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.
There were no signs of foul play, police spokeswoman Jennara
Everleth said. But per standard procedure, the case was being treated as
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.
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
Eric Douglas was half-brother to Oscar-winning
actor/producer Michael Douglas (news), 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'
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 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
As an actor, Eric Douglas amassed a handful of minor
credits--a guest part 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
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 his
parents and half-brother Michael, Eric Douglas is survived by a brother,
Peter, a producer, and another half-brother, Joel, also a producer.