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Actor Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas (1916–2020), Hollywood legend

by Kirk Fox

Kirk Douglas, one of the greatest screen legends of the 20th century, has died at the age of 103, according to a statement released by his family that includes his son, actor Michael Douglas, and reported by People Magazine. 

Born Issur Danielovitch Dec. 9, 1916, Douglas acted in dozens of movies as well as on the Broadway stage, and he was a producer, director and author. He received three nominations for the Academy Award for best actor: for “Champion” (1949), “The Bad and the Beautiful” (1952) and “Lust for Life” (1956), and he was honored with an Academy Honorary Award in 1996 for his decades of work in the motion picture industry. His other well-known films include “Spartacus,” “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” and “The Man From Snowy River.” 

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Died: Wednesday, February 5, 2020. (Who else died on February 5?)  

Details of death: Died at the age of 103.

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Politics and philanthropy: Douglas and his wife, Anne, became noted philanthropists, supporting organizations including the Los Angeles Children’s Memorial Hospital and the Los Angeles Mission. Douglas also was involved in politics, supporting the Democratic Party, and in international goodwill. President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 after Douglas traveled as a goodwill ambassador for the U.S. Information Agency and met with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Douglas also wrote several novels and memoirs, including the bestselling “The Ragman’s Son.” 

Douglas is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Anne Douglas, as well as his sons, actor Michael Douglas and producers Joel Douglas and Peter Douglas. He was preceded in death by son Eric Douglas, an actor and comedian, in 2004. 

What they said about him:  

“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103,” Michael said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “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,” Michael added. “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.” – Statement from the Douglas family

“I will always be in awe. May your memory forever be a blessing.” – Ed Asner

“Condolences to the family of Kirk Douglas. What an incredible icon he was in this industry!” – William Shatner

“Bravo Kirk Douglas on an incredible life. Thank you for so generously sharing your amazing talent with all of us. The film we made together will always hold a special place in my heart. My love to Anne & your beautiful family.” – Mitzi Gaynor

“Kirk Douglas. The inspirational Scalawag. 103 years on this earth. That’s got a nice ring to it! Great hanging with you man.” – Danny DeVito

“Heartbroken. Kirk Douglas was a friend and an absolute legend of a star and human. He got better with every passing day. So honored to have known him. My love to his family. We could use a true Spartacus.” – Jason Alexander

Full obituary: People Magazine  

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