Author and Screen Icon Kirk Douglas Dies Age 103

Screen icon Kirk Douglas has died at the age of 103.

Born Issur Danielovitch Demsky in Amsterdam, New York in 1916, Douglas was one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s golden age. The star of the iconic Spartacus and many other films also helped to end the infamous Hollywood Blacklist.

Douglas’ son, the actor Michael Douglas, made the official announcement today via 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.

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

Best known as an actor, Douglas was an accomplished author, as well. From his web site:

Although Kirk Douglas is best known as a film star, he has also had a distinguished career as an author of both non-fiction and fiction. All proceeds received when purchasing his books through the links below will be donated to the charitable activities of The Douglas Foundation.

The Guardian remembers him here. The Los Angeles Times adds their remembrances here. ◊


Kirk Douglas Bibliography from his web site:

  • The Ragman’s Son (1988)
    Kirk Douglas’s bestselling autobiography, an account of a life that began in poverty and led to international film stardom.
  • Dance With the Devil (1990)
    Middle-aged Hollywood director Danny Dennison finds his respectable life unraveling when he meets a sensuous call girl whose captivating sexuality threatens to shatter his long-guarded secrets.
  • The Gift (1992)
    An orphaned heiress learns to face life on its own terms when she meets a Portuguese bullfighter.
  • Last Tango in Brooklyn (1994)
    An aging personal trainer and young medical librarian’s love affair meets the disapproval of family and friends.
  • The Broken Mirror (1997)
    A fictional account, aimed at young readers, of a Jewish boy who faces the horrors of the Holocaust.
  • Young Heroes of the Bible (1999)
    Five stories from Old Testament history retold for young readers.
  • Climbing the Mountain: My Search for Meaning (2001)
    A memoir that picks up where Kirk’s autobiography The Ragman’s Son left off, focusing on his re-immersion in his Jewish faith.
  • My Stroke of Luck (2003)
    Kirk’s inspirational account of his recovery from a debilitating stroke suffered in 1995.
  • Let’s Face It: 90 Years of Living, Loving & Learning (2007)
    Kirk’s book of reflections and reminiscences conveys the wisdom of a life fully and well lived.
  • I Am Spartacus!: Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist (2012)
    On the 50th anniversary of the classic film, Kirk recounts how SPARTACUS was made–and broke the Hollywood blacklist in the process.
  • Life Could Be Verse (2014)
    Kirk offers us an intimate look into his life through this collection of poetry, prose, and photographs.
  • Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood (2017)
    Written with his wife Anne, these letters and photos offer an intimate glimpse into a love story that has lasted for 63 years…and counting!

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