Legendary actor Kirk Douglas died at period 103, his son, gibbs Michael Douglas, confirmed Wednesday. The actor died peacefully in ~ home early Wednesday afternoon surrounding by his children, grandchildren and his mam of 65 years, ann Buydens Douglas, follow to the actor"s longtime publicist Marcia Newberger.

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"It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and also I announce the Kirk Douglas left us this day at the age of 103," Michael composed on Instagram. "To the human being he to be a legend, an gibbs from the golden e of movies that lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian who commitment to justice and also the reasons he thought in collection a conventional for every one of us to aspire to.

"But come me and my brother Joel and also Peter the was just Dad, come Catherine (Zeta-Jones), a exorbitant father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild your loving grandfather, and to his mam Anne, a exorbitant husband."


Douglas liked to refer to himself together “the ragman’s son,” yet to many people, the chiseled, cleft-chinned actor v the winning laugh was the epitome of an old-fashioned movie star. That left a tradition of dignity, grace and also talent.

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Douglas thrived in spite of a significant stroke in 1996, which severely impacted his capability to speak. He ongoing to it is in a vivid Hollywood voice – flirting through Anne Hathaway during the 2011 Oscars as well as writing books.

He to be married come his 2nd wife, Anne, for more than 65 years. “She was the most an overwhelming woman I ever before met,” Douglas called USA now in April 2017, with Anne chuckling through his side. (She famously turned the A-lister under for dinner once they first met, like to walk home and make herself scrambled eggs.)


It was Anne who inspired a lifetime of art collecting, and who additionally helped clean increase Douglas’ messy finances after lock met in 1953.

“I think romance starts at 80,” that told USA TODAY. “And I must know, due to the fact that I live with a girl that would tell friend so! ... I send she a note, and put it on her pillow. She likes that."

In august 2012, the rough star of 1960’s "Spartacus" to be able to view a revived version the the standard film, years after the was originally released in theaters. However he to be alone top top the phase to talk about it, having outlived his Hollywood contemporaries.

“If you die young, you have a possibility to it is in a hero,” the told USA now at the time. “If you dice of old age, most of us are forgotten."

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He to be wrong on that point. The acting legend was never forgotten. During a photo shoot because that Paramount studio’s 100th anniversary, Douglas was one of the most sought-after stars in a galaxy that had everyone indigenous George Clooney to Justin Bieber.

“Everybody come by to pay respects,” Douglas said. “I felt like a king.”

Clooney would go top top to create the foreword to Douglas’ 2012 book "I to be Spartacus! do a Film, breaking the Blacklist," in i m sorry he explained his duty in overcoming the dreaded communist blacklist of his era.

“Kirk Douglas is plenty of things. A movie star. One actor. A producer,” Clooney wrote. “But that is, first and foremost, a guy of extraordinary personality … the type we constantly look for at ours darkest hour.”

Douglas’ 1988 autobiography, "The Ragman’s Son" (referring come his Russian-Jewish ancestry) attests to his early years farming up bad in Amsterdam, N.Y., the son of illiterate Russian immigrants. Born Issur Danielovitch Demsky in 1916, he almost drowned at 5. That was one of a few close call the actor had actually over the years; in 1991, a helicopter he was riding in crashed right into a small plane. He endured a compressed spine.


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He stated he created it hope to help other stroke survivors. “Maybe it will help others to address depression,” he said. ~ his stroke, v his characteristic trademark self-deprecating humor, the wrote: “All I might do to be babble like a baby, however I operated hard through my decided therapist and in a couple of months I could talk and also my 3-year-old granddaughter, Kelsey.”

Writing the book clearly had a cathartic effect on Douglas. The following year the starred in among his last films, "It operation in the Family," a story that a dysfunctional household living in brand-new York. The location might additionally have described the exhilaration bug. The movie starred Douglas, his child Michael, his nephew Cameron and his ex-wife, Diana Dill Douglas.

In "My punch of Luck," Douglas write “I have been so happy to be an actor. That has offered me fame, money and also satisfaction.”


His ascension up the Hollywood ranks came after his athletic college year at St. Lawrence University, where he to be a wrestling champion. Adhering to his graduation, Douglas won an exhilaration scholarship come the American Academy the Dramatic Arts. His first stop was Broadway, followed by a insignificant in the navy during civilization War II. ~ the war, he returned to the theatre and likewise performed in radio plays. That married Dill in 1943, through whom he had two sons, Michael and Joel.

They were divorced in 1951 and he married Buydens in 1954, through whom he had two an ext sons, Peter and Eric. Eric died in 2004.


Douglas’ movie career started after his classmate Lauren Bacall urged producer Hal Wallis to offer Douglas a display screen test. The check went therefore well the he was actors in the lead function of 1946"s "The strange Love of Martha Ivers." After receiving a host of kudos for the performance, the went ~ above to do "I to walk Alone"with another future display legend, Burt Lancaster. Their chemistry was so potent that they do seven films together, consisting of the western "Gunfight in ~ the O.K. Corral" (1957) and the political thriller "Seven job in May" (1964). Your last cooperation was in the gangster comedy "Tough Guys" in 1986.

