Kirk Douglas’ wife Anne dies at 102

Kirk Douglas looks at a book with his second wife, Anne Buydens Douglas, circa 1956. Hulton Archive/Getty Images/TNS

Anne Douglas, widow of Kirk Douglas, died Thursday at the age of 102 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The couple was married for more than six decades.

A native of Amsterdam, N.Y., Mr. Douglas graduated from St. Lawrence University, Canton, in 1939 as an English major. The university awarded him an honorary degree in 1958. He and Anne started the Douglas Foundation in 1964 to promote health and educational programs.

Mr. Douglas died in February 2020 at the age of 103.

In 1999, St. Lawrence University established the Kirk Douglas Scholarship with a $1 million donation from the film star. The school expanded the scholarship in 2012 with another gift from the Douglases, in the amount of $5 million. SLU named a new residence hall in Mr. Douglas’ honor in 2014, a 155-bed facility. In 2016, the couple donated another $2 million to his alma mater.

St. Lawrence University President William L. Fox issued the following statement to the Times on Friday:

“Lynn and I enjoyed Anne’s warm hospitality numerous times in the family home of many years. She and Kirk had an incredible partnership, a deep commitment to improving the lives of children, neighborhoods, and ambitious students just needing a fair chance and a good opportunity. We are forever grateful for their extraordinary scholarship support of the St. Lawrence student experience.”

In 2017, the Douglases released the book, “Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood.”

The book was compiled from Anne’s private archive of letters and photographs and its publishers describe it as “an intimate glimpse into the Douglases’ courtship and marriage set against the backdrop of Kirk’s screen triumphs, including ‘The Vikings,’ ‘Lust For Life,’ ‘Paths of Glory’ and ‘Spartacus.’”

According to the Associated Press, the two married in 1954 after they met in Paris while Kirk was filming “Act of Love” and she was doing publicity. They had two sons, Peter, a producer, and Eric, an actor.

Diana Douglas, Kirk’s first wife, died in 2015 at the age of 92. They had two sons, Michael and Joel, before divorcing in 1951.

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