Welcome to the Posts section of the official Kirk Douglas website. Its purpose is to let Kirk share his thoughts and activities with you, and to enable you to share your thoughts with him.
Below you’ll find links to the most recent "Reflections" and "Activities" posts.
Clicking the “Reflections” button to the left, you’ll be taken to a page where Kirk, a best-selling writer as well as a movie star, has posted his most recent thoughts and musings.
Clicking the “Activities” button, you’ll be taken to a page where you can learn about current and past goings-on in which Kirk is involved.
Clicking the "Kirk Douglas Theatre" button, you'll get the latest news about productions at the theatre, named to honor Kirk Douglas and established as the newest and most intimate of the Center Theatre Group's spaces, which include the Ahmanson and Mark Taper Theatres at the Los Angeles Music Center.
By clicking “Fan Mail,” you’ll have the opportunity to share your thoughts with Kirk.
Kirk Doulgas's new book, written with his wife Anne, Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood is now available. This link will enable you to order a copy, and have part of the proceeds go to the work of The Douglas Foundation.
Film legend Kirk Douglas and Anne Buydens, his wife of nearly sixty-three years, look back on a lifetime filled with drama both on and off the screen. Sharing priceless correspondence with each other as well as the celebrities and world leaders they called friends, Kirk and Anne is a candid portrayal of the pleasures and pitfalls of a Hollywood life lived in the public eye.
Compiled from Anne's private archive of letters and photographs, this is 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. The letters themselves, as well as Kirk and Anne's vivid descriptions of their experiences, reveal remarkable insight and anecdotes about the legendary figures they knew so well, including Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Elizabeth Taylor, John Wayne, the Kennedys, and the Reagans. Filled with photos from film sets, private moments, and public events, Kirk and Anne details the adventurous, oftentimes comic, and poignant reality behind the glamour of a Hollywood life-as only a couple of sixty-two years (and counting) could tell it.
Kirk Douglas says wife Anne saved his life twice
- Created on Friday, 19 May 2017
- Written by Stephanie Nolasco
--Fox New Entertainment May 17, 2017
When Kirk and Anne Douglas released a new book that revealed intimate letters they shared over the years, readers were shocked to discover that Kirk's longtime wife was not only aware of his infidelity, but she willfully turned a blind eye to his lovers.
“Trust and honesty are two of the qualities I find essential in marriage,” wrote Anne in an email to Fox News regarding her bold admission in “Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter and a Lifetime in Hollywood.”
Anne, 98, and Kirk, 100, communicated with us over email. Kirk’s 1996 stroke has impacted his speech.
“I never wanted to hear gossip about my husband from a third party,” explained Anne. “I told him right from the start that I needed to hear from him directly if he was having or had had a fling. And since he can’t keep a secret, he always has — none of them serious and usually when he was lonely and on location without me.”
The German-born publicist, who currently serves as president of Kirk's production company Bryna, also stated that her European upbringing led her to feel it was “unrealistic to expect total fidelity in a marriage.”
“European women are less likely to run to the divorce court in righteous indignation than Americans are,” she added. “I loved my husband and my life and our family, so why would I give all that up because of pride? We are together because we love and respect each other and share the same values.”
And it looks like the couple’s unconventional approach to love has worked just fine. Kirk married Anne in 1954 and they’ve been together ever since.
Kirk wrote to Fox News that he credited his spouse for saving his life, including the time when she refused to let him travel on a private plane named Lucky Liz in 1958 with director and friend Mike Todd, who was then married to Elizabeth Taylor. The plane crash, killing everyone on board.
“Anne has saved my life twice — once when she fought with me about flying on Mike Todd’s plane until I gave in, and the plane crashed over New Mexico,” he said. “Everyone was killed. She also drove me to the hospital after my stroke in record time and then gave me tough love to bring me out of my suicidal depression afterward. I think, once you read our letters to each other, you’ll understand my endless fascination with her.”
Kirk and Anne first met in Paris in the early 1950s while he was on location for an upcoming film and she was assisting with press. While the charismatic actor assumed he could easily win her over, his plans for seduction didn’t go over so smoothly.
