Hollywood success and true love may be hard to maintain, but Kirk Douglas was lucky enough to have found his happily ever after in longtime wife Anne Buydens. Although the late Spartacus actor — who died at age 103 on Wednesday, February 5 — and his philanthropist wife were together since they tied the knot in 1954, their initial meeting wasn’t necessarily love at first sight.
The legendary actor met his beautiful bride, 100, for the first time when they crossed paths in 1953. Despite the fact that Kirk was beloved as one of the film industry’s Golden Age icons, Anne didn’t seem so blown away considering she actually denied his first request for a date.
In their joint book, Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood — which was released in May 2017 and includes tons of letters the two lovebirds sent to each other throughout their relationship — Anne recalled the time Kirk tried to make a move. “He said, ‘Come on, let me take you to the lion’s den,'” she wrote in the book, noting that his “lion’s den” actually referred to his movie trailer.
To the handsome actor’s surprise, Anne actually declined his offer for a date. “No, thank you, I think I’ll go home and make myself some scrambled eggs,” she remembered in the book. Kirk later opened up about their awkward first encounter in an interview with USA Today. “She was the most difficult woman I ever met,” he joked to the outlet in April 2017. “I mean, I was a big movie star! And I invited her to dinner and she said, ‘Oh thank you very much, but I’m so tired.'” LOL!
Even though Kirk and Anne initially got off on the wrong foot, the blonde beauty did go on to work as one of his publicists. In their joint memoir, Kirk — who was previously married to Diana Douglas from 1943 to 1951 — admitted there wasn’t much romance between the two until he “stopped talking about myself and began to listen to her,” he adorably joked.
Kirk may have been trying to win his bride-to-be over with his admirable acting chops and striking good looks, but Anne once revealed the actual reason why she knew she had to give the Vikings actor a shot. “That’s what got me,” she told USA Today of the time he willingly scooped