Actor Kirk Douglas, a renowned actor from the Golden Age of Hollywood with quite a credits list, passed away today at age 103, as announced by his son and fellow actor Michael Douglas.
Douglas received an Oscar nomination for his performance in Champion in 1949, the breakout role that kickstarted his career. Another notable credit was 1960’s Spartacus, in which he acted and produced, famously written by then-blacklisted Dalton Trumbo, a move that heralded the end of the Hollywood/McCarthyism blacklist era. After this he became internationally known for his chiseled looks, intelligence, and talent as an actor. He also worked with director Stanley Kubrick on both Spartacus and 1957’s Paths of Glory, during which both of their careers were beginning to lift off. In his lifetime Douglas starred in over 90 films and earned three Oscar nominations. After acting he turned to producing, writing, and blogging.
Beyond acting, Douglas was also a World War II veteran and worked as a goodwill ambassador for the US State Department since the 1980s. His story is one of humble beginnings and hard work paying off, raised by a poor family and earning his way through school, which made him a role model and inspiration to many. For his achievements he received an honorary Oscar and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Kirk Douglas is survived by his wife Anna, his sons Peter, Michael, and Joel, and seven grandchildren. Michael’s statement about his father can be seen below.
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It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103. 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. 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. 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. #KirkDouglas