“I had been a big movie star with two Oscar nominations by the time I met Anne, and I believed that any woman would be flattered if I asked her out,” he recalled. “Anne was the one who turned me down.”
Anne had her reasons.
“Of course, he was charming and sexy, but I had seen too many young women in Paris fall in love with American movie stars who went home to their lives and wives when their pictures wrapped,” she explained. “I certainly didn’t want to be another location romance casualty. I had survived war in occupied Paris, and knew instinctively how to protect myself from dangerous situations.”
But Kirk found a way to get close to Anne.
“I couldn’t convince her to go out with me, but I finally convinced her to do my publicity on the  film, ‘Act of Love,’” he said. “I knew it would be strictly business, yet she still fascinated me and I wanted to know all about her. She had a wicked sense of humor, spoke four languages and was the most sophisticated and elegant woman I had ever met. So I fell in love with her.”
The move eventually worked. Anne said she admired his work ethic, noting that he learned to speak fluent French in less than two months just so that he could act in the French version of the film. And thanks to the movie’s long, grueling hours, the duo became friends.
“Kirk is unable to keep a secret, so I knew all about his extracurricular life as well,” she said.
Despite her admirer's womanizing reputation, Anne eventually learned that she was falling for him.
“One night we went to the Cirque d’ Hiver charity gala and the producers asked Kirk to participate,” she said. “He surprised everyone by coming out after the elephant act still in his elegant tuxedo pushing a giant broom of a pooper-scooper. Everyone laughed and I fell in love.”
Kirk revealed that it was their numerous love letters from over the years that inspired his twelfth book. Fortunately, Anne saved all of their correspondences that chronicled their relationship.
“I remember how much we depended on getting mail from each other when we were apart. So I asked her. And she brought a big battered file folder that she had kept hidden in a closet in our Montecito house,” he said. “My remarkable wife had kept everything — notes, cables, scrawled musings from plans and movie sets, starting in 1953 when we first met in Paris. At that moment, I knew this shouldn’t be my book, it should be ours.”
What has been the secret behind a high-profile Hollywood marriage that has thrived for over 60 years? While Anne does turn a blind eye to infidelity, the couple, who raised two sons, credit date night for sparking the romance every day.
“[Date night is] the same as it’s been throughout our marriage,” said Kirk. “We spend what we call the ‘golden hour’ together at around 6:30 each night. We’ll sit and talk and laugh and share our day and our thoughts with each other.
“Except now we are very 21st century and bring along our iPads,” she added.
Kirk Douglas’ beautiful love letters to his wife
- Created on Monday, 15 May 2017
- Written by Starts at 60
--Starts at 60 May 14, 2017
At 100 and 98-years-old respectively, Kirk Douglas and his beloved wife Anne are one of the ultimate Hollywood couples.
After 63 years of marriage, the couple have plenty of memories and a strong love for each other.
And now that’s been revealed in a new book released by Kirk and Anne.
The book, titled Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter and a Lifetime In Hollywood by Kirk and Anne Douglas.
It chronicles their long courtship and how Anne tamed Kirk’s womanising ways, in their own words and with some of their most romantic and revealing love letters.
Like many from the older generations, Anne and Kirk regularly hand wrote each other beautiful and romantic love letters.
And while there are dozens published in their new book, there’s one that’s particularly poignant.
An excerpt of the letter, written by Kirk 60 years ago and published by the Daily Mail, is certainly moving.
“My darling wife,” Kirk wrote.
“At this moment you are thousands of feet above the earth, sleeping peacefully I hope but racing towards me. Airplanes fly so fast.
“Why am I writing? You will be here soon. But I know that when you get here, we will not have time to say all the things we want to say to each other.
“In fact, if we live to be 100, there will still be so many unsaid things — which is just as well, perhaps, because then, if there is a life after death, we will have many things to talk about later.”
It’s particularly poignant seeing as Kirk hit the big 100 last year.
In the book, the couple tell the story of their letter.
It was Anne who saved their letters, by keeping them carefully folded away and even collecting Kirk’s letters from the bottom of his suitcase when he’d return home from filming a movie.
But it was Kirk who decided the couple should publish them and share their love story.
