COSTA RICA EXTRA — Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas turns 98 next week, but reports of his death began circulating online over the weekend after People magazine accidentally posted his obit on the magazine’s website.
“Kirk Douglas, one of the few genuine box-office names to emerge just as TV was overtaking American culture in the years right after World War II, died TK TK TK,” the article said, with the “TK” referring to copy “to come.”
“He was 97 (DOB 12/9/1916) and had been in good health despite having suffered a debilitating 1996 stroke that rendered his speech difficult,” the article continued.
The Hollywood Reporter said the People obit had a Sept. 29 timestamp on it, although it’s not clear if that’s when the article was published.
The obit was removed after links to it began circulating on social media.
It should be noted that most news organizations, including The Huffington Post, work on obituaries for notable people in advance.
Douglas has written extensively about his career for The Huffington Post. Earlier this year, he wrote about his friend Elaine Stritch after her death at the age of 89.
He’s also written about the Pope, stroke awareness and technology.
And last year, Douglas reflected on life as he turned 97.
“I won’t pretend that getting older is easy,” he wrote. “But I find that it’s given me a perspective that I lacked when I was younger.”
Douglas said that when he was younger, he was always busy making movies and traveling for his role as a Goodwill Ambassador.
Now, I treasure the quiet times: reading books that make me think about new ideas; watching my roses bloom; gazing at the palm trees shimmering against the afternoon sky; seeing the simple path of a cloud across the sky; and especially sitting with Anne in front of the fire at sunset — the Golden Hour.
Douglas will celebrate his 98th birthday on Dec. 9. Last week, he told Entertainment Tonight that he wanted to live to 100. See the clip below.
His 11th book, “Life Could Be Verse,” goes on sale tomorrow.