This iconic Hollywood couple has a marriage that is the stuff of legends. People look up to them for their devotion to each other.
Spartacus star Kirk Douglas and wife Anne Buydens are the kind of rare couples. Only once in a generation do we see love this everlasting. The couple has been married since May 29, 1954, and celebrated their 65th year together in 2019.
Their enduring love has become the stuff of legends. Kirk turned 102 on December 2018 and Anne turned 100 on April 23 this year. Almost a month later, they celebrated their 65th anniversary together. While we wonder what made it possible to have a commitment this deep, Kirk explained: “We are soul mates”.
After spending practically a lifetime together, they are completely in sync with each other. They want to be better for each other and have always wanted to keep the marriage rock-solid. The space they give each other to be themselves was one reason that they stuck together.
"Always remember darling, I need you...for you, I hope to do wonderful things in life. This is it—you and me and our family forever!" he told her once, according to Country Living. The previously famous womanizer had turned a new leaf for Anne and the family. After one failed marriage, he wanted to do right by her.
The couple says that the key to the forever kind of love lies in laughing together. Even though they are both wheelchair-ridden they keep their love and laughter alive by spending time with each other and their family. You will always find them holding hands and exchanging loving gestures that come from knowing each other for so long. You begin to have a language of your own that only your partner understands.
But, communication is just as important. When Kirk was still actively shooting and would be gone for months for work, the couple would write to each other. Once he wrote to her, “If I live to be 100, there will still be so many things unsaid.” He followed up that on his 100th birthday by saying, "As I have now reached that milestone, I can attest that it is still true.”
It is their efforts towards keeping their marriage alive that saw them through personal tragedies.
In 1995, Kirk had suffered a stroke and it became difficult to speak. While he recovered through heart surgery, he went into depression and tried to commit suicide. “Now I am convinced that suicide is a stupid and selfish thing,” he said. A few years later, Anne was diagnosed with breast cancer and they fought it and came out winning. Their tough times didn't end there.
They had two sons together Peter and Eric, and the couple suffered a massive tragedy when Eric passed away in 2004 at the age of 46, due to problems with addiction. They kept their faith in each other through the loss.
Despite, what their relationship became over the years, they had a rocky start. He almost didn't marry her since he was engaged to another actress, Pier Angeli, then. She was also unwilling to invest emotionally in a man who wouldn't do the same.
"She was not interested in a frivolous affair," Kirk Douglas, 100, wrote in Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood. "This self-possessed beauty was very different from the women I had been involved with in Hollywood since [ex-wife] Diana left me...Anne was a sophisticated woman, unlike my virginal Pier Angeli, who took her mother on all our dates."
However, perseverance made it work, but he made a few mistakes and almost let her go before realizing he can't go on without her. "I'm not proud that it took me until then to realize how much I didn't want to lose her, and I'm not proud that I put so little thought into our wedding," he wrote in LA Times.
When it finally dawned on him, he made sure he never left her side again. “After 60 years of marriage, you go through a lot of obstacles — and all of them are beautiful," said Anne on their anniversary, while Kirk added, "If you ever leave me, I’m going with you!"