Cameron, who is the son of Kirk’s eldest son Michael, wrote a lengthy post for The Hollywood Reporter explaining the impact that his grandfather’s encouragement had on him at a time when he was rebuilding his career after being released from prison and getting sober.
The actor wrote that he could always count on Kirk to show up for anyone in the family, recalling a story in which he and his wife, Anne, showed up to a club Cameron was DJing at around 12:30 a.m. when the acclaimed actor was in his “late 80s, early 90s.” Cameron explained that moving to Los Angeles and getting his acting career back made his grandfather immensely proud.
“He said to me, not that long ago, ‘Cameron, I’m so happy to see that you’re finally functioning.’ That’s this kind of credo among the members of our family — to be ‘functioning’ — and I know that made him proud.”
“He always used to tell me — even before I got this job, when I was doing a lot of auditioning — how he thought that I was truly talented and to keep going. To hear that coming from him was enough,” Cameron continued. “He didn't really have a secret about acting to pass along to me. His secret was hard work, being prepared and showing up. Then, if you have the talent and the work ethic, it will work out. That’s what’s ingrained in me from him.”
Kirk was one of the most famous American leading men of the mid-20th century remembered for his dimpled chin, chiseled features, and virile Hollywood roles. Cameron’s father took to Instagram on Feb. 5 to share news of his dad’s death with the world.
"It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103," Kirk's son Michael wrote in a statement shared to social media.
Cameron concluded the tribute to the late Hollywood legend by noting how difficult it is to move the family forward in his absence.
“Losing him is one of those things that, even when you sort of see it coming — he was 103 — it’s still difficult,” he explained. “I take solace in the pride of being his grandson and having had the opportunity to spend as much time with him as I have. When I look at his life, what he accomplished and the way he carried himself, it's hard for me to imagine anyone doing it any better.”