Kirk Douglas
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Kirk Douglas: Life in pictures

Kirk Douglas, the dimple-chinned screen icon known for films such as “Spartacus” and “Champion” and helping end the Hollywood blacklist, has died. He was 103.

Kirk Douglas, born in 1916 as Issur Danielovitch, is acclaimed as one of the greatest actors in cinema history. Garnering three Academy Award nominations and one Golden Globe award, Douglas’ film career spanned over 60 years. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)

Douglas, selected by the American Physical Culture Institute as the “Man of the Atom Age” after a three-month search, is shown with Greek sculptor Spero Anargyros, who was commissioned by the institute to make a bust of him.

 (Wide World Photos)

Nancy Coleman, background left, and Michael Redgrave witness Rosalind Russell and Kirk Douglas in a passionate embrace in a scene from the film “Mourning Becomes Electra." 

 (Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

Douglas, standing beside a stone wall and well, takes his German shepherd, Banshee, for a walk during a break in the production of the 1948 film “I Walk Alone,” in which he starred with Burt Lancaster as former partners in crime with a score to settle.

 (Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

Douglas emerged from this 1949 boxing film, “Champion,” as a major Hollywood star. He received his first Academy Award nod for his lauded performance as Midge Kelly, a drifter traveling the country who lands and marries in California as he begins to box.

 (United Artists)

Kirk Douglas, right, grabs Arthur Kennedy, left, as his brother Connie, in the classic 1949 boxing movie “Champion.”

 (United Artists)
Famous trumpeter Harry James, left, shows Douglas how to play for the movie cameras. The toot-tutoring is in preparation for Douglas’ role as a great trumpet player in the 1950 film “Young Man With a Horn.” (Associated Press)
In Billy Wilder’s 1951 film “Ace in the Hole,” Douglas plays an unscrupulous newsman, exploiting the plight of a trapped miner to advance his career. (Paramount Pictures)

Kirk Douglas, right, and an unidentified actor dressed as a policeman try a similar dance step in a full–length promotional portrait for the film “Detective Story." 

 (Paramount Pictures / Getty Images)

Douglas, left, stars with Dewey Martin in “The Big Sky.”

 (UCLA Film and Television Archive)
Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner dance in a scene from Vincente Minnelli’s 1952 film “The Bad and the Beautiful.” Douglas received his second Academy Award nomination for his performance in the film. (Associated Press)

Kirk and Anne Douglas, center, stand outside the Desert Inn in Las Vegas after their wedding. They married on May 29, 1954, while Kirk was on break from filming “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

 (Kirk and Anne Douglas)

Douglas, center, costarred with Peter Lorre, left, Paul Lukas, right, and James Mason (not pictured) in Walt Disney’s lavish 1954 live-action adventure “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” based on the Jules Verne novel. Douglas played lusty harpooner Ned Land, a role that allowed him to sing and cavort with a trained seal.


Douglas teamed up again with director Vincente Minnelli to play artist Vincent Van Gogh in the 1956 movie “Lust for Life,” which earned him his third and last Academy Award nomination for lead actor.

 (Associated Press)

Kirk Douglas and director Stanley Kubrick during the filming of BAFTA-nominated movie “Paths of Glory.”


Douglas, left, and Burt Lancaster star together once again in the 1957 western film “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.”

 (Museum of Modern Art Film Stills)
Kirk Douglas with sons Michael, 14, left, and Joel, 12, in 1959. Douglas took time off from filming “Spartacus” for this photo. (Universal Pictures)

Douglas plays the title role in “Spartacus,” 1960, costarring Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Tony Curtis, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov and John Gavin. “Spartacus” won four Academy Awards.

 (Universal Pictures / )

Douglas plays the titular slave-turned-gladiator-turned-rebel-leader in the 1960 blockbuster “Spartacus.” As the producer of the film, he removed original director Anthony Mann and brought in Stanley Kubrick.

 (Universal Studios)

Kim Novak as Margaret Gault and Kirk Douglas as Larry Coe in “Strangers When We Meet.”

