KIRK DOUGLAS - One of the last superstars of Hollywood's golden era who was renowned for intense, muscular performance in SPARTACUS AND PATHS OF GLORY, died last 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 films over a six-decade career that endured beyond a severe stroke in his later years.

His death at his family home in Beverly Hills was confirmed by his son Michael, the Oscar-winning actor and film-maker.

''It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at age of 103.,'' he said in a statement posted to Facebook. ''To the world, he was a legend, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of films who lived well into his golden years.

Douglass bprn Issur Danielovitch to Jewish-Russian immigrants in upstate New York in 1916, began as a stage actor before serving in the US Navy during the Second World War.

He graduated to films when Casablanca producer Hal Wallis signed him in in 1946 and he became a star for his portrayal of a double-crossing and womanising boxer in 1949's CHAMPION.

His subsequent roles would often mirror his real-world, larger than life and intense persona, including Oscar nominated turns as a ruthless producer in THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL and tortured artist Vincent Van Gogh in LUST FOR LIFE.

Douglas told The New York Times in a 1984 interview that he had ''always been attracted to characters who are part scoundrel,'' adding : ''I don't find virtue photogenic.' [AFP]


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