It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since Kirk Douglas turned 100. Since the Hollywood icon is celebrating his 101st birthday on Saturday, Dec. 9, many fans are wondering how he and his 98-year-old wife, Anne Buydens, are doing today. Keep reading for a health update on Kirk!
This time last year, the couple of 63 years stepped out several times to commemorate Kirk’s impressive milestone birthday. The big day was fêted at the Beverly Hills Hotel by a star-studded group that included the late Don Rickles, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, Kirk’s son Michael Douglas, and his daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta-Jones. Those at the event said the centenarian looked to be in good shape, walking into the celebration with confidence.
That was further confirmed by Kirk’s 17-year-old grandson — Michael and Catherine’s son — Dylan, who posted a video of the man of the hour ahead of his special night. The Instagram clip showed the Spartacus actor sporting a tracksuit and dancing with more energy than men half his age have. “Happy 100th, Pappy. Love you with all my heart❤️(I swear he’s not crazy),” the teen captioned the sweet clip.
Kirk’s good health today comes 20 years after he suffered a severe stroke which permanently impaired his speech. At the time, doctors told his wife he may never talk again, but through daily therapy, he was able to regain (limited) speaking ability. In fact, just two months later, he stepped onstage at the 1996 Academy Awards to accept an honorary Oscar. This difficult period of time was documented in his book, My Stroke of Luck, which he wrote to help other families of stroke victims.
In February 2017, Kirk released his 12th book, Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood, featuring decades-worth of letters exchanged between himself and his wife. Around that time, he did an interview with The Guardian — his most recent media appearance — where he admitted he “never, ever thought I would live to be 100.”
Kirk and his wife, Anne.
The reporter detailed that the legend was in good spirits, despite needing a walker and a group of nurses to help him get through his day. The impact of Kirk’s ‘96 stroke was still evident in his slurred diction, but his mind was sharp. He and his longtime love even told Fox News they still partake in date night. “We spend what we call the ‘golden hour’ together at around 6:30 each night,” he said at the time. “We’ll sit and talk and laugh and share our day and our thoughts with each other.”