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Eric, seen here with his father Kirk, once said it was difficult to be the youngest member of such a high-profile family
Photo: AFP
Click on photo to enlarge

7 JULY 2004

One of America's most celebrated showbiz dynasties is in mourning after Eric Douglas was found dead in New York. The body of Kirk Douglas' youngest son was discovered in a Manhattan apartment after an unidentified individual flagged down a passing police car.

The cause of death remains unknown, but 46-year-old Eric had a long history of substance abuse and police at the scene said they believed drugs were involved. Over the years the stand-up comedian had repeated clashes with the law and spent time in rehabilitation clinics.

In 1996 he was jailed for 30 days after becoming drunk and abusive on a flight from Los Angeles to New York. The following year, after another run-in with police, he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession and in 1998 he spent a night in jail after an alleged drink driving incident.

Though he landed a handful of supporting roles, in movies like The Golden Child and Delta Force III, Eric never managed the stellar success of his elder sibling. And he once confessed to feeling envious of Michael's professional good-fortune and marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones.

"People think I have it easy because I'm Kirk Douglas' son and Michael Douglas' brother," he said. "But sometimes it's harder."

eric douglas, michael douglas, kirk douglas, catherin zeta-jones
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