Jamie Lee Curtis Says Kirk Douglas Saved Her Life as a Child

Jamie Lee Curtis is paying tribute to the late Kirk Douglas by telling a story about the time he saved her life as a child.

The actress, 61, began her touching Instagram post by explaining her relationship with the actor, who died Wednesday at the age of 103. “Kirk and [his wife] Anne [Buydens] were important to BOTH my parents,” Jamie wrote alongside a photo of her father, Tony Curtis, and her mother, Janet Leigh, from when they co-starred in the 1958 historical drama, “The Vikings,” alongside Douglas.

“I just remembered this morning that Kirk saved my life when I rode my tricycle into the pool at a party and he dove in and brought me up from the bottom, still peddling,” Curtis wrote. “I was in school with their son, Eric who they lost in 2004. Tony lost his son, Nicholas in 1994. Families tied together in life and success and loss and struggle, past and present. Kirk is an example for us ALL. COURAGE. INTEGRITY. GENEROSITY.”

“Their foundation link is in my website,” she added. “See the work that they did for others. The playgrounds they built. Join them and me and honoring his legacy.”

Kirk Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch Demsky in 1916, is survived by his spouse of nearly 66 years and three sons: Michael, Joel and Peter.

Kirk — who has 92 acting credits and 32 producing credits over the span of a long and illustrious career — had enjoyed relatively good health in the final 24 years of his life after recovering from a stroke in 1996.

His movie star son Michael Douglas told People: “It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103.”

“To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to,” he went on. “But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband.”

“Kirk’s life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet,” he added. “Let me end with the words I told him on his last birthday and which will always remain true. Dad- I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son.”

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