Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas, the son of Jewish Russian immigrants who rose through the ranks to become one of Hollywood's biggest-ever stars, has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 103.
One of the last survivors of the golden age of cinema, Douglas was renowned for the tough guy roles he took on in around 90 movies over a six-decade career.
"It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103," his son, movie star Michael Douglas, said in a statement posted to Facebook.
"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."
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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
Douglas has worked with some of the finest directors including Vincente Minnelli to Billy Wilder, Stanley Kubrick and Elia Kazan. Despite being nominated three times for the Academy Awards— for Champion, The Bad and the Beautiful and Lust for Life—he never received one. In 1996, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honoured him with an honorary Oscar.
Many Hollywood celebrities took to social media to pay tributes to the Spartacus actor. Michael Douglas’s wife Catherine Zeta-Jones also paid a tribute to her father-in-law on Instagram, “To my darling Kirk, I shall love you for the rest of my life. I miss you already. Sleep tight…”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also shared a tribute post. Filmmaker Steven Spielberg, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, said, “Kirk retained his movie star charisma right to the end of his wonderful life and I’m honoured to have been a small part of his last 45 years. I will miss his handwritten notes, letters and fatherly advice, and his wisdom and courage – even beyond such a breathtaking body of work – are enough to inspire me for the rest of mine.”
-with AFP inputs