United States (US) silver screen legend Kirk Douglas, the son of Jewish Russian immigrants who rose through the ranks to become one of Hollywood’s biggest-ever stars, has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 103. One of the last survivors of the golden age of cinema, Douglas was renowned for the macho and not-always-likeable tough guy roles he took on in around 90 movies over a six-decade career.
“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103,” his son, movie star Michael Douglas, said in a statement posted to Facebook. “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.”
His production company, Bryna Productions, was instrumental in developing what would arguably prove to be his two greatest pictures – Paths of Glory and Spartacus, both directed by Stanley Kubrick. Douglas was Oscar-nominated three times – for Champion, The Bad and the Beautiful and Lust For Life – but had to be content with the honorary award he was eventually given in 1995. In 1981 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by his friend Jimmy Carter.
[AFP and TheGuardianUK]