Kirk Douglas Dead at 103

February 05, 2020 - 6:28 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Actor Kirk Douglas died on Wednesday, according to his son, actor Michael Douglas. The Douglas patriarch was 103.

“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103,” his son Michael Douglas said 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 for all of us to aspire to.”

Aside from Michael Douglas, Kirk Douglas is survived by gus wife of 65 years, Anne Buydens, and his two other sons Joel and Eric.

Michael Douglas continued, "to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine [Zeta-Jones], a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband.”

He further added, "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."

Kirk Douglas was born in Amsterdam, New York, located about 35 miles northeast of Albany, to Jewish Russian immigrants (today, the area they hailed from is Belarus). His birth name was Issur Danielovitch and the family spoke Yiddish at home.

Kirk Douglas and his wife Anne Budyens arriving in London for the premiere of his new film, 'Spartacus' on Dec. 5, 1960 (Photo by Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Getty Images)
Kirk Douglas and his wife Anne Budyens arriving in London for the premiere of his new film, 'Spartacus' on Dec. 5, 1960 Photo credit Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Getty Images
circa 1963: The actor Kirk Douglas with his wife Anne Buydens and their son Peter Vincent Douglas
circa 1963: The actor Kirk Douglas with his wife Anne Buydens and their son Peter Vincent Douglas Photo credit Keystone/Getty Images
Elizabeth Taylor dancing with Kirk Douglas at the party in Rome for the film 'Spartacus'
Elizabeth Taylor dancing with Kirk Douglas at the party in Rome for the film 'Spartacus' Photo credit Keystone/Getty Images

Actor William Shatner was among the first stars to react, tweeting, "Condolences to the family of Kirk Douglas. What an incredible icon he was in this industry!"

Before he retired from films in 2004, Kirk Douglas had amassed over 92 acting credits, including about 80 movies.

His friend Burt Lancaster appeared in seven of those films with Douglas.

His first Oscar nomination came in 1950 for "Champion." He was nominated again in 1953 for "The Bad and the Beautiful" and in 1957 for his role as Vincent Van Gogh for the biopic "Lust for Life."

Then fast forward to the 1996 Oscars, where he received an honorary Oscars for 50 years as a creative force in the film community.

One his most notable roles was in the 1960 film "Spartacus," which he also executive produced.

Actors Michael Douglas (L) and Kirk Douglas arrive at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower on February 26, 2012 in West Hollywood, California
Actors Michael Douglas (L) and Kirk Douglas arrive at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower on February 26, 2012 in West Hollywood, California Photo credit Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Robert De Niro (L) and Kirk Douglas attend the SBIFF's 2012 Kirk Douglas Award For Excellence In Film during the Santa Barbara Film Festival on December 8, 2012 in Goleta, California
Robert De Niro (L) and Kirk Douglas attend the SBIFF's 2012 Kirk Douglas Award For Excellence In Film during the Santa Barbara Film Festival on December 8, 2012 in Goleta, California Photo credit Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Robert De Niro (L) and Kirk Douglas attend the SBIFF's 2012 Kirk Douglas Award For Excellence In Film during the Santa Barbara Film Festival on December 8, 2012 in Goleta, California
Robert De Niro (L) and Kirk Douglas attend the SBIFF's 2012 Kirk Douglas Award For Excellence In Film during the Santa Barbara Film Festival on December 8, 2012 in Goleta, California Photo credit Getty Images