Kirk Douglas: My Life in Photos

At 98, the Hollywood legend looks back on love, fatherhood and fame

MR. GREEN JEANS

"[My wife] used to have on our answering machine, 'Spartacus and I are not home at the moment, please leave a message,'" says Kirk Douglas (here, in the '50s). The 98-year-old actor shares this gem and more in a recent PEOPLE interview promoting his new collection of poetry, Life Could Be Verse: Reflections on Love, Loss, and What Really Matters, a unique look at his career, his 61-year marriage to Anne Buydens and his four sons. "I've often used poetry to talk about what is important to me," he adds.