Anne Douglas, a lifelong philanthropist and former publicist who was married to Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas for 65 years until his death in 2020, died today at her Beverly Hills home. She was 102 years old.
Her stepson, Oscar winner Michael Douglas, said in a statement released by the family:
“My father was never able to keep a secret. Anne was the opposite “,” So when I read her co-authored book, Kirk and Anne, in which he spoke about his early life in Germany; years ago he was in busy Paris; his career before meeting my father; It also included their private correspondence, which gave me a new perspective on their courtship and marriage. Anne was more than a stepmother and never “wicked”. 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, me and the children adore her. She will always be in our hearts. “
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Elder Douglas is a co-author of the 2017 book Kirk and Anne: love letters, laughter and a lifetime in Hollywood. He chronicled the couple’s courtship and marriage; stories of his famous contemporaries like Frank Sinatra, Gregory Peck, John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, Lauren Bacall and others; anecdotes from numerous movie and dinner sets; the couple’s trip to more than 40 countries as goodwill ambassadors; personal stories of her relationships with various presidents and first ladies of the United States, beginning with JFK and Jackie; and surviving downtime, including his near-fatal helicopter crash, a debilitating stroke, and the 2004 death of his youngest son, Eric.
Anne Douglas was an avid philanthropist, co-founder of Cedars-Sinai Research for Women’s Cancer. She and her husband also led a massive campaign to renovate the playgrounds on Los Angeles Unified School District campuses, renovating more than 400 and always personally attending dedication ceremonies when they opened.
It also funded the Anne Douglas Center for Women in downtown Los Angeles Mission, and the Douglas Foundation has contributed more than $ 118 million to a variety of causes, including the Alzheimer’s and Dementia unit of Motion Picture and Television Home, Kirk and Anne from Sinai Temple. Douglas Childhood Center and St. Lawrence University Kirk Douglas Scholarships for Minority Students.
Anne Douglas was also a key player in the fundraising campaign that financed the construction of the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles, and the family foundation funded the construction of the Center Theater Group’s Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City, east of Los Angeles. Sony Pictures Studios lot.
Born Anne Buydens on April 23, 1919 in Hannover, Germany, Douglas also had a sporadic career as a feature film producer. Rogue (1973) and Deep river (2009) and as a co-EP in the 2009 documentary Kirk Douglas: Before I forget.
Survivors of a son Peter; stepchildren Michael and Joel; daughters-in-law Catherine and Lisa; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, Lua Izzy and Ryder; and a sister, Merle Werbke. His son Eric died in 2004.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to the Anne Douglas Center in the Los Angeles Mission.
City News Service contributed to this report.