August 1, 2021

Anne, widow of Kirk Douglas and his wife of 66 years, dies at 102 | People

Anne Douglas, the wife of Kirk Douglas and stepmother of Michael Douglas, died this Thursday at the age of 102 at her home in Beverly Hills, according to several American media. His death comes 14 months after the legendary Hollywood actor passed away, in February 2020, at the age of 103. They were married for 66 years and the result of their relationship were Peter and Eric, both dedicated to the world of entertainment, who were joined by Douglas’s two sons from their previous marriage: Joel and Michael.

Anne was more than a stepmother and never evil. She brought out the best in all of us, especially our father. Dad would never have had the career he had without Anne’s support and bonding. Catherine [Zeta-Jones], me and the children adore her; it will always be in our hearts, “said Michael Douglas, 76, in a statement to the magazine. People. “My father was never able to keep a secret. Anne was the opposite. That is why I was so moved when I read his co-authored book, Kirk y Anne, in which she spoke of her early years in Germany; his war years in the occupation of Paris and his career before meeting my father ”, Michael has said about his admiration for his father’s wife and her origins. “He also included his private correspondence, which gave me a new look at his courtship and marriage,” he added about the exciting story that united his father with his last wife.

They have not been the only words of love that Douglas has dedicated to his father’s widow. Last week, the protagonist of Basic instinct O Fatal Attraction congratulated Anne on her 102nd birthday with an emotional post on Instagram. “Happy birthday, Anne Douglas! We love you! Michael, Catherine, Carys and Dilan, ”he wrote alongside a picture of the reunited family.

Anne Buydens, her maiden name, was a publicist and film producer and met Kirk Douglas in 1953 in Paris, during the filming of the film Act of love. So they both had other partners. He had divorced his first wife, Diana, in 1951, and was secretly engaged to actress Pier Angeli and she had married a Belgian friend for security reasons during World War II. In the book Michael Douglas refers to, written by the couple in 2017, Kirk and Anne: Love Letters, Laughter and a Lifetime in Hollywood, the legendary movie star revealed that he was attracted to her as soon as he saw her. “She was very different from the women I had been with in Hollywood since Diana left me,” he wrote. So, he asked her out. “She rejected me. But he was determined to conquer her, ”he added. Anne, for her part, was afraid of falling in love with him. “I felt like I could fall in love with this man. She didn’t want to, because she’d seen so many young women sporadically get into intense relationships with movie stars, including Dean Martin, Marlon Brando, Cary Grant. Then the movie ended and the men returned with their wives. ” However, her relationship with Douglas was long lasting. They were married in Las Vegas in 1954 after she threatened to leave him. “I realized that I would be lost without her,” he revealed in his memoirs. The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2004 with a huge party.

Although the couple always boasted of their love, they also had a crisis due to his flirting. In the same book, She says that she intentionally turned a blind eye to some infidelity by her husband, and that he was honest about it: “Kirk never tried to hide anything from me. As a European, I understood that it was not realistic to expect total fidelity in a marriage ”. “I was extremely lucky to find my soul mate and I believe that our wonderful marriage and our gold talks each night for an hour have helped me survive all things,” Kirk wrote.

In addition to her work as a publicist, Anne was an admired philanthropist and served on the boards of two foundations, The Mark Taper Forum and Center Theater Group. Anne was also one of the original five founders of the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Cancer Research Center and founded The Anne Douglas Center for Women in the Los Angeles Mission. “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Mrs. Anne Douglas, Kirk Douglas’s beloved widow. Together, the Douglas family has been deeply involved in the Los Angeles Mission’s efforts to restore the lives of the homeless in our city, ”said Troy Vaughn, Mission president and CEO, in a statement.

Kirk Douglas, with his wife Anne on his 103rd birthday.VALERIE MACON / AFP

A passion for solidarity that she shared with her husband, who bequeathed much of his fortune to projects funded by the Douglas Foundation, the charity he co-founded almost six decades ago with his wife. The non-profit organization benefits Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, the Kirk and Anne Douglas Children’s Center, and a St. Lawrence University scholarship for underprivileged students. The foundation also distributes money to the Sinai Temple in Westwood and the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City.