SEVERE WX : Air Quality Alert View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Kirk Douglas, acclaimed actor, dead at 103

Kirk Douglas, one of the great Hollywood leading men, has died. The news is according to his son, actor Michael Douglas.

Posted: Feb 5, 2020 4:04 PM
Updated: Feb 5, 2020 4:38 PM

By Brian Lowry, CNN

(CNN) -- Kirk Douglas, one of the great Hollywood leading men whose off-screen life was nearly as colorful as his on-screen exploits, has died, according to his son, actor Michael Douglas. He was 103.

"It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103," he wrote on his verified Instagram account. "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."

Michael Douglas added that his father'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."

He 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."

View this post 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. 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

A post shared by Michael Douglas (@michaelkirkdouglas) on

Douglas was far more than just a leading man, although he was certainly that. The actor was a larger-than-life character, a titan of the entertainment industry, and someone -- by virtue of his longevity-- one of the last surviving links to a particular era of Hollywood's past.

Born to Russian immigrant parents, the self-made star established himself as an actor following World War II, capitalizing on his looks and athleticism. In that regard, he had a good deal in common with another titan of those years, Burt Lancaster, with whom Douglas co-starred in seven movies, including "Gunfight at O.K. Corral" and the political thriller "Seven Days in May."

Still, Douglas exhibited a range that went beyond what was available to stars during an earlier stretch of the studio system. And like Lancaster, he seized control of his career in the mid-1950s by forming his own production company, using that leverage not only to find interesting parts for himself but to champion prestige material, as well as talent like director Stanley Kubrick, with who he collaborated on two memorable films, "Paths of Glory" and "Spartacus."

Perhaps foremost, Douglas was as comfortable -- and as good, if not better -- playing a bad guy, a heel, as he was a traditional hero. His steely edge shone through starting with the film noir classic "Out of the Past" in 1947, followed by "Champion," "The Bad and the Beautiful" and "The Vikings."

Douglas was equally comfortable with action and serious drama, combining a nasty streak with a wry sense of humor. He excelled at playing terrible characters who nonetheless left the audience feeling a measure of sadness, in spite of themselves, when they met an untimely end.

The actor earning Oscar nominations for playing Vincent Van Gogh in "Lust for Life," "Champion" and "Bad and the Beautiful," but never won. He did receive a lifetime achievement award in 1996, and crooned a memorable duet with Lancaster at the 1958 Academy Awards, insisting how happy they were not to be among the nominees.

Douglas famously used his clout in other ways, perhaps most famously by allowing blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo to put his name on "Spartacus." Although there has been some dispute over just how significant that was in "breaking" the blacklist, as Douglas suggested in his autobiography, it did make clear his commitment to working with top talent, also employing Trumbo on one of his best films, "Lonely Are the Brave," which cast Douglas as a modern-day cowboy.

Douglas also remained a colorful and outspoken figure, even after a 1996 stroke impaired his speech -- mounting a one-man show in its aftermath. His aforementioned 1988 autobiography, "The Ragman's Son," was a classic Hollywood tell-all, detailing various affairs with well-known actresses and settling some old scores. As the New York Times described it, the book read "like a collection of stories the actor has been telling over dinner for years."

In perhaps the most famous -- and certainly most lampooned -- scene from "Spartacus," his fellow rebels, captured by the Roman army, rise to proclaim, "I'm Spartacus!" when told their lives will be spared if they identify him.

Many actors, before and since, have played the sort of roles at which Douglas excelled. But in terms of breadth, volume and variety, there was only one Kirk Douglas.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33509

Reported Deaths: 559
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7274140
Marion477996
Washington461560
Umatilla300441
Clackamas246663
Malheur165030
Lane129317
Jackson11906
Deschutes87312
Yamhill77414
Jefferson5458
Polk53515
Linn53213
Morrow5136
Lincoln48113
Union4462
Benton3286
Wasco2964
Klamath2902
Hood River2520
Douglas2434
Clatsop2210
Josephine2042
Columbia1841
Coos1600
Baker982
Crook631
Tillamook530
Lake340
Wallowa331
Curry320
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 819115

Reported Deaths: 15885
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2702996576
Riverside594051226
San Bernardino55203955
Orange537511268
San Diego47180783
Kern32073369
Fresno28621390
Sacramento22590416
Alameda21383412
Santa Clara21379322
San Joaquin20411456
Contra Costa16793207
Stanislaus16512362
Tulare16204263
Ventura12875150
Imperial11908320
San Francisco11275104
Monterey1005073
San Mateo9990150
Santa Barbara9164113
Merced8961143
Kings768180
Sonoma7578122
Marin6734119
Solano644571
Madera458368
San Luis Obispo361231
Placer360448
Butte284844
Yolo282855
Santa Cruz239410
Napa172713
Sutter172011
San Benito135211
Yuba11728
El Dorado11514
Mendocino95418
Shasta94320
Lassen7410
Glenn5963
Tehama5855
Lake56611
Nevada5417
Colusa5356
Humboldt5128
Calaveras32214
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1660
Del Norte1441
Mariposa762
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 78°
Brookings
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 79°
Crater Lake
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 80°
Grants Pass
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 78°
Klamath Falls
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 80°
Very warm, dry and smoky week
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Thursday, October 1 morning weather

Image

Wednesday, September 30th Evening Weather

Image

Wednesday, September 30 morning weather

Image

Tuesday, September 29th Evening Weather

Image

MEDFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT RESPONDS AFTER EXPLICIT 'ZOOM BOMBING'

Image

Tuesday, September 29 morning weather

Image

Possible housing solutions after wildfires

Image

Monday, September 28th Evening Weather

Image

Similarities in days had southern Oregonians on edge

Image

Monday, September 28 afternoon weather