Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas celebrates his 103rd birthday

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Kirk Douglas attends the ceremony honouring his son actor Michael Douglas with a Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, in Hollywood, California on November 6, 2018. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)

Acting legend Kirk Douglas is celebrating his 103rd birthday, with his close family paying their respects to the screen icon.

Catherine Zeta Jones took to Instagram to post a shot of her father-in-law sitting on her knee, captioning: “This guy on my knee, is 103!!!!! Happy Birthday Pappy!!! I love you with all my heart.”

Cameron Douglas, son of Michael Douglas, also gave a shout out to his grandfather on social media.

“Happy Birthday Pappy...you are a gift to the world; a guiding light and source of inspiration to me. I Love you. #103 to #infinity,” he wrote.

Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch in New York on December 9, 1916, the son of Jewish immigrants from what is now Belarus, changing his named to Kirk Douglas before joining the Navy in World War II.

He began acting after returning from the war, working in radio, theatre and adverts, before breaking into Hollywood with movies like Out Of The Past with Robert Mitchum and boxing drama Champion, for which he received an Oscar nomination.

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Douglas, who has been married to his second wife Anne Buydens for 65 years, then went on to film iconic performances in movies like Spartacus and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, as well as in movies like Lonely Are The Brave and Kubrick's Paths of Glory.

He was given an honorary Oscar in 1996 to mark 50 years in the movie business.

Michael Douglas recently revealed that his father had begged him not to throw a party to celebrate this latest milestone.

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He told Jimmy Kimmel: “Well, it's like, so 100. Okay, so he was 100. Big birthday, big birthday. The trouble is, when you're 100, you don't really want a big birthday. I threw a big party for him, it was great.

“101. You know, 'OK, let's have a nice party.' 'Again? I don't...' 'Dad, it's 101 years old. You have to have a birthday.' 102... So he's begging me, he's got tears down his eyes. 'Let's just have dinner, the family together. Bring the kids.'”

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