 (UCLA Film and Television Archive)

Kirk Douglas gives Ken Murray a cement facial after putting his handprints into concrete at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Nov. 1, 1962.

 ( Al Monteverde / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA)
Kirk Douglas poses during production of the 1962 film “Lonely Are the Brave.” (Universal Pictures)

In the 1966 action movie “Cast a Giant Shadow,” Kirk Douglas plays Col. David “Mickey” Marcus, an American soldier who, in 1949, is hired to train and organize the Israeli army.

 (United Artists )

The Douglas family is photographed at home when Anne is named Times Woman of the Year in 1969. From left, son Peter, 14, Kirk, Anne and son Eric, 11.

 (Los Angeles Times)

Douglas and his wife Anne take photos with children at the Big Brothers premiere of “Scalawag.” The proceeds from the screening benefited the Big Brothers organization.

 (John R. Wyckoff)

Douglas poses in the 1986 comedy film “Tough Guys,” where he and longtime film partner Burt Lancaster play two aged gangsters released from prison and unprepared for the changes that took place during their long stretch in the pen.

 (Touchstone Pictures)

Douglas, right, and Burt Lancaster, left, award veteran producer Walter Seltzer, center, with the Silver Medallion Award of Honor, the Motion Picture Fund’s highest tribute, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on June 17, 1986.


Kirk Douglas, center, is joined by his four sons backstage at the Majestic Theater in New York on April 7, 1987. From left are Peter, Joel, Kirk, Michael and Eric.

 (Ed Bailey / Associated Press)

Douglas is joined by sons Michael, Eric and Peter, from left to right, as the entertainment industry throws a book party to introduce the senior Douglas’ new book, “The Ragman’s Son.”

 (UPI / )

Kirk and Anne Douglas congratulate Center Theatre Group founding artistic director Gordon Davidson during the organizaiton’s 25th anniversary ball.

 (Los Angeles Times)

Douglas walks down the Promenade de la Croisette to the Palais for the opening of the 33rd Cannes Film Festival in 1980.

 (George Rose / Los Angeles Times)

Douglas receives the Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild on March 7, 1999.

 (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Eric, Kirk and Anne Douglas stand outside the Russian Tea Room in New York, attending Michael’s wedding to Catherine Zeta-Jones.

 (Darla Khazei / Associated Press)

Douglas, left, fishes with his son Michael, center, and grandson Cameron, right, in the 2003 film “It Runs in the Family.” The allure of seeing Kirk and Michael act together failed to ignite critical or audience support for the film.

 (Andrew Schwartz / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)

Douglas, right, and his son Michael share laughs backstage before their rehearsal at the Kodak Theatre for the 75th Academy Awards.

 (Anacleto Rapping / Los Angeles Times)
Douglas attends the Palm Springs International Film Society and its film festival honoring him on Oct. 17, 2004, at the Annenberg Theatre in the Palm Springs Desert Museum. The city of Palm Springs named a street “Kirk Douglas Way” after the actor. (Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)

Kirk and Anne Douglas in 2004 at Greystone Mansion, where they renewed their vows after 50 years of marriage.

 (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Douglas takes a bite out of a turkey leg held by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as both men volunteer at the Los Angeles Mission’s Thanksgiving dinner on skid row.

 (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Kirk Douglas has a conversation with his younger self as he performs his one–man show, “Before I Forget,” at his namesake theater in Culver City on March 3, 2009. 

 (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
Douglas, left, hams it up with Omar Sharif Jr. the during the 83rd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 2011. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Kirk and Anne Douglas pose with Spartacus mugs at home in 2011.

 (Kelsey Douglas)
Anne and Kirk Douglas pose for a portrait in Beverly Hills on Dec. 5, 2014. Douglas and his wife donated $15 million toward a Motion Picture & Television Fund campus in Woodland Hills to help build a care center for Hollywood industry members suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. (Matt Sayles / Invision/AP)