Anne Douglas, the wife of legendary actor Kirk Douglas, passed away at age 102 in her Beverly Hills home on April 29.
Douglas’s stepson, Michael Douglas, 76, paid tribute to her in a statement.
“Anne was more than a stepmother, and never 'wicked.' She brought out the best in all of us, especially our father,” he wrote. “Dad would never have had the career he did without Anne's support and partnership.”
Kirk had been married to Anne for 66 years when he passed away in February 2020. He was 103.
Michael said he, his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones and their children, Carys and Dylan, “adored her” and “she will always be in our hearts.”
“My father could never keep a secret. Anne was just the opposite. That's why I was so moved when I read their co-authored book, Kirk and Anne, in which she talked about her early life in Germany; her war years in occupied Paris; and her career before she met my father,” Michael noted. “She also included their private correspondence, which gave me new insights into their courtship and marriage.”
Michael’s mom, Diana Douglas, divorced Kirk in 1951, and the actor met Anne, then a film publicist, on the set of his movie Act of Love. They married in Las Vegas in 1954 and renewed their vows on their 50th anniversary in 2004.
Anne and Kirk had two children together, sons Eric and Pete.
Kirk once praised Anne as “selfless, compassionate and loyal to a fault” — with a “wicked sense of humor” to boot.
“I often wonder what would have happened to me if I hadn't married Anne," he had said. “I might not have survived without her business acumen and her finely-honed instincts. She saved me from financial ruin when she persisted in her distrust of my long-time lawyer and surrogate father, who indeed stole the fortune he told me I had. She saved my life when she refused to let me fly to New York on Mike Todd's plane which crashed, killing everyone aboard. She gave me tough love when I had my stroke and thought I would never speak or work again.”