Such a beautiful connection. Director Jeff Kanew recalls just how crazy in love the late Kirk Douglas was with his wife Anne Buydens.

“I’ve been married several times and I certainly didn’t experience anything like what they did,” the 75-year-old — who worked with Kirk on Tough Guys and other films — exclusively tells Closer Weekly about the loving pair. “There were married for like 65 years. They met in Paris and it was love at first sight, although they didn’t get together for a year or so because he was engaged to another actress at the time. He was seeing Anne and this actress at the same time but realized he wanted to be with Anne so broke off his engagement to this other actress and they’ve been together ever since.”

“They were always close, even though he was on location a lot and that’s why they wrote so many letters together. That’s where the whole letter concept came from and they were very romantic,” the producer continues. “She was his business partner because she had a good head for business and he admitted that he didn’t, and they functioned on every level. As friends. As husband and wife. As business partners and it went on and on. There’s no dark side to our marriage like most of us have.”

Kirk Douglas Anne Buydens
Steve Wood/Shutterstock

Since Jeff was great friends with the Oscar-winner — he even worked on the iconic actor’s documentary with his family, Kirk Douglas: Before I Forget — he also got close to Anne, 100. “She’s very smart, and has a very dry sense of humor, and she’s very protective of her family and her husband,” Jeff explains. “Most of the time I’ve known them she was really running the production company and would deal with publicity and made sure things were done the right way. She runs the household and takes care of the staff and makes sure the staff are treated well. They call her the boss. She’s a very strong woman.”

Kirk Douglas Anne Buydens
Mediapunch/Shutterstock

“I have been lucky in the two most important areas of my life — ­­­­my career and my wife,” Kirk once exclusively gushed to Closer. Aww!

The Spartacus star passed away on February 5th, at the age of 103.

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