Michael Douglas’ emotional last words to father Kirk on birthday unearthed | Films | Entertainment
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Michael delivers a towering performance today as the brash Jack T Colton in 1984’s Romancing the Stone, which airs today from 3.45pm on Channel 5. It follows American bird hunter Colton, who helps a romantic-adventure writer in her attempts to save her sister in the Colombian jungle. Their exploits are further tested when it becomes clear that the sister would be killed if a treasure is not delivered to her captors.
Alongside Michael in the Eighties flick, which became a huge box office success, are fellow Hollywood heavyweights Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito.
Michael, a two-time Oscar winner, and his family have an illustrious history with Hollywood.
His wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, is a megastar, earning rave reviews in flicks such as Traffic, and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Chicago.
The iconic American’s father was also a huge Hollywood presence, with Kirk receiving Academy Award nominations for his acting exploits in Champion, The Bad and the Beautiful and Lust for Life.
Michael Douglas and his father Kirk
Kirk Douglas was nominated for three Oscars
His father died two years ago at the age of 103 and, in a tribute to Kirk following his death, Michael recalled an emotional encounter between the two.
He said: “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.”
In a social media post, Michael, 77, added: “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.
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Michael Douglas with his parents and wife
“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.”
Upon the announcement of Kirk’s death, Hollywood mourned one of its favourite sons, with stars flooding social media to pay tribute.
Among these was US actor Sylvester Stallone, who shared a poster from Kirk’s 1949 film Champion, in which he played a boxer.
The Rocky franchise star wrote on Instagram: “KIRK DOUGLAS!!! The last great giant of my cinema heroes has passed on to Infinite glory.
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Michael Douglas has won two Oscars
“Amazing artist! The likes of which we will never ever see again!”
He was followed by Mr DeVito, who took to Twitter to share his sadness at the news.
He wrote: “Kirk Douglas. The inspirational Scalawag. 103 years on this earth.
“That’s got a nice ring to it! Great hanging with you man.”
Other Hollywood megastars to pay tribute included film producer Steven Spielberg, who had given Kirk his honorary Oscar at the 1996 Academy Awards.
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In a statement, Mr Spielberg said: “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.”
He continued: “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.”
Star Trek’s George Takei also hailed Kirk’s influence.
Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “Legendary actor Kirk Douglas has passed on today at the age of 103.
“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.”
Romancing the Stone airs today on Channel 5 from 3.45pm.