Actor Eric Douglas dies mysteriously. The 46-year-old, Kirk's youngest son and half-brother to Michael, is found dead in his New York apartment

By Gary Susman
Updated July 07, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Eric Douglas, an actor and comedian who was a half-brother to Michael Douglas and was the youngest of Kirk Douglas’ four sons, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Tuesday, according to wire service reports. According to the New York Daily News, the 46-year-old’s body was discovered by his housekeeper. Police said there appeared to be no sign of foul play, and that an autopsy would be performed to determine the cause of death. Half-brother Michael issued a statement saying only that the Douglas family ”is very shocked and saddened by this event. We hope you will respect their privacy at this time.”

Douglas inherited his father’s famous chin but little of his success. (In 1991, they costarred in an episode of ”Tales From the Crypt” that did little for Eric’s career but earned an Emmy nomination for Kirk.) Eric Douglas’ movie career, which EW analyzed 11 years ago here, consisted largely of walk-ons, and he hadn’t appeared on screen since 1991’s ”Delta Force 3.” He was better known for his appearances in tabloid headlines, as he spent years battling drug addiction and weight problems and had numerous run-ins with the law. He was arrested at least three times for causing ruckuses on airplanes. In 1997, he pleaded guilty to drug possession charges after signing for a package full of anti-depressant pills in a postal sting operation. A 1999 pill overdose led to an eight-day coma that permanently affected his gait and speech. Last summer, he was kicked out of a North Carolina hotel after a drunken binge. ”The pressures of being the youngest son in a famous family sometimes got to me,” he told the Daily News in 2000. ”I used to feel I had to compare myself to them.”