“I hope our grandchildren won’t be shocked by the intensity of the letters,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.
“Perhaps they will come to value, even in this world of instant communication, the joy of writing and receiving non-electronic letters — particularly when it comes to love.”
Kirk Douglas: How I Met My Wife at the Cannes Film Festival (Exclusive Book Excerpt)
- Created on Monday, 15 May 2017
- Written by Kirk & Anne Douglas
--Hollywood Reporter May 10, 2017
In this excerpt from their new joint memoir, Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood, the pair, who married in 1954, recall meeting in Paris in early 1953 and their time together at Cannes that year.
ANNE My friend Anatole Litvak, the director of Act of Love, convinced me to meet with Kirk, who was anxious to hire a bilingual assistant who could also handle his personal publicity. Kirk had already gotten quite a reputation in his first few weeks in town. The press had dubbed him "Le Brute Cheri," the darling brute, and he was photographed with a succession of stunning women. I was sure this would be a courtesy interview. I had signed a three-year contract to handle protocol for the Cannes International Film Festival starting in April.
KIRK I was fascinated by the lovely young Parisienne who sat in my dressing room, her slim ankles crossed under her a la mode blue suit. Within minutes, I offered her the job. She took only seconds to turn me down in her impeccable English. I was not used to rebuffs. A few hours later, in my most seductive tones, I called Anne to invite her to dinner at the romantic La Tour d'Argent. "Thank you, but I'm tired. I will just make some scrambled eggs and stay in tonight," said the voice on the other end of the phone. I was shocked and annoyed. I was determined to change her mind— at least about the job. I sent emissaries: Litvak, Irwin Shaw — Act of Love's screenwriter who remembered her from The Young Lions — and Anne's friend, [photographer] Robert Capa. She finally agreed to work with me on a trial basis, making it clear our relationship would be strictly business. We spent a lot of time together. Anne was efficient and had a wicked sense of humor. Everyone liked her — much more than they liked me! We often spoke in French, which I was studying. With no romance in the picture, I stopped talking about myself and trying to impress Anne. Instead, I began to listen to her. She had told me very little about her background; I didn't even know that she spent her early years in Hitler's Germany.
ANNE Kirk was invited to the annual charity gala at the Cirque d'Hiver, the famous Winter Circus. He wanted me to accompany him. We had been working through the afternoon at his lovely apartment near the Bois de Boulogne when he started asking me questions about my life. I was always reluctant to talk about myself, particularly as so much of my past was painful. Kirk was an attentive listener, and I found myself being very honest. I even opened up about my rift with my father. We talked for hours. I had a strange feeling in my heart that I could fall in love with this man. I didn't want to, because I had seen too many young women enter into intense affairs with visiting movie stars — Dean Martin, Marlon Brando and Cary Grant among them. Then the film wrapped and the men returned to their wives and families. At the circus, the producers spotted Kirk coming in. "You must participate." I took my seat, wondering what he would do with no preparation. After the elephants left the arena, there was the tuxedoed Kirk — the popular Brute Cheri — pushing a giant pooper-scooper of a broom across the ring to great hilarity. How could I resist a man who could laugh at himself? We went back to his place for a nightcap, which turned into something more.
KIRK As things became more serious with Anne, I warned her not to expect a commitment. I was secretly engaged to [Italian actress] Pier Angeli, I told her. I could have saved us both a lot of anguish if I had used my new fluency in French to read the movie magazines. Anne knew, but never breathed a word, that Pier was constantly in the news, always with another man at her side. My next picture would be filmed in Italy, so I was sure that would all change. The two producers of Ulysses, Dino de Laurentiis and Carlo Ponti, were going to Cannes in April, and I would meet with them there. They had already hired Anne Buydens to do the unit publicity for the picture.
ANNE I was glad Kirk was in Cannes, though I didn't have much time for him. In the midst of everything, [Hotel Bel-Air owner] Joe Drown arrived from California and insisted on taking me to dinner. It was a disaster. Joe got drunk and gambled heavily. I left him and called Kirk, who was next door at the Carlton. He had been asleep. "How was your evening?" he asked. I burst into tears. "Just awful … and it's my birthday." "I'll get dressed and take you out," he said. We went to a small cafe near the beach, and he turned my tears into laughter.
