Kirk and Anne Douglas were married for 66 years and shared two sons, Peter, 65, and Eric. She was also stepmom to Michael and Joel Douglas.
Anne Buydens, the wife of late Kirk Douglas, passed away at the age of 102 on April 29, 2021. Her demise comes just over a year after Kirk, who passed away in February 2020. The couple were married for 66 years and shared two sons, Peter, 65, and Eric. The 102-year-old Hollywood legend passed away at her home in Beverly Hills.
Anne was stepmom to Michael Douglas, 76, and Joel Douglas, 74, both of whom are sons of Kirk and his first wife, Diana Douglas, who passed away in 2015. Michael honored his late stepmom with a lovely statement.
"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," Michael said in a statement, according to People. "Catherine [Zeta-Jones] and I and the children adored her; she will always be in our hearts," he added.
"My father could never keep a secret. Anne was just the opposite, That's why I was so moved 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; and her career before she met my father," he added. "She also included their private correspondence, which gave me new insights into their courtship and marriage," he said.
She had celebrated her birthday only a week before and Michael had shared a photo of her on Instagram. "Happy Birthday Anne Douglas! We love you! ❤️ Michael, Catherine, Carys, & Dylan," the Kominsky Method star wrote in the caption.
Anne was born as Hannelore Marx in Hannover, Germany, where she spent her youth trying to survive in Nazi-occupied France, as per ET.
She was a film publicist when she met Kirk in 1953 on the set of Act of Love in Paris. By then, he had divorced his first wife Diana (Dill) in 1951. The actor was engaged to someone else at the time, but love blossomed between him and Anne while working together. They stayed in touch while he filmed 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in the Caribbean. He asked her to visit Beverly Hills after finishing her work with the Cannes Film Festival in 1954. He popped the question only six weeks after she reached Los Angeles. The couple got married in Las Vegas in 1954.
They had a big celebration in 2004 to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Together, the couple went through the loss of their son Eric, Anne's breast cancer as well as Kirk's depression following his stroke.
They were also a philanthropic couple, who donated $118 million to various causes through the Douglas Foundation. The foundation is going to continue its work through the administrators Anne had appointed.
Anne once saved her husband's life by insisting that he not take a private plane with director Mike Todd, Elizabeth Taylor’s husband. Kirk was supposed to take the plane from Palm Springs to New York with director Mike to present him with a Showman of the Year award at the New York Friar’s Club. However, Anne, who disliked private planes, insisted that she had a "strange feeling" about it, according to Town & Country. They ended up fighting over it intensely but Kirk agreed to not take the plane.
"She kept insisting,” he said. "And we had a big fight. I said, ‘OK, I won’t go.' But I was very mad at her." Soon after, the radio news announced that the director's plane had crashed and all aboard had died. "She saved my life,” Kirk said.
She was also crucial in making him a wealthy man. At the time they had started dating, Kirk was clueless about his financial situation. When Anne started questioning his business manager, she found that Kirk was actually almost broke. She used her knowledge about business, which she learned from her father, to help Kirk invest his money wisely.
She protected him throughout his life and stayed by his side. The great woman will be missed by her family.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Central Press (R) Craig Barritt