Kirk Douglas, the dimple-chinned screen icon who was known for bringing an explosive, clenched-jawed intensity to a memorable array of heroes and heels in films such as “Spartacus” and “Champion” and for playing an off-screen role as a maverick independent producer who helped end the Hollywood blacklist, has died. He was 103.
The only son of seven children of illiterate Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch on Dec. 9, 1916, in Amsterdam, N.Y.
The acting legend, who had been in good health since suffering a stroke in 1996, is survived by his wife of 65 years Anne Buydens, and his three sons: Michael, Joel, and Eric.
“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103,” Michael said in a statement obtained by 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.”
With over 92 acting credits, including some 75 movies, Douglas became a superstar even before the term was coined.
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