Movie legend Kirk Douglas has died.
The 103-year-old Spartacus star passed away on Wednesday (05Feb20) and his death has been confirmed by his actor son Michael in a statement.
“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 of us all 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 grandchildren, their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband,” the Basic Instinct star writes.
“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.”
Born Issur Danielovitch in New York to Russian parents, who arrived in America in 1912, Kirk started his acting career on the Broadway stage in 1940, before he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Following service in World War Two, he returned to the theatre before finding fame on the big screen.
He was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar in 1959 for his role in Champion and went on to become one of the most revered and beloved Hollywood icons of the 1960s and 1970s, appearing in over 70 movies and picking up a number of accolades, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981, France’s top award, the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and an honorary Oscar in 1995. He also landed Oscar nods in 1953 for The Bad and the Beautiful an in 1957 for his acclaimed performance as artist Vincent Van Gogh in the biopic Lust for Life.
Douglas survived a helicopter crash in 1991 and a stroke in 1996.
He chronicled his life in the 1988 autobiography, The Ragman’s Son.
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce officials paid their respects to the legend by placing flowers on Kirk’s Walk of Fame star on Wednesday evening. He unveiled the plaque almost exactly 60 years ago on 8 February, 1960.