“The learning process continues until the day you die.” – Kirk Douglas told Esquire’s Mike Sager in 2007.
US silver screen 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 and the father of Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker Michael Douglas, the “Spartacus” actor was renowned for the macho tough guy roles he took on in around 90 movies over a six-decade career.
Kirk Douglas starred in "Spartacus" in 1960
“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103,” 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.”
Douglas was Oscar-nominated for his roles as a double-crossing and womanizing boxer in “Champion” (1949), a ruthless movie producer in “The Bad and the Beautiful” (1952) and tortured artist Vincent Van Gogh in “Lust for Life” (1956).
But his only Academy Award came in 1995 — an honorary lifetime achievement statuette “for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community.”
Douglas is survived by second wife Anne Buydens, 100, and three sons. A fourth child, Eric, died of a drug overdose in his 40s, in 2004.
“(To) me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine (Zeta-Jones), a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband,” said Michael.
“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.”
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