William Shatner, George Takei and Other Hollywood Legends React to Kirk Douglas' Death at 103
"What an incredible icon he was in this industry!" William Shatner wrote on Twitter
Celebrities are remembering the iconic life of Kirk Douglas after PEOPLE confirmed his death on Wednesday, with the stars sharing the inspiration he provided throughout his legendary acting career.
“Condolences to the family of Kirk Douglas. What an incredible icon he was in this industry!” William Shatner shared on Twitter Wednesday.
“Legendary actor Kirk Douglas has passed on today at the age of 103,” George Takei wrote on the social media platform. “An Academy Award winning actor and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Douglas was a champion for many just causes and lived a long and storied life. He was adored and beloved, and he shall be missed.”
“I will always be in awe. May your memory forever be a blessing,” Ed Asner said on Twitter.
Mitzi Gaynor, who starred with Douglas in the 1963 rom-com For Love or Money, wrote, “Bravo Kirk Douglas on an incredible life. Thank you for so generously sharing your amazing talent with all of us. The film we made together will always hold a special place in my heart. My love to Anne & your beautiful family.”
Rob Reiner said that Douglas “will always be an icon in the pantheon of Hollywood.”
“He put himself on the line to break the blacklist,” Reiner added, referring to the actor’s decision to work with a blacklisted writer, Dalton Trumbo, on Spartacus. “My love goes out to my friend Michael and the whole family.”
Screenwriter BenDavid Grabinski shared one of his favorite scenes starring Douglas, writing, “One of my favorite moments in any movie ever is the dialogue exchange from ACE IN THE HOLE… ‘We’re all in the same boat.’ ‘I’m in the boat. You’re in the water.’ RIP Kirk Douglas.”
Politician Newt Gingrich added, “Kirk Douglas made a lot of great movies. He had a very fulfilling 103 years. He has a lot of fans who will always remember his great performances as an actor. My heart and prayers go out to his family.”
Danny DeVito also remembered the actor, sharing on Twitter, “Kirk Douglas. The inspirational Scalawag. 103 years on this earth. That’s got a nice ring to it! Great hanging with you man.”
Star Wars star Mark Hamill remembered Douglas as “one of the biggest stars of all time & a brilliant actor with an unforgettable, blazing charisma.”
“He will also be remembered for putting his career on the line by defying the Hollywood Blacklist, hiring writer Dalton Trumbo for the classic Spartacus. #RIP,” he wrote on Twitter.
Comedian Marc Maron also shared in the tributes, quipping on Twitter, “We lost another one way too young. RIP Kirk Douglas.”
“Hollywood doesn’t make legends like Kirk Douglas anymore,” wrote journalist Dan Rather. “Born into a Jewish immigrant family, his star rose In the golden age of film, when marquee lights were bright and movie houses palaces. My thoughts are with his family. May his memory be a blessing to them, and all of us.”
“To my darling Kirk, I shall love you for the rest of my life. I miss you already. Sleep tight…” wrote Catherine Zeta Jones on Instagram, sharing a photo of herself giving her father-in-law a kiss on the cheek. Douglas’ son Michael announced the Spartacus star’s death on Wednesday.
“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103,” Michael said in a statement to PEOPLE. “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,” the statement went on.
“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,” Michael continued. “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.”
Douglas has more than 92 acting credits to his name and is remembered not only for his superstar acting but for breaking the Hollywood blacklist after hiring screenwriter Trumbo to write the 1960 epic Spartacus.
Douglas previously told PEOPLE that hiring Trumbo was the proudest moment from his career.
“It was such a terrible, shameful time,” Douglas told PEOPLE about the purge of the alleged communists within the entertainment industry in the 1940s and ’50s. “Dalton was in prison because he refused to answer questions, so I decided, the hell with it! I’m going to put his name on it. I think that’s the thing I’m most proud of because it broke the blacklist.”
He is survived by wife of 65 years, Anne, and his sons Michael, Joel, and Peter.