KIRK Ponti invited us to his villa in the hills above Amalfi. We had a wonderful, romantic holiday in an ancient tower that served as their guest quarters. During that magical week, Anne and I would set off in a little rowboat. She would row; I would sing her Italian love songs …
Excerpted with permission from Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood by Kirk and Anne Douglas with Marcia Newberger by Running Press, May 25, 2017. © The Bryna Co.
Kirk and Anne Douglas Remember Elizabeth Taylor’s Precious Last Moments with Husband Mike Todd
- Created on Thursday, 04 May 2017
- Written by Sam Gillette
--People May 3, 2017
In a new book about their life together, Kirk and Anne Douglas reflect on their close friendship with Elizabeth Taylor and her third husband, Mike Todd. Theirs was a bond laced with Hollywood glamour, but it took a tragic turn when Todd was killed in a plane crash in 1958 — the very same plane that Douglas decided not to board at the last minute. Todd’s death left Taylor a young widow at 26.
“I had never seen Mike as besotted with any woman as he was with Elizabeth,” writes Anne, 98, in Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood, which she co-wrote with her 100-year-old actor husband. The collection of letters featured in the book released Tuesday showcases their romance and how they maintained their marriage for more than 60 years. (Their family includes Kirk Douglas’ two sons from his first marriage — including the actor Michael Douglas — and their two sons together, including youngest son Eric, who was bipolar and died of a drug overdose in 2004).
One of Anne’s favorite memories of the couple? When Taylor was pregnant with their daughter Liza. Though Taylor was already in bed with chocolates, the Cleopatra star asked Todd (a film producer) for more treats. Anne remembers him calling back, “Just shut up and be beautiful!”
Later that evening, he chartered a plane and flew in a meal from Paris to their London hotel at Taylor’s behest.
“We ate that dinner at 10 o’clock,” Anne writes. “Now that’s a showman!”
In the book, Kirk remembers one of his last interactions with Todd. The producer invited Kirk and Anne to see the gifts he’d arranged on the lawn before Taylor woke up. There were all types of jewelry “encrusted with precious stones and shimmering like a mirage in the late-morning sun.”
He remembers Todd saying to Taylor: “‘Go ahead. Pick whatever you want.'”
“It wasn’t her birthday; it wasn’t their anniversary; it wasn’t a holiday,” Kirk writes. “Mike didn’t need a reason to indulge his passion for his young wife.”
According to Kirk and Anne, the next day Todd invited Kirk to fly with him to New York.
“Mike asked me to go on his private plane with him, and we were going to stop and see Harry Truman and then go on to New York,” the actor told PEOPLE in July 2015, adding, “I was very excited.”
After Kirk shared the invite with Anne, she had “a strange feeling.” She writes that she was six months pregnant and told him she didn’t want him on the plane.
“Kirk gave in. He was furious,” she writes. “If he couldn’t fly with Mike, he wouldn’t go at all. I was ruining his fun for no logical reason. He stomped off to bed without kissing me goodnight.”
On March 22, 1958, Todd and three others died when the plane crashed in the Zuni Mountains of New Mexico. According to a report from that time, Taylor was sedated after she heard the news. She had planned on flying with him, but didn’t go because she had a cold.
Shortly after Todd’s death, Taylor began her famed romance with his friend Eddie Fisher, who was married to Debbie Reynolds at the time. The pair wed fourteen months after the fatal crash.
“I loved them both passionately and dearly,” she said to Larry King in 2006 of her feelings for Todd and Fisher.
Looking back at that fateful day when he decided not to get on that plane, Kirk said the incident made him even more thankful for his wife.
“Why was I spared? I was so grateful,” Kirk told PEOPLE. “My wife has saved my life many times.”
Anne and Kirk heard the news of the accident on the radio while he was driving.
“I pulled onto the shoulder of the road immediately. Shakily, I got out of the car. Anne joined me.” Kirk writes, “We stood, wrapped together in a strong embrace, tears streaming down our faces.”
He remembers eventually telling her: “Darling, you saved my life. I will always trust your intuition from now on.”