Anne Douglas, the widow of Kirk Douglas, has died. The former publicist was 102.
She passed away at their Beverly Hills home. Kirk died on Feb. 5, 2020 at 103.
Anne met Kirk in 1953 on set of “Act of Love” in Paris. At the time, he was divorced from Diana Dill and secretly engaged to Pier Angeli. Anne was married to Albert Buydens. Kirk tried to hire Anne but she turned him down.
In their book Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood, Kirk wrote of their meeting. “She finally agreed to work with me on a trial basis, making it clear our relationship would be strictly business,” he said.
Anne added, “We talked for hours, and I had a strange feeling in my heart that I could fall in love with this man. I didn’t want to, because I had seen too many young women enter into intense affairs with visiting movie stars — Dean Martin, Marlon Brando, Cary Grant among them. Then the film wrapped and the men returned to their wives and families.”
On a whim in 1954, they flew to Las Vegas and got married by a justice of the peace.
Together, they had two sons, Peter and Eric. Eric died in 2004 of an accidental drug overdose. Kirk had sons Michael and Joel with Diana.
In a statement, Michael Douglas said, “My father could never keep a secret. Anne was just the opposite, That’s why when I read their co-authored book, Kirk and Anne, in which she talked about her early life in Germany; her war years in occupied Paris; her career before she met my father. She also included their private correspondence, which gave me new insights into their courtship and marriage. Anne was more than a stepmother, and never ‘wicked.’ She brought out the best in all of us, especially our father. Dad would never have had the career he did without Anne’s support and partnership. Catherine and I and the children adored her; she will always be in our hearts.”
Later in life, the two were focused on giving back including $50 million split between five charities including the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Through their Douglas Foundation over $118 million has been donated.
The family is asking for well wished to make a donation in her memory to the Anne Douglas Center at the Los Angeles Mission.
Just last week Catherine Zeta-Jones celebrated her mother-in-law’s birthday.