Kirk Douglas, one of the last superstars of Hollywood’s golden age of cinema who was renowned for his intense, muscular performances in “Spartacus” and “Paths of Glory,” died Wednesday aged 103.
The US leading man, producer and director came to prominence in the late 1940s and never lost his popularity, taking on nearly 100 movies over a six-decade career.
His death at his family home in Beverly Hills was confirmed by his son Michael, the Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker.
Tributes poured in from across Hollywood and around the world on social media, with many declaring “I am Spartacus!” in a nod to Douglas’s legendary role as a rebellious Roman slave.
Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch to Jewish-Russian immigrants in New York in 1916, began as a stage actor before serving in the US Navy during WWII. He graduated to movies when “Casablanca” producer Hal Wallis signed him in 1946, and he became a star for his portrayal of a double-crossing and womanizing boxer in 1949’s “Champion.”