Kirk Douglas' admired widow Anne dies at 102
2020 will be forever associated with a pandemic and the name of coronavirus. But also that of the last two stars of the golden Hollywood who left us forever: Olivia de Havilland and Kirk Douglas. The second died in February at the age of 103, leaving behind an impressive legacy and also a widow, Anne. The publicist, who met the actor with the split chin in 1953, died this Thursday at the age of 102. According to the 'Hollywood Reporter', Michael Douglas' stepmother has died peacefully and of natural causes. Michael himself has mourned the death of the woman who was married for 66 years to his father. "Anne was more than a stepmother and never 'evil'. 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 collaboration. Catherine (Zeta-Jones), me and the kids adore her; she will always be in our hearts, "she has said.
Anne's talent, although not as recognized as that of the legendary protagonist of 'Spartacus', was not trivial either. She was, for example, one of the five founders of the Cedars-Sinai Cancer Research Center. She also founded The Anne Douglas Center for Women in Los Angeles. In the 1950s, Anne was an assistant on the set of John Huston's 'Moulin Rouge' and was already taking her first steps in Hollywood. Around this time, she also became the chief of protocol for the Cannes Film Festival. She met Kirk Douglas on the set of 'Act of Love', a minor Anatole Litvak film that came at a difficult time for her and the actor. Although he had already divorced Diana Dill (Michael's mother), she was still married to Albert Buydens. Perhaps that is why, at first, she refused to go further and be Douglas's assistant, just as the interpreter had proposed to her. In the end, she got the job and they both ended up falling in love.
Anne did not want to fall into the classic trap of the young woman who falls in love with a well-known actor, as she herself declared. "I felt like I could fall in love with this man. I didn't want to, because I'd seen so many young women get into intense relationships with movie stars sporadically, including Dean Martin, Marlon Brando, Cary Grant. Then the movie would end and the men would come back. with their wives. " However, her relationship with Douglas was long lasting. They were married in Las Vegas on May 29, 1954 and never separated until his death. They had their ups and downs, including his infidelities with actresses like Rita Hayworth, something that failed to undermine the relationship. "Kirk never tried to hide his nonsense from me. As a European, I understood that it was unrealistic to expect total fidelity in a marriage," she stated in her memoir.
Parents of two children, they overcame great tragedies such as the loss of their son Eric, also an actor, who died of an overdose at the age of 46. Anne herself also struggled to overcome breast cancer. Long-lived and much loved by the Hollywood community, they will go down in the little history of the film mecca as one of its most stable and adorable partners.