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16 Icons Who Passed Away in 2020

In a year heart-wrenchingly challenging for the entire global community as the pandemic spread around the entire world, life and death became a harrowing part of daily life in 2020. The devastation was accentuated by the loss of some of the most notable figures — from a variety of causes — who graced everything the big screen and basketball courts and who made their mark in fields ranging from politics and justice to the restaurant and music scenes.

Kirk Douglas (December 9, 1916 – February 5, 2020)

Kirk Douglas in his Beverly Hills home in March 2003

Kirk Douglas in his Beverly Hills home, March 2003

When Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas — best known for his leading role in 1960’s Spartacus — passed away at the age of 103, it was his son Michael Douglas, who followed his father into the business and starred with him in It Runs in the Family (2003), that made the announcement. “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,” the younger Douglas told People. “But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine [Zeta-Jones], a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great-grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband.” The three-time Oscar nominee who worked his way up from a poor immigrant family was also known for writing fiction and nonfiction books and his philanthropy through the Douglas Foundation.


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