“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103,” Michael Douglas said in a statement to PEOPLE. “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.”
Michael continued, “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,” Michael added. “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.”
Born Issur Danielovitch Demsky in 1916’s New York, Douglas was the son of a poor, illiterate Russian-Jewish immigrant.
The Hollywood legend would go on to gain over 92 acting credits – spanning over six decades from the 1940s to the 2000s - and star in over 75 movies. But his most iconic role remains without a doubt the titular character in the 1960 movie, Spartacus - a film which won four Oscars and is forever remembered for its now legendary “I am Spartacus” scene.
Kirk was himself nominated for an Oscar three times, for Champion (1949), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), and Lust for Life (1956). He eventually won the honorary award in 1996 in recognition of his 50 years in the industry.
In December 2019, Michael, an acting legend in his own right, became a Golden Globe nominee for The Kominsky Method as his father rang in his 103rd birthday.
To celebrate, Michael, 75, shared a sweet Instagram photo of his famous father and himself, thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for nominating him on the same day as Kirk’s milestone birthday.
“What a great day. Thank you HFPA for the Golden Globes nomination and for making my Dad proud on his 103 birthday!” Michael wrote.