July 06, 2004
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Kirk Douglas Son Found Dead

by Joal Ryan
Jul 6, 2004, 5:05 PM PT

This holiday weekend brought a mysterious end for movie legend Kirk Douglas' youngest and most troubled son.

Eric Douglas, a sometime actor-comic and more-frequent defendant, was found lying dead on the living-room floor of a Manhattan apartment Tuesday afternoon, New York City Police said.

a d v e r t i s e m e n t

There were no signs of foul play, police spokeswoman Jennara Everleth said. But per standard procedure, the case was being classified as a homicide pending the findings from the medical examiner, she said.

Police were called to the scene at 1:14 p.m. An unidentified caller alerted authorities to an "unconscious male." Douglas was declared dead on arrival by police.

Last year, Daily Variety's Army Archerd reported that Eric Douglas coped with "severe disabilities" and was "unable to work" as the result of an apparent prescription-drug-induced cardiac arrest in 1999.

Eric Douglas, who turned 46 last month, was Kirk Douglas' second son by his second wife, the former Anne Buydens, and the Hollywood icon's fourth child overall.

Eric Douglas was half-brother to Oscar-winning actor/producer Michael Douglas, and uncle to Cameron Douglas, Michael's deejay turned actor son.

Kirk Douglas and wife Anne renewed their wedding vows at a lavish 50th wedding anniversary in Los Angeles in May. Eric Douglas did not attend, nor did Michael Douglas. At the time, Michael Douglas, who patched up his relationship with his father years ago, was said to be in Europe with wife Catherine Zeta-Jones as she filmed Ocean's Twelve. There was no mention of Eric Douglas' whereabouts.

Though not as famous as his father or half-brother Michael, Eric Douglas made his share of headlines--unfortunately, they almost exclusively involved arrests.

His rap sheet included busts for allegedly driving under the influence, disrupting a commercial airline flight and harassing a 12-year-old girl at a Connecticut psychiatric and substance-abuse hospital, a charge which he was found innocent of during a jury trial.

In 2003, per Variety, he was given the legal go-ahead to pursue a lawsuit against a doctor who allegedly prescribed more than 1,000 pills to him during a three-month period in 1999 prior to the overdose.

As an actor, Eric Douglas amassed a handful of minor credits--a guest bit on a White Shadow here; a supporting part in The Golden Child there. In 1991, he appeared in a Tales from the Crypt episode with his father. He also worked as a stand-up comic.

The Douglas clan has publicly faced misfortune before. In 1991, patriarch Kirk Douglas, now 87, escaped death in a helicopter crash. In 1995, he suffered a stroke. Cameron Douglas was arrested for cocaine possession in 1999. (The charge was dropped in 2000 in exchange for a guilty plea to disorderly conduct.)

In addition to his parents and half-brother Michael, Eric Douglas is survived by a brother, Peter, a producer, and another half-brother, Joel, also a producer.

 Related Links
Eric Douglas filmography
Kirk Douglas fact sheet
Michael Douglas fact sheet

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