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: 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.”
Anne Douglas Writes Openly About Kirk Douglas’s Extramarital Affairs
- Created on Wednesday, 03 May 2017
- Written by Hilary Weaver
--Vanity Fair May 2, 2017
Kirk and Anne Douglas have been married since 1954. Together, they share two sons, Peter and the late Eric, and more than six decades of partnership. But their marriage hasn’t been a completely monogamous one. Anne wrote about this in her new book with her husband, Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter and a Lifetime in Hollywood, per People.
“Kirk never tried to hide his dalliances from me,” Anne details in the book, noting that her husband’s infidelities were something she accepted as a part of marriage. “As a European, I understood it was unrealistic to expect total fidelity in a marriage.”
Kirk Douglas, now 100, wrote about his extramarital affairs in his 1988 autobiography, The Ragman’s Son. “I’m a sonofabitch, plain and simple,” he said then, per The New York Post. He detailed sexual conquests with Joan Crawford's daughter, Christina Crawford, Rita Hayworth, and Patricia Neal. He tried and failed to seduce Lauren Bacall.
“Kirk secured my permission before including stories of his trysts . . . I’m positive his candor helped him make the book a major bestseller,” Anne said.
The two even renewed their vows in 2004. The ceremony, on their 50th anniversary, was Kirk’s fulfilled promise to give Anne a real wedding. Their first was a casual affair in front of a justice of peace in Las Vegas, where Anne accidentally said, “My awfully wedded husband.”
In June 2014, Kirk wrote about his 60-year marriage to Anne in The Los Angeles Times, crediting her with helping him keep people around. “I don't know why Anne stuck with me through those early decades,” he said at the time. “If anyone I worked with is still alive, they will attest that I wasn't Mr. Popularity. I had a lot of anger matched by a lot of arrogance. Some people put up with me, I think, simply because I had such a wonderful wife.”
Kirk and Anne Douglas’ Unconventional Love Affair: It’s ‘Unrealistic to Expect Total Fidelity in a Marriage’
- Created on Tuesday, 02 May 2017
- Written by Sam Gillette
--People May 2, 2017
Legendary actor Kirk Douglas has been candid about his extramarital affairs in the past, and his wife of more than 60 years says she accepted his infidelity — and willfully turned a blind eye to his lovers.
“Kirk never tried to hide his dalliances from me,” Anne Douglas, 98, writes in Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter and a Lifetime in Hollywood, a new book out Tuesday that reveals intimate letters between the longtime couple. “As a European, I understood it was unrealistic to expect total fidelity in a marriage.”
This “European” attitude toward love created the space for their unconventional romance to bloom. When they first met, the German-born Anne married a Belgian friend during World War II for safety reasons, and the already-divorced Kirk was “secretly engaged” to actress Pier Angeli.
“This self-possessed beauty was very different from the women I had been involved with in Hollywood since Diana [his ex-wife] left me,” writes Kirk.
He and Anne met in Paris in the early 1950s while he was there for a film and she was helping with press. When he first asked her on a date, she refused him.
“The fact that I didn’t impress her certainly impressed me,” Kirk once wrote in an article about his long-lasting marriage, “and I was determined to win her over.”
“[Anne] wasn’t neurotic like Gene Tierney, who always insisted I arrive for our nocturnal ‘dates’ by climbing the tree outside her bedroom window,” Kirk writes in the new book. “She wasn’t reckless like my much-married oil heiress, Irene Wrightsman, whom I found in our bed with Sydney Chaplin when I came home early from the studio.”
“When things got a little too warm between us, [Kirk would] say, ‘Don’t forget, I’m engaged,’ ” said Anne while reflecting on the early stages of their relationship in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I said, ‘I won’t forget.’ ”
Kirk eventually broke off the engagement to Angeli, and Kirk and Anne wed in May 1954 after she threatened to leave him. The actor recalls seeing Anne packing her bags and realizing he would be “lost without her.” (The pair went on to have two sons together, Eric and Peter, who joined Kirk’s two sons from his previous marriage — Joel and Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas.)
There may have been a wedding, but that didn’t mean their interactions with ex-lovers were over — a fact Kirk initially documented almost 30 years ago.
“Kirk secured my permission before including stories of his trysts in his 1988 autobiography, The Ragman’s Son. I’m positive his candor helped him make the book a major bestseller,” Anne writes in the new book.
She also reveals that she’d remained friends with a “former lover,” and visited him in Paris while she was applying to become an American citizen. Once, when she visited him in his hotel suite, he was intoxicated and begged her not to return to Kirk.
“In no mood to be reasonable, he ran to the open window and started climbing through it, swearing he would jump unless I changed my mind. I pulled him away and tried to leave,” writes Anne. “This elegant man, whom I had known so well, lunged at me with a lit cigarette. ‘I’ll make sure he doesn’t want you,’ he snarled as he ground it into my face.”
Anne writes that she had a doctor come in to sedate her ex and treat her face. After she shared this story with her husband, he took her in his arms.
” ‘I promise, Anne, ‘as long as we both shall live,’ I will keep you safe,’ ” Anne recalls Kirk saying to her.
She adds, “It’s been sixty-two years as I write this, and Kirk has always kept his word.”