Kirk Douglas who starred in legendary films like Spartacus has died. 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,” his son, Michael, 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.”
Douglas rose from the poorhouse to Hollywood royalty while starring in some 90 films and TV series over roughly 60 years—including career-defining roles as the sword-swinging gladiator lead in Spartacus and the tortured artist Vincent van Gogh in Lust for Life.
But before he was Kirk Douglas, he was Issur Danielovitch—the son of dirt-poor Russian-Jewish immigrants born outside Albany in 1916.
US President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981, and though a Best Actor Oscar eluded him his whole life, Douglas received a lifetime achievement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1996.