06 February

Kirk Douglas Dies: Hollywood Icon & ‘Spartacus’ Star Was 103

February 06, 2020 17:14,

Kirk Douglas, an icon of Hollywood’s Golden Age and star of such films as Spartacus, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Bad and the Beautiful and Champion died Wednesday of natural causes. 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, two-time Oscar winner Michael Douglas, said in a statement on Instagram. “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.”
A three-time Academy Award nominee and recipient of an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in 1996, Douglas will be remembered for a prolific career in which he appeared in close to 100 movies and delivered numerous defining performances.

As a producer and performer he had an instinct for the dramatic moment, fighting with director Stanley Kubrick to shoot the iconic scene in 1960’s Spartacus where the rebel gladiator’s men refuse to identify him, each in turn rising to say, “I am Spartacus.”

As well as his titular role in Spartacus, in which he played the leader of a slave revolt against the Roman republic, his leading turns included fierce defense attorney Major Steve Garrett in Gottfried Reinhardt’s Town Without Pity, ambitious and devious journalist Chuck Tatum in Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole, and Colonel Dax in Kubrick’s anti-war story Paths of Glory.
Douglas also was a producer who established the label Bryna Productions in 1955. The company collaborated with then then-relatively unknown Kubrick on both Paths of Glory and Spartacus, the latter winning four Oscars and becoming Universal Studios’ highest-grossing production ever at the time.

The actor’s work on Spartacus also was notable because of his contribution to breaking the “Hollywood blacklist,” which saw many professionals who were considered to be communist sympathizers denied work throughout the 1940s and ’50s. In his 2012 book about the making of the movie, Douglas recalled how he was the driving force behind ensuring that Dalton Trumbo — one of the blacklisted figures who refused to answer questions about his involvement with the Communist Party — was given an official on-screen credit for writing the movie. Bryan Cranston earned an Oscar nom for playing the writing in the 2015 biopic Trumbo.
A private funeral is planned, and a memorial service is in the works. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Harry’s Haven at Motion Picture and TV home.
© Deadline

Share post


Copyright © 2016 HIMC. All rights reserved.