurses who couldn't keep their eyes off of him and was very appreciative of all the care everybody was rendering.
In the days before cell phones, he was frequently on a phone in an open area speaking with Charles Laughton whose booming voice was audible from a distance and who encouraged him to stay at his mother's bedside and that "filming the movie could wait."
His mother was an Orthodox Jew and when she did die, we made certain that all the rituals necessary for burial were followed, for which he was very grateful. It has been exciting to follow his career all the years since.
I have never forgotten those few weeks and now he has joined her. May he rest in peace.
Henry Tulgan, M.D..
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