Kirk Douglas has passed away at the age of 103. The prolific actor, he starred in over 80 films throughout the course of his career. He also served in the Navy during World War II. Throughout the course of his life he survived a helicopter crash, a stroke, and two knee replacements. He is survived by his wife of 65 years Anne Buydens, their son Peter Douglas and two sons from his first marriage Michael and Joel Douglas, along with seven grandchildren.
Today his son Michael Douglas posted the following statement on his Instagram:
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 was the embodiment of the American dream. He rose up from humble origins to become one of the most well known people in Hollywood. He shared that before becoming an actor, he worked more than 40 jobs. These included being a janitor, waiter, and even a professional actor. Once he did make it onto the big screen, he didn’t just act. Douglas also became a producer, author, and blogger.
Disney fans will recognize Kirk Douglas from 1954’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In that film he played a sailor named Ned Land. In the film he sang the song A Whale of a Tale.
Throughout the course of his career he earned three Oscar nominations for his roles in Champion (1949), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), and Lust for Life (1957). He was perhaps most well known for his role in Spartacus (1960). In 1996, Douglas was given an Honorary Oscar “for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community.”
In the 80s as his acting career began to slow down, Douglas turned his attention to philanthropic works, charity work, and also as a US State Department goodwill ambassador. It was a post he held since 1963. At the age of 92 he appeared on stage for a one man show called Before I Forget.