At first sight, Kirk Douglas and his wife Anne Buydens fell in love. They were happily married for nearly 60 years and continued their long-standing custom of exchanging letters. But before he wed Buydens, Douglas had some unfinished business from his earlier life.
Hollywood is home to legendary actor Kirk Douglas. In 1916, Issur Danielovitch was born in Amsterdam, New York. The actor did not have a simple upbringing; to finance for his undergraduate studies at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he took on many part-time jobs.
Douglas had a brief Broadway career after serving in the US Navy during World War II. In 1946, he was cast in his first movie role in “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers,” a Hollywood production.
His next part was as Midge Kelly in the movie “Champion,” which was about a boxer who was driven to win at any costs. Douglas provided a standout performance that helped him break into Hollywood and earned him an Academy Award nomination.
Douglas and Diana Douglas, with whom he had two children, Michael and Joel, were just divorced when they met Anne Buydens. Additionally, he had started dating the Italian actress Pier Angeli.
Douglas needed a multilingual helper while the pair was in Paris. A former assistant to filmmaker John Huston named Buydens was introduced to the man.
At the moment, Buydens and Albert Buydens were still legally wed. She was required to remain married to him since he had assisted her in escaping the Nazi takeover of Germany, according to the Daily Mail.
Due to their extended working hours together, Douglas and Buydens developed a close connection. She began talking about some of the upsetting incidents in her history, and Douglas showed himself to be an excellent listener.
The strong friendship began to turn into a sexual relationship, but Buydens was hesitant to allow her emotions for Douglas to deepen since she had seen other young people lose themselves in the spotlight of dating a celebrity.
Douglas’s friendship with Angeli continued to hang over them even as their love relationship got deeper. In their joint book, “Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood,” he even went so far as to allow Buydens assist him in picking out an engagement ring for Angeli, which he later acknowledged was inappropriate.
Despite Buydens’ threats to leave, Douglas realized he preferred being with Buydens after imagining a life without her.
After breaking off his engagement to Angeli on Christmas Eve of 1953, Douglas married Buydens in May of the following year.
Jeff Kanew, a filmmaker who worked closely with the pair, said that Buydens and Douglas had a special bond that he had never seen.
Buydens handled the financial end of their production firm while Douglas handled the creative. The duo was a force to be reckoned with. As friends, lovers, and business partners, according to Kanew, they bonded in every way.
Kirk Douglas and Anne Buydens’s Unique Relationship with Love Letters
Despite being married for more than 60 years, Douglas and Buydens’ passion for romance and letter-writing endured. It became a means of communication for the pair to communicate sentiments that would not have been simple to articulate while Douglas was away.
Even in their last days together, they kept up the custom of exchanging letters. After they received their first child, Douglas composed one of his most enduring pieces. He stated:
“Always keep in mind, “Darling, I need you… I aspire to achieve beautiful things for you.” You and I will be a part of our family forever now.”
“If I live to reach one hundred, there will still be so many things unsaid,” Douglas wrote in another letter that had a full circle moment.
Douglas confirmed in another letter that, even after all these years, there was still so much more to say about his love for Buydens when he turned 100.
Despite having published eleven volumes in his lifetime, Douglas still dreamed of publishing a collection of the letters he and Buydens had exchanged.
Since he had previously written so many books, the actor struggled to come up with anything new for his, but he claimed to have come to the realization that his wife’s narrative was the crucial missing component.
So, “Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood” came to be, and the pair reminisced about the letters they had sent throughout the course of their 63-year marriage.
However, there was some infidelity in their relationship. Buydens was fully aware of her husband’s wandering gaze, but she quickly realized that expecting total commitment in a marriage was “unrealistic.”
But despite everything, they managed to maintain a happy marriage for more than 60 years. Up to his dying breath, Douglas followed every promise he made to his wife. He promised to keep her safe “as long as we both live.” Buydens attested to the fact that he kept his promise.
Kirk Douglas and Anne Buydens both lived beyond the age of 100.
Buydens and Douglas stood out from the crowd. They were happily married for 63 years, both lived to be over 100, and their union set several records.
At the age of 103, the Oscar-winning actor passed away on February 5, 2020. Michael Douglas, the deceased’s son, sent a touching statement on Instagram to share the sad news.
Michael began by thanking his father for his work in movies and television. Most people considered his father to be a hero, but Michael said that he was also a fantastic father, grandpa, and great-grandfather.
A week after turning 102, on April 29, 2021, Buydens passed away. She was praised by Michael for being a wonderful stepmother, an inspiration, and a caring person as he marked this significant occasion with a photo of the Douglas family over the generations.