At the ripe old age of 102, Kirk Douglas is one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood. As an actor, producer, director, author, and philanthropist, the centenarian has received an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and three Academy Award nominations.
Beyond the achievements, what matters most in Kirk’s life is undoubtedly his wife and soulmate—actress Anne Buydens, who was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1919, but later moved to Belgium with her family.
Kirk has been married to Anne, 100, since 1954. Being through thick and thin, Kirk and Anne remain inseparable after 65 years of blissful marriage.
Kirk first met Anne while working on a film in Paris 1953. Anne said no when Kirk asked her to work for him. When the actor invited her on a date to “the most romantic (and expensive) restaurant in Paris, La Tour d’Argent,” Anne replied: “No, thank you, I think I’ll go home and make myself some scrambled eggs.”
“The fact that I didn’t impress her certainly impressed me, and I was determined to win her over,” Kirk wrote in the couple’s memoir—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,” he added.
Happy Anniversary Dad and Anne. Congratulations on 61 glorious years! Love Michael, Catherine, Cameron, Dylan and Carys.(here is a picture from their Honeymoon)
However, the bilingual Anne subsequently agreed to work as a publicist for Kirk, known to be a playboy.
“With no romance in the picture, I stopped trying to impress Anne. Instead, I stopped talking about myself and began to listen to her,” Douglas, who blogs every now and then, wrote in the memoir.
Working long hours together, Anne eventually opened up to Kirk. Though Anne promised herself “I wouldn’t get involved with such a handsome man, knowing he was to go back to America,” love blossomed between them.
At one point, Kirk struggled with financial problems and almost ran out of money. “So I’m going out with a man who’s poor?” Anne told USA Today. Fortunately, Anne helped him change managers and made his financial situation better.
Desert Trip Indio concert weekend was especially meaningful because friends of mine purchased Kirk's old house and have…
Kirk and Anne tied the knot on May 29, 1954. The couple had two sons together—Peter and Eric. They outlive their youngest son, Eric, who passed away in 2004.
However, their marriage has not always been smooth sailing. Anne had battled with breast cancer, Kirk had struggled with stroke, which affected his speech, and both had grieved over the death of their son Eric.
“When I had my stroke 17 years ago, she drove me to the hospital like a Formula One racer. And when I wallowed in self-pity because of my impaired speech, she made me get up and work with a speech therapist,” Kirk wrote.
Celebrating the 60th wedding anniversary of my father and step-mother Anne in LA last Friday. #60Years!Photo courtesy of Christopher Briscoe.
“After 60 years of marriage, you go through a lot of obstacles—and all of them were beautiful,” Anne said in an interview, as per LA Times.
Throughout their lifetime, the couple had been actively participating in various volunteer and philanthropic activities, according to Newsner.
And after half a century of marriage, the love between Kirk and Anne is still going strong. “To this day, I write her love poems; to this day, she continues to give me tough love,” Kirk wrote.
Catherine Zeta-Jones and I hosted a happy birthday tea party at the Beverly Hills Hotel to celebrate dad's 100th on Friday December 9th. Family with half-brother Peter and his children.
When the couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, a friend asked: “Kirk, why did your marriage last so long?”
“‘That’s easy,” Kirk replied. ‘I just told my wife, if you ever leave me, I’m going with you!'” wrote Kirk in the memoir.
For Kirk’s 100th birthday, Anne gave him an iPad. She revealed: “Every night we always have our what we call ‘golden hour’ about 6, 6:30, until 7:15 pm, and then dinner. And during this golden time, we each have our drink and used to talk about what happened during the day.”
Kirk is blowing out the candles on his 101st birthday cake during lunch. Also celebrating are my niece Kelsey, my brother Joel and my step mother Anne.
For Kirk’s last birthday, Anne, dressed in bright pink, posed for photos with her husband. In the photo, Kirk and Anne sit in wheelchairs, side by side and holding hands, The Vintage News reported.
The celebrity couple is even planning a celebration for Kirk’s 103rd birthday on Dec. 9, 2019.
Marriage is not child’s play. In today’s world when divorce is rampant, Kirk and Anne’s enduring love that lasts a lifetime is inspiring.
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