Hanks was on hand at the 2020 Oscars to help the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announce its namesake museum, which will open its doors in Los Angeles in December. After making the big announcement to the live crowd and viewers at home, Hanks concluded his speech by shouting, “I am Spartacus!”
The line comes from the 1960 film “Spartacus” in which Douglas played the title role. The line is a reference to the film’s iconic scene in which a crowd claims to be Spartacus to shield him from being identified.
Hanks’ shout-out comes as a tribute to the late actor, who died earlier in the week at age 103. Douglas’ death was announced on Instagram by his son Michael on Wednesday.
“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103,” the late star’s son shared.
He continued: “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.
“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,” he added.
Shortly after his death, The Academy’s Twitter page shared a quote from Douglas as well as an image of him from “Spartacus” to pay tribute to him.
“‘I wanted to be an actor ever since I was a kid in the second grade. I did a play, and my mother made a black apron, and I played a shoemaker. After the performance, [my father] gave me my first Oscar: an ice cream cone.’ -Kirk Douglas
Goodbye to a Hollywood legend,” the tweet reads.
Hanks joins the slew of Hollywood celebrities who publicly paid tribute to Douglas throughout the week.