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During his long career, Douglas starred in films including Spartacus, Champion and The Bad and the Beautiful. He received three Oscar nominations and won an honorary award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1996.
His son Michael Douglas said in a statement 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.”
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
A post shared by Michael Douglas (@michaelkirkdouglas) on
Catherine Zeta-Jones wrote on Instagram of her father-in-law: “To my darling Kirk, I shall love you for the rest of my life. I miss you already. Sleep tight…”
A post shared by Catherine Zeta-Jones (@catherinezetajones) on
In a statement, Steven Spielberg expressed how “honored” he felt to have worked with the late actor. “Kirk retained his movie star charisma right to the end of his wonderful life and I’m honored to have been a small part of his last 45 years. I will miss his handwritten notes, letters and fatherly advice, and his wisdom and courage — even beyond such a breathtaking body of work — are enough to inspire me for the rest of mine,” he said.
SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris released the following statement: “One of the last remaining legends of Hollywood’s golden age, Kirk Douglas was an extraordinary actor. He was also a powerful voice who helped end the blacklist in our industry. With his extensive body of work, he made an indelible mark on cinema. But as a true humanitarian, his lifelong dedication to quietly supporting worthy causes may have made an even greater impact. Kirk will be deeply missed and we send our condolences to his family, friends and fans.”
In a statement, Lee Purcell said: “It is with great sadness and respect that I reflect upon the passing of Kirk Douglas. When we worked together on the feature film EDDIE MACON’s RUN, it was a joyful and humbling experience to see Kirk, already the icon of icons for decades, come bounding onto the set each day brimming over with enthusiasm and energy. He set a fine example for everyone from cast to crew to execs. I have a lovely note he sent me just a couple of months ago on my office wall visible as I write this that I will always treasure. Bon Voyage, Kirk, you are a true mensch. My deepest condolences to Anne, Michael and the rest of the family.”
Bob Bergen (Voice of Porky Pig) said: “When I was a teenager I was in the audience for An Evening with Mel Blanc at Pepperdine in Malibu, which was introduced by Mr. Kirk Douglas. After the show I introduced myself to Mr. Douglas and told him I wanted to one day voice Porky Pig. He winked at me and said, “My neighbor Mel Blanc is Porky Pig. Those are pretty big hoofs to fill. But I wish ya luck, kid.” Several years later I met him at a charity function. I introduced myself as a voice actor. Before I could remind him of where we first met he said, “Hey, did ya fill those hoofs?” I was amazed at his memory, and his charm. And I am so grateful for his contribution to this industry.”
On Twitter, Rob Reiner also paid his respects to Douglas, whom he described as an “icon.” “Kirk Douglas will always be an icon in the pantheon of Hollywood. He put himself on the line to break the blacklist. My love goes out to my friend Michael and the whole family,” he wrote.
Ed Asner also took to Twitter to express his condolences: “I will always be in awe. May your memory forever be a blessing.”
See more tributes below.
“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
KIrk Douglas will always be an icon in the pantheon of Hollywood. He put himself on the line to break the blacklist. My love goes out to my friend Michael and the whole family.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) February 5, 2020
— Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) February 5, 2020
Legendary actor Kirk Douglas has passed on today at the age of 103. An Academy Award winning actor and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Douglas was a champion for many just causes and lived a long and storied life. He was adored and beloved, and he shall be missed.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 5, 2020
Condolences to the family of Kirk Douglas. What an incredible icon he was in this industry!
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) February 5, 2020
Kirk Douglas, one of the most famous actors of all time and father to actor Michael Douglas, has died. He was 103. Rest in Peace. pic.twitter.com/oZOSOWxHMk
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) February 5, 2020
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. #KirkDouglas
— Mitzi Gaynor (@TheMitziGaynor) February 5, 2020
The SAG Awards mourns the loss of the legendary and talented Life Achievement Recipient Kirk Douglas. His commitment to acting and justice were inspirational. Our thoughts go out to his family at this time. pic.twitter.com/ydrciLNRZm
— SAG Awards® (@SAGawards) February 6, 2020
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Kirk Douglas. His performance of Ned Land in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) anchored the first all live-action feature film at The Walt Disney Studios. Our condolences are with his family and all who cherished his work. pic.twitter.com/Kdi9R5Y0sb
— The Walt Disney Family Museum (@WDFMuseum) 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
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. #ripkirkdouglas
— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) February 6, 2020
We lost another one way too young. RIP Kirk Douglas.
— marc maron (@marcmaron) 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
Thank you, Kirk, for the legacy of those extraordinary performances you’ve left us.
You blessed us with your brilliance & with your family.
My heart goes out to them, my thoughts and my heart…a very
sad heart, & I grieve deeply with my friend, Andrew Shepherd. With love. https://t.co/eNxs5nalqg
— Loretta Swit (@Loretta_Swit) February 6, 2020
Kirk Douglas was one of the greatest actors of all time. A few years ago Deb & I went around for tea. It was one of the most wonderful afternoons we’ve ever spent. Kirk shared amazing stories. He was funny, self deprecating, giving & brutally honest. In a word … LEGEND. pic.twitter.com/Q4u88U821h
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) February 6, 2020
— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) February 6, 2020
“Hollywood legend” does not even begin to cover the span and legacy of this remarkable man and career. RIP https://t.co/7R8uKFLdIZ
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) 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
Hollywood doesn’t make legends like Kirk Douglas anymore. Born into a Jewish immigrant family, his star rose In the golden age of film, when marquee lights were bright and movie houses palaces. My thoughts are with his family. May his memory be a blessing to them, and all of us.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) February 6, 2020
Kirk Douglas was a dear friend, a talented actor and a dedicated humanitarian. He was one of a kind
and we will miss him.
— Tony Bennett (@itstonybennett) February 6, 2020
Legends never leave us! RIP Kirk Douglas. We grew up watching you. #BePeace
— Carl Weathers (@TheCarlWeathers) February 5, 2020
RIP #KirkDouglas – a giant. One of a kind. A life most fully and extraordinarily lived. Sending condolences and love to Michael and family.
— Paul Reiser (@PaulReiser) February 6, 2020