Spartacus actor Kirk Douglas dies aged 103
Spartacus actor Kirk Douglas dies aged 103.
The Spartacus actor’s health had been in decline. In 1996 he suffered a stroke but recovered most of his faculties. Kirk survived a helicopter crash in 1991. Two other passengers were killed and Kirk was left with a terrible back injury.
“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,” he added, saying he was “so proud” to be his father’s son.
The renowned actor son, Michael Douglas said,”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 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.
Also Michael’s wife, Welsh actress Catherine Zeta Jones, paid her own moving tribute.
She wrote: “To my darling Kirk, I shall love you for the rest of my life. I miss you already. Sleep tight…”
Kirk was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in 1949 for his role as boxer Midge Kelly in “Champion.” He also earned 2 Oscar nominations as a producer for “The Bad and the Beautiful” in 1953 and “Lust for Life” in 1957.
Kirk appeared in a few minor Broadway productions in the ’40s but then put his career on hold and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1941. After several years of service, Kirk returned to theater, but his best work came on the big screen.
He also a lot of humanitarian work and served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the U.S. State Department.
Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch of Russian-Jewish ancestry in New York, made more than 90 films in a career that stretched seven decades.
Hits such as Spartacus and The Vikings made him one of the biggest box office stars in the 1950s and 1960s.
He was nominated for an Oscar for best actor in 1959 for his role as boxer Midge Kelly in Champion.
Kirk is survived by his wife Anne, aged 100, children Michael Douglas, 75, Joel and Peter and seven grandchildren.