News reports have confirmed that actor Kirk Douglas died of natural causes late this afternoon, Los Angeles coroners office reported. This was just 4 days before he would have turned 101 years old.
Family released a statement saying he “went comfortably and was in no pain” and “lived a long and prosperous life that people only dream of.”
Kirk Douglas was an American actor, producer, director, and author. He was one of the last living people of the film industry’s Golden Age. After an impoverished childhood with immigrant parents and six sisters, he had his film debut in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck. Douglas soon developed into a leading box-office star throughout the 1950s and 1960s, known for serious dramas, including westerns and war movies. During his career he appeared in more than 90 movies. Douglas was well known for his explosive acting style.
As an actor and philanthropist, Douglas had received three Academy Award nominations, an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As an author, he had written ten novels and memoirs. He was No. 17 on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest male screen legends of classic Hollywood cinema, and the highest-ranked living person on the list. After barely surviving a helicopter crash in 1991 and then suffering a stroke in 1996, he had focused on renewing his spiritual and religious life. He lived with his second wife (of 63 years), Anne Buydens, a producer. He was to turn 101 on December 9, 2016.