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7 Things To Know About Late “Spartacus” Star Kirk Douglas Who Died At 103

Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas | Bloomberg

Hollywood lost one of its legends yesterday, February 6 with the passing on of actor Kirk Douglas who died aged 103.

The news of his death was confirmed in a statement by his 75-year-old son Michael Douglas.


Writing about his late father who was one of the last surviving members of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Michael posted on 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.”

In honour of the star's death, here are seven things to know about him.

  1. He was born in New York. Kirk was Issur Danielovitch born on Dec. 9, 1916 in Amsterdam, NY to Jewish immigrants Bryna “Bertha” and Herschel “Harry” Danielovitch. The only son in the family, Kirk had six sisters Pesha, Kaleh, Tamara, Rachel and twins Hashka and Siffra.
  2. Going by the name Izzy Demsky at the time, he attended St. Lawrence University where he graduated in 1939. Later, he earned a scholarship at NYC’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
  3. With 92 acting credits to his name before his death, he has appeared in some of Hollywood’s most iconic films. He made his on-screen debut in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers with Barbara Stanwyck in 1946. Some of his other best-known movies include Spartacus, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and The Bad & The Beautiful.
  4. In 1955, Kirk founded his own production company Bryna Productions breaking his years-long contract with Warner Bros. His production company was named after his mother.
  5. He has several awards to his name including an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement given to him in 1996. Prior to this, he was nominated three times in the Best Actor category for 1950’s Champion, 1953’s The Bad and the Beautiful and 1957’s Lust For Life. Kirk was also the winner of two Golden Globe Awards including the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement in addition to three Emmy nominations.
  6. He was a family man. Kirk was married to Anne Buydens, 100, for 63 years and a proud father to his three surviving sons Michael, 75, Joel, 73, and Peter, 64. His youngest son Eric sadly died at 46 of a drug overdose in July 2004. He was grandfather to seven grandkids.
  7. He was a survivor. Kirk was involved in a helicopter crash in 1991, after the aircraft collided with a small airplane above Santa Paula Airport. Two others were killed during the incident, and Kirk who was 72 at the time — miraculously survived after suffering from a fractured rib. Kirk also suffered a stroke in 1996. Although his speech was affected, he continued to keep up public appearances at Hollywood events even presenting with daughter-in-law Catherine at the Academy Awards in 2018.
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