Hollywood actor, Kirk Douglas, who acted in the 1960 classic Spartacus, has died aged 103. The Hollywood legend’s career spanned seven decades.
He was well-known for a range of roles, including Spartacus, in which he played the titular character. Born in New York in 1916, he rose to prominence during Hollywood’s “golden age”, earning his first Oscar nomination for the 1949 film Champion.
He was also the father of Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas.
His son Michael said in a statement: “It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today.”
“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,” it read in part. “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.” Michael’s wife and Kirk’s daughter-in-law, Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, posted a photo of the two together, writing: “I shall love you for the rest of my life. I miss you already.”
Douglas and his wife donated millions of dollars to charitable causes and helped build hundreds of school playgrounds. He said their philosophy was: “Before you die, try to do something for other people.” Douglas was prolific as a film actor, with more than 90 credits to his name – ranging from the 1940s to the 2000s. He is perhaps best-known for Spartacus, a Stanley Kubrick film that won four Oscars and was so popular that its iconic “I am Spartacus” scene entered the pop cultural lexicon. Douglas was himself nominated for an Oscar three times – for Champion (1949), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), and Lust for Life (1956). He eventually won the honorary award in 1996 in recognition of his 50 years in the industry.