Kirk Douglas died just days before the 2020 Oscars at the age of 103

By Helen Murphy
February 09, 2020 10:39 PM
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Tom Hanks took a moment out of the 2020 Academy Awards to pay tribute to the late actor Kirk Douglas.

Hanks, who was nominated this year for his supporting role in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, came out on stage during the Oscars ceremony to speak about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ upcoming museum in Los Angeles. The 2020 Oscars come just days after Douglas’ death on Wednesday at the age of 103.

“We’re all very proud of what has been accomplished so far in the landmark that is taking shape at Fairfax and Wilshire … and it is a pleasure to announce that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will open its doors on December 14th of 2020,” the actor revealed on stage.

Hanks, 63, concluded his announcement with a reference to Douglas’ iconic titular role in 1960’s Spartacus: “It’ll be a very big deal, we’ll see you there, and I am Spartacus!”

Tom Hanks at the 2020 Oscars
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Tom Hanks and Kirk Douglas in 2010
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Douglas’ son Michael Douglas shared the news of his father’s death with PEOPLE on Wednesday.

“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,” Michael said in a statement. “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.”

Kirk Douglas
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On Friday, Michael, along with his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones and his son Cameron, attended Douglas’ funeral service at the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary in Los Angeles.

The Hollywood star, best known for his role in Spartacus and other classic films, had more than 92 acting credits throughout his storied career. After three Oscar nominations, Douglas was awarded an honorary Academy Award in 1996.

“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 added in his statement on Wednesday.

The 92nd Annual Academy Awards are airing live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 9.