Celebrity Tributes to the Late Kirk Douglas Pour In After Legendary ‘Spartacus’ Actor Dies at Age 103

February 10, 2020 Updated: February 10, 2020
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Beloved veteran actor Kirk Douglas passed away at his home in Beverly Hills, California, on Feb. 5, 2020. He was 103. His death has affected millions, and numerous celebrities have since shared their personal grief and condolences for the Douglas family on social media.

Kirk’s son, Hollywood actor Michael Douglas, acknowledged his father’s outstanding contribution to cinema before praising him for his most treasured role: as a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather to his adoring family.

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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

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“To the world he was a legend,” Michael began, sharing his touching tribute on Instagram, “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,’” Michael continued.

“Let me end with the words I told him on his last birthday and which will always remain true. Dad,” the actor shared, recalling his father’s 103rd birthday in December 2019, “I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son.”

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Douglas and his wife, Anne, at the eighth annual Share Inc. ‘Boomtown Party’ for the Exceptional Children’s Foundation on May 21, 1962 (©Getty Images | Nat Dallinger)

After word of Douglas’s passing spread through news and social media, loving tributes from others came in thick and fast. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael’s wife and Kurt’s daughter-in-law of 19 years, shared a beautiful picture of herself kissing Douglas on the cheek.

“To my darling Kirk,” she wrote on Instagram, as per USA Today, “I shall love you for the rest of my life. I miss you already. Sleep tight.”

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(L–R) Michael Douglas, Anne Buydens, Kirk Douglas, and Catherine Zeta-Jones at the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award: A Tribute to Michael Douglas event at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California, on June 11, 2009 (©Getty Images | Kristian Dowling)

Lee Grant, Douglas’s costar in the 1951 movie “Detective Story,” shared his tribute on Facebook. “A man who forged his own destiny & used his notoriety in an attempt to make some difference in the world,” Grant wrote, as per USA Today. “He was a gift, we were lucky to have him, and in some ways, we always will.”

Comedian and filmmaker Rob Reiner, a long-term friend of Douglas’s, paid his respects on Twitter. “Kirk Douglas will always be an icon in the pantheon of Hollywood,” Reiner wrote, as per the Hollywood Reporter. “He put himself on the line to break the blacklist.”

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Douglas at the last 70mm film screening of ‘Spartacus’ at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California, on Aug. 13, 2012 (©Getty Images | Alberto E. Rodriguez)

Douglas became a household name in the 1950s with starring roles in films such as “Paths of Glory,” “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” and later, “Spartacus.” As per the Daily Mail, the veteran actor even received a Spartacus-themed cake on his 103rd birthday in honor of the iconic role.

Douglas was nominated for three Academy Awards during his lifetime. He received an honorary Oscar in 1996 for his decades-long service to the movie industry.

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Douglas attends the ceremony honoring Michael Douglas with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, on Nov. 6, 2018. (©Getty Images | VALERIE MACON)

The Golden Globes, after Douglas’s passing, referred to the legendary actor as “one of the most famous actors of all time” on Twitter. Douglas’s legacy as an extraordinary actor, a philanthropist, and a loving, dedicated family man, is enduring.

Douglas himself spoke to KABC around the occasion of his 100th birthday. “I don’t think you should strive to be 100,” he reflected. “I think you should strive to do something worthwhile in life. Help people.”