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Kirk Douglas helps finance new Motion Picture & TV Fund facility

Kirk Douglas helps finance new Motion Picture & TV Fund facility
Kirk Douglas is helping to underwrite a $35-million care facility for the Motion Picture & Television Fund. (Paul Buck / EPA)

The Motion Picture & Television Fund, the nonprofit group that provides healthcare and social services to Hollywood workers and their families, is expanding its operations.

The motion picture fund said Wednesday that it plans to build a $35-million care facility on the Woodland Hills campus that will be named after actor Kirk Douglas, who is helping to underwrite the project.

Douglas, who turned 99 on Wednesday, and his wife Anne contributed $15 million to the project, which will house 80 residents and occupy two floors.

The Kirk Douglas Care Pavilion, which is expected to open by 2018, will replace an existing nursing home that houses 40 residents and will be the new home of Harry's Haven, the fund's Alzheimer's unit.

Bob Beitcher, the fund's president, said in a statement that the facility will allow the charity to "expand its care to more industry members with Alzheimer's and those needing skilled nursing care."

Kirk and Anne Douglas have been longtime supporters of the fund and created Harry's Haven in 1992.

"We wanted visitors as well as patients to experience a warm and loving environment, and MPTF has fulfilled our wishes admirably," Kirk Douglas said.

Financial support from Douglas, Jeffrey Katzenberg and other Hollywood luminaries has helped to improve the financial health of the motion picture fund in recent years.

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Facing heavy losses, the fund's board in 2009 decided to close Hollywood's most famous nursing home and hospital. But the decision created a backlash in the entertainment industry and the board later reversed its decision after supporters mounted a successful campaign to keep the facility open.

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