Legendary Actor Kirk Douglas Has Died, Age 103
Kirk Douglas, star of 'Spartacus', has died at age 103.
“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103,” his son Michael, a Hollywood star in his own right, said in a statement on social media.
“To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to.”
"But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband.”
Douglas suffered a severe stroke in 1996, which affected his ability to speak, and he used a wheelchair later in life. He had four children -- Michael, Joel, Peter and Eric.
He is survived by Anne, his wife of 65 years.
Michael did not detail his father's cause of death, but paid tribute to the Hollywood legend.
“Kirk’s life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet,” Michael's statement continued.
“Let me end with the words I told him on his last birthday and which will always remain true. Dad- I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son.”
Fellow actors and the movie industry immediately paid tribute to the star, one of the last surviving members of Hollywood's 'Golden Age'.
He was praised by the Golden Globe awards as "one of the most famous actors of all time".
Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch, on December 9, 1916, in New York. The son of Russian immigrants, he later changed his name to Izzy Demsky, then again to Kirk Douglas in his youth. He enlisted in the American navy in 1941, before pursuing a career as an actor.
He was nominated for three Academy Awards for best actor, and in 1996 was awarded an honorary Oscar "for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community".
In 1999, he was named by the American Film Institute as number 17 on their list of greatest male screen legends of American film history.
Douglas starred in more than 70 films, including 'Spartacus', 'The Bad and the Beautiful', '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea', 'Gunfight at the O.K. Corral', and in the 1982 Australian film 'The Man from Snowy River'.
He also appeared in one episode of 'The Simpsons', contributing the voice of Chester J. Lampwick, who created the character Itchy from the 'Itchy and Scratchy' cartoon.
More to come.