Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas died on Wednesday at the age of 103.
According to Breitbart, the actor was known for his work in dozens of films, including Spartacus and Lust for Life.
Douglas’ son, Michael, first revealed the news on Instagram, writing: “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.”
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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
Leaving a legacy
Douglas’ career spanned decades, but he is perhaps best known for his role as the lead character in the 1960 film Spartacus, which told the story of a Roman gladiator who led a slave revolt.
Douglas courted controversy with the film when he revealed that the screenplay had been written by Dalton Trumbo, a notorious leftist whose communist ties resulted in him being blacklisted in the movie industry, according to National Review.
“Everybody advised me not to do it because you won’t be able to work in this town again and all of that. But I was young enough to say to hell with it,” Douglas told the Associated Press in 2011 of his work on the Trumbo-written film. “I think if I was much older, I would have been too conservative,” he speculated.
Some have argued that Douglas’ decision helped to hasten the end of the blacklist system and thus, allowed leftists to work openly in Hollywood.
Douglas’ “town of make-believe”
Reflecting on his work to the AP in 2014, Douglas said, “We are living in a town of make-believe.”
“I have done about 90 movies,” he added. “That means that every time I was pretending to be someone else. There comes a time in your life when you say, well, ‘who am I?’”
In addition to his work on screen, Douglas was also an author, according to The Washington Post. “I have found writing books a good substitute to making pictures. When you write a book, you get to determine what part you are playing,” he told the AP in 2014.
Douglas is survived by his wife, Anne, who will turn 101 in April.