Their love story might not have started with their first meeting, but when they did get together, it resulted in something magical and long-lasting.
From Spartacus to Lonely Are the Brave to Along The Great Divide, Kirk Douglas has kept everyone on the edge of their seat with his acting prowess. But there's just one person for whom his acting prowess comes second and being a partner comes first - his wife, Anne Douglas. And what a love story they have.
For a whopping 64 years, the two have passed every hurdle and fought every battle together, ensuring that their bond remains strong and true.
The couple met in 1953 when Anne was working as a film publicist in Paris. She was introduced to Douglas, who was then filming Lust for Life, after he invited her to his trailer, otherwise known as the "lion's den", as he was quite the playboy, The Vintage News reported.
According to their memoir, Kirk and Anne, the actor “took a look at me [Anne] and then he said, ‘Would you like to have dinner with my friends at some chic restaurant?’ And I said, ‘No, thank you, I think I’ll go home and make myself some scrambled eggs.’ That was not what he expected.”
“She was the most difficult woman I ever met,” Kirk said in an interview with USA Today. "I mean, I was a big movie star! And I invited her to dinner and she said, 'Oh thank you very much, but I’m so tired.‘”
While he was initially annoyed by her refusal, he still hired her as his publicist and they soon became friends. “With no romance in the picture, I stopped trying to impress Anne. Instead, I stopped talking about myself and began to listen to her,” he wrote in their book. And that is when their true fairytale began. Kirk was determined to show her that he was different if not in the most amusing way.
During the initial days of their courtship, the couple made their way to a charity gala held at a circus, where Kirk was more than happy to scoop elephant dung while fully dressed in a tuxedo. "That’s what got me,” Anne told USA Today. “It was not only funny, it was showing me that he was able to do things that are not expected from him.”
So the two finally got married in May 1954 and there was one tradition that carried on from their dating time to their marriage - writing heartfelt letters to each other. According to Town and Country Magazine, one of the letters mentioned in Kirk and Anne was when Kirk wrote to his beloved wife to tell her how much he missed her while he was filming Paths of Glory in Munich.
It read, “Darling, How is it that when I am away from you, such love for you overwhelms me at 2:30 in the morning—as it is now—I awake to write to you. How incomplete I seem without my family. How can a man live alone? To live just for yourself is to be dead. And yes I welcome this parting from you to rekindle my awareness of how much you mean to me. The early hour brings out the poetic side of me."
Even through their battles with health - Anne with breast cancer and Kirk with depression after a stroke - and grief of losing one of their sons, they have never left each other's side. And their six-decade-long marriage is a testament to that. Their love only seems to grow, never fade.
“Romance begins at 80
And I ought to know.
I live with a girl
Who will tell you so.”
—Kirk Douglas, in his collection of poems, Life Could Be Verse