Though they were great pals, Douglas joked in ~ one point: “I’ve finally gotten away from Burt Lancaster. My luck has adjusted for the better. I’ve acquired nice-looking girl in my movies now.”

His busiest years were the ’50s and ’60s. Douglas to be nominated because that an Oscar in 1953 because that "The Bad and the Beautiful" and again in 1957 because that his portrayal of Vincent valve Gogh in "Lust because that Life." In the following few years, he would take ~ above his pivotal roles as Colonel Dax in the anti-war epic "Paths of Glory" (1957) and also as the leader of the roman inn slave rebellion in "Spartacus" (1960).


Douglas executive-produced "Spartacus" and also described in "I am Spartacus!" how he was crucial in break the Hollywood blacklist through insisting blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo be offered the proper credit because that his screenplay. It was an experience thorough in the 2015 film "Trumbo," starring Bryan Cranston.

"When i hired Dalton Trumbo to write "Spartacus" under the pseudonym Sam Jackson, us all had actually been use the blacklisted writers,” Douglas created in "I to be Spartacus!" “It was an open mystery and an plot of hypocrisy, and a way to acquire the finest talent at bargain prices. I hated being component of together a system."


He remained busy in the 1960s, starring in a hold of films including "Lonely are the Brave" (1962) in which he played an outlaw cowboy in a modern-day setting, a component he claimed he considers his finest performance, and also co-starred with John Wayne in the world War II drama "In Harm’s Way" (1965) and in the comedy/Western "The battle Wagon" (1967).

Douglas had actually his re-superstructure of missteps. The starred in a pair of bombs, including the loopy west "The Villain" (1979) through Arnold Schwarzenegger and "Saturn 3" (1980) v Farrah Fawcett.

"I have made virtually 90 pictures," Douglas said. "Lots the them space bad. Fortunately, ns forget the negative pictures."


He stayed a staunch Luddite as he gained older. “Technology frightens me. Ns don"t have a cellphone. I don"t also have a watch," Douglas told USA today in 2015. "My mam insisted on purchase me a computer. I understand nothing around computers. Yet one thing: ns love having a location to play solitaire. Ns play all the time."

On his 100th birthday, anne gifted that his an initial iPad, and the milestone was celebrated with a starry bash in Beverly Hills, with Steven Spielberg and Don Rickles amongst the guests present.

Douglas was likewise known for his humanitarian work and also had to be a goodwill ambassador because that the U.S. State Department due to the fact that 1963. Almost two years later, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and also the French bestowed him with the Chevalier the the Legion of Honour. He specialized a Tel Aviv playground in respect of Yitzhak Rabin, climate prime minister of Israel.


But he didn’t play favorites. Douglas was also a friend of King Hussein the Jordan.

Closer to home, he rehabilitated dilapidated playgrounds in inner-city Los Angeles and also raised $2 million for the alzheimer wing in ~ the hospital for retired Motion picture Academy workers. It was named Harry’s Haven, after ~ Douglas’ father. “Somebody complained that that made the sound like a saloon,” that said. “That would have actually made mine father really happy, due to the fact that he offered to spend a most time in saloons.”


At 99, he and also Anne donated second $15 million towards an Alzheimer’s care center, happen their total donations come the Motion snapshot & Television money to $40 million.

At 100, he reflect on his charity efforts. “I have provided most of mine money away due to the fact that that pleases me,” that told Variety. “I was born a negative boy. My mother and also father come from Russia; i don’t think they can have obtained into the nation today. Therefore I have a many to be thankful for.”

Perhaps it was this sensitivity come those in need that informed his nuanced performances. He once said: “When ns play a strong character in a movie, I search for part weakness, and also when i play a weak character, I search for some strength.” whether playing good guys or bad, the was constantly convincing and also his portrayals repeatedly powerful.

A devout Jew, Douglas learned the Bible and also began to read in depth around Judaism after his stroke. Though he had commemorated his bar mitzvah in ~ the timeless age of 13, he determined to celebrate it again at 83.

He had actually learned to check out Hebrew as a child. “But i never understood what ns was saying,” stated Douglas, who also spoke German and also French.

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In "My punch of Luck," Douglas urged readers to seek out prayer.

“Pray, but you awareness that greater power come be. Pray, the will assist you,” that wrote, including that top top the Sabbath he prayed over candles in antique candlesticks his mother brought over from Russia. “In act that, i am reminded of mine mother, ns feel closer to God, to mine family and I have increased The Light, even if only for a moment.”

On Wednesday, Michael created in his tribute that his father"s "life to be well lived, and also he leaves a tradition in film that will certainly endure because that generations come come, and also a background as a famous philanthropist who functioned to assist the public and also bring peace to the planet."

Michael closeup of the door his article "with the words i told that on his critical birthday and which will always remain true. Dad – i love you so much and I am so proud come be your son."