Screen legend Kirk Douglas has passed away at the age of 103.
The Hollywood star, who first found fame during the “golden age” of film, enjoyed an immensely successful career on stage and screen, spanning seven decades.
Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch in 1916 in New York, the son of Jewish immigrants from present-day Belarus. Throughout his career, he appeared in many iconic films including Spartacus, Paths of Glory and The Bad and the Beautiful.
He received his first Academy Award nomination in 1949 for his role in Champion, and later added a further two nominations in addition to a Lifetime Achievement Oscar.
His son, Michael Douglas, a Hollywood legend in his own right, released a statement on Instagram describing the “tremendous sadness” the news had brought him and his brothers.
It read, “To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies… but to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad.
“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.”
View this post on 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
Many stars of Hollywood also paid tribute to Douglas and his legacy, including Steven Spielberg, Bruce Campbell and William Shatner.
Condolences to the family of Kirk Douglas. What an incredible icon he was in this industry! ????
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) February 5, 2020
Kirk Douglas Dead: Iconic Actor Was 103.
Kirk! A pillar of Hollywood has fallen. Nobody danced on Viking oars like you! Safe travels, stud! https://t.co/FtQDuDLcT6
— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce) February 6, 2020
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 (@DannyDeVito) February 6, 2020
“I love you Spartacus, like the father I never had.” Antoninus
I did have a father and he LOVED you as the world loved you. Your Passion.Talent. Politics. Family. Art. Strength. I grew up with the Douglas boys. My love to Anne and all his family from mine. pic.twitter.com/nPlZIFQ7DW
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) February 6, 2020
Kirk Douglas was one of the biggest stars of all time & a brilliant actor with an unforgettable, blazing charisma. He will also be remembered for putting his career on the line by defying the Hollywood Blacklist, hiring writer Dalton Trumbo for the classic Spartacus. #RIP ???? pic.twitter.com/snzoHPMtDr
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) February 6, 2020
Spielberg said Douglas left behind a “breathtaking body of work”.
He told the Hollywood Reporter: “Kirk retained his movie star charisma right to the end of his wonderful life and I’m honoured to have been a small part of his last 45 years.”
Meanwhile, the official Twitter account of the Academy tweeted an old quote from Douglas which read, “I wanted to be an actor ever since I was a kid in the second grade. I did a play, and my mother made a black apron, and I played a shoemaker. After the performance [my father] gave me my first Oscar: an ice cream cone.”
“I wanted to be an actor ever since I was a kid in the second grade. I did a play, and my mother made a black apron, and I played a shoemaker. After the performance, [my father] gave me my first Oscar: an ice cream cone.” -Kirk Douglas
Goodbye to a Hollywood legend. pic.twitter.com/vnu1Hkb2FA
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 5, 2020