Kirk Douglas, Star Of 'Spartacus' And A Hollywood Icon, Dead At 103

He was Spartacus. And a military officer. And a boxer. And an icon of Hollywood history. Kirk Douglas, who left an indelible mark on Hollywood and cinematic history with his portrayal of chiseled, noble-browed heroes in Spartacus, The Bad and the Beautiful, and Champion, has died. He was 103.

Kirk Douglas, a Hollywood legend and one of Classic Hollywood's last living movie stars, died Wednesday in Los Angeles, his son and fellow actor Michael Douglas announced.

"It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103," Michael Douglas wrote on his Instagram account. "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. But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine (Zeta-Jones), a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband."

Douglas was arguably the biggest male star of post World War II Hollywood, acting in more than 80 movies before he retired from films in 2004. Nominated three times for Best Actor by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his roles in Champion (1949), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and Lust for Life (1956), Douglas finally received the honorary Oscar in 1996. But he was best known for his career-defining, and career-threatening role, as a slave in Spartacus, a Dalton Trumbo-penned film that Douglas produced during the McCarthy Era. But Spartacus went on to become Universal's biggest hit for nearly a decade, and a role for which Douglas will always be remembered.

Born in Amsterdam, New York, in 1916, Douglas first shot to stardom as the cynical boxer in Champion, which established his tough-guy image and earned him his first Oscar nomination. Through the 1950s and '60s he was a major box office star, acting opposite many of the leading ladies of the day, but would cross paths with the Academy two more times: as the ambitious, polarizing movie producer in The Bad and the Beautiful, and as the tortured genius Vincent van Gogh in Lust for Life, the latter of which won him the New York Film Critics Award for best actor.

Douglas was also an accomplished producer, director, author and philanthropist. Douglas was one of the first actors in post-World War II Hollywood to take control of his own career by forming his own independent film company, Bryna Productions, in 1955. Starting in 1988, he became a successful writer, publishing a dozen books, including fiction, nonfiction, children's books and memoirs through 2017.

He is survived by his wife, Anne Buyden, who is 100 years old, as well as sons Joel, Peter, and fellow Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas.