The star of Spartacus, Lust for Life and Paths of Glory was also father to the actor Michael Douglas.
In a statement, his son Michael said: “It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103.
“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, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband.”
He added: “Kirk’s life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet.
“Let me end with the words I told him on his last birthday and which will always remain true. Dad – I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son.”
Industry figures who knew or worked with Douglas have taken to social media to pay tribute to the star.
In a statement, Steven Spielberg wrote: “Kirk retained his movie star charisma right to the end of his wonderful life and I’m honoured to have been a small part of his last 45 years. I will miss his handwritten notes, letters and fatherly advice, and his wisdom and courage – even beyond such a breathtaking body of work – are enough to inspire me for the rest of mine.”
Danny De Vito, meanwhile, tweeted: “Kirk Douglas. The inspirational Scalawag. 103 years on this earth. That’s got a nice ring to it! Great hanging with you man.”
Catherine Zeta-Jones shared a picture of herself and Douglas on Instagram, writing: “To my darling Kirk, I shall love you for the rest of my life. I miss you already. Sleep tight...”
William Shatner added: “Condolences to the family of Kirk Douglas. What an incredible icon he was in this industry!”
And Rob Reiner said: “Kirk Douglas will always be an icon in the pantheon of Hollywood. He put himself on the line to break the blacklist. My love goes out to my friend Michael and the whole family.”
See more tributes from Hollywood below.
Born Issur Danielovitch, to Jewish-Russian immigrants living an impoverished life in New York, Douglas forged a prolific career in Hollywood, picking up nearly 100 credits as an actor, producer and director.
He also played a major role in breaking the Hollywood blacklist – actors, directors and writers who were shunned professionally because of links to the communist movement in the 1950s. Douglas said he was more proud of that than any film he made.
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