Legendary Kirk Douglas passed away on Thursday at the age of 103.
The actor starred in Hollywood blockbusters such as ‘Champion’, ‘Spartacus’ and ‘Ulysses’, based on Homer’s Odyssey.
Born in New York in 1916 to immigrant parents and six sisters, Douglas rose to prominence as an American actor, producer, director and author.
His film debut was in ‘The Strange Love of Martha Ivers’ (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck. He soon developed into a leading box-office star.
His first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor was in the film ‘Champion’ (1949), and he played in numerous films with Lauren Bacall, Doris Day, Lana Turner and more.
He established Bryna Productions in 1955 which produced films as varied as ‘Paths of Glory’ and ‘Spartacus’ where he collaborated with Stanley Kubrick, taking leading roles in both these films.
In 1963, he starred in the Broadway play One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a story that he purchased and later gave to his son Michael Douglas, who turned it into an Oscar-winning film.
He received three Academy Award nominations, an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As an author, he wrote ten novels and memoirs. He is No. 17 on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest male screen legends of classic Hollywood cinema, the highest-ranked living person on the list until his death. After barely surviving a helicopter crash in 1991 and then suffering a stroke in 1996, he focused on renewing his spiritual and religious life.
He lived with his second wife (of 65 years), Anne Buydens, a producer, until his death on February 5, 2020, at age 103. A centenarian, he was one of the last surviving stars of the film industry’s Golden Age.
His death was announced on Instagram by his son: “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 setting a standard for all of us to aspire to,” the statement said. “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.”