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Wednesday, July 7, 2004
Douglas Family Tragedy

Onlookers watched as Eric Douglas's lifeless body was wheeled from his New York apartment building Tuesday, after his maid found him in his 14th floor apartment. Although Douglas suffered from decades of drug and alcohol abuse, a police officer said they hadn't found either in his body. Douglas was 46.

From the day Douglas was born, he was immediately thrust into the Hollywood spotlight. His father was Oscar honeree Kirk Douglas and his brother, Oscar winner Michael Douglas. But unlike his family, Eric spent many dark years in which the troubled actor toiled in the shadow of his famous family.

Kirk Douglas reportedly received the news in his Beverly Hills home, with a doctor standing by. "The family made sure that there was a doctor on-hand when Kirk was told about Eric's death to make sure he didn't have another stroke or heart attack," said Michael Musto, a columnist for Village Voice.

Musto also told us, "Eric had gained a massive amount of weight, his hair had turned white and he was slurring words toward the end."

Kirk, who starred in Eric's first movie, "The Gunfight," will join Michael and wife Catherine Zeta-Jones in New York for the memorial services. Meanwhile, an insider tells "Extra" that as recently as last summer, Eric was in Los Angeles, fighting to get clean and sober.

Michael Sands told "Extra" he was in the same 12-step program as Eric. "He was very focused," Sands said. "He was very clear about his goals to stay sober and very happy to be back in Los Angeles and that he could see his father and mother."

From Hollywood to New York, everyone agrees this was one show business family member whose life was cut tragically short.

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