Hollywood Legend Kirk Douglas And Anne Buydens’ 65-Year-Marriage Defied Odds

Feb 06, 2020 by apost team

Amid the storms of infidelity, cancer, and even a loss of their child, the late Kirk Douglas and Anne Buydens stuck together through it all in 65 years of marriage.

Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images

Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas has died at the age of 103.

Kirk encompassed the scrappy, tough-guy role in Hollywood movies for decades, playing cowboys, soldiers, and most significantly, a Roman gladiator. It was his role in "Spartacus" that had cemented his legacy as one of the biggest Hollywood stars in history.


Nat Dallinger/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

He undoubtedly enjoyed a successful acting career. But his married life, too, was nothing short of formidable.

He first met his future wife Anne Buydens, 100, in 1953 on the set of ‘Act of Love’ in Paris. Kirk was courting Italian-born actress Pier Angeli at that time, while Anne was married to a Belgian man.

Very shortly after, however, at the end of 1953, he ended his engagement to Pier and by the spring of 1954, he and Anne tied the knot.

Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images

“Everyone loved Anne,” he said in The Los Angeles Times. Even Kirk’s first wife and their two eldest sons, Michael and Joel loved her, and she had stuck by Kirk’s side no matter what.

But as with any marriage, it was not all rainbows and butterflies.

"Anne [had] saved my life more than a few times," the actor wrote. "She refused to let me join Mike Todd on his fateful flight east. We stopped speaking over that one until we heard the news the next morning. Elizabeth Taylor became a widow, but not my Anne. 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.”

In addition to Anne’s battle with breast cancer and Kirk’s struggle with depression after suffering a stroke, the couple suffered a tragic loss when their youngest son Eric Douglas, an actor and stand-up comedian, died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 46 in 2004.

Still, they stood strong beside each other.

For their 50th wedding anniversary, Kirk lived up to his promise of going big on celebrations for the two of them, and surprised Anne with a huge and lavish wedding party that they never had.

And in return, Anne surprised him by converting to Judaism, Kirk’s religion, right before the wedding ceremony.

In tribute to Kirk, after addressing how widely known and revered his father was for his acting, Michael Douglas, 75, writes, "But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great-grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband." Michael, whose middle name is Kirk, is also an actor and producer.

A wonderful husband indeed, as written in one of Kirk’s letter to Anne:

"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!"

Kirk and Anne’s relationship proves that the journey is more important than the destination. What do you think about their marriage?