The world lost a legend when one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age Kirk Douglas died.
Star of Spartacus, Lust for Life, and Paths of Glory, Kirk died at his home in Beverly Hills on February 5 at the age of 103.
He appeared in over 90 movies and he was 91 years old when he appeared in his last film French mockumentary Empire State Building Murders.
The Vikings’ star amassed a $61 million fortune but none of it will go to his family, instead it will go the needy, mainly through The Douglas Foundation.
Set up in 1964 The Douglas Foundation is described as “One of the entertainment industry’s largest and oldest private philanthropic institutions, the Foundation is committed to helping those who might not otherwise be able to help themselves.”
As the child of Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire and living in New York, Kirk’s parents struggled to put food on the table some days but his parents always helped others and that prompted him to give back in his later years.
‘You must take care of other people’
“Sometimes we didn’t have enough to eat, but very often there would be a knock at the door and it would be a hobo wanting food, and my mother always gave them something. My mother said to me: ‘You must take care of other people.’ That stayed with me,” Kirk Douglas said, according to Unilad.
At least $50 million of his fortune will be distributed through the foundation which has set up programs focusing on education and health and support to medical research, equipment, and programs within the health system.
Beneficiaries of the foundation include the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and a St Lawrence University scholarship for underprivileged students.
Kirk’s 75-year-old son Michael Douglas has amassed his own fortune through legendary movies like Fatal Attraction and Wall Street and is said to have a net worth of around $300 million.
‘I’m proud to be your son’
In a statement acknowledging his father’s legacy Michael wrote: “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.”
His wonderful legacy, not just as an extraordinary actor but as a philanthropist will live on through his foundation.
Thank you Kirk for all you’ve done and continue to do to help those less fortunate, you will be missed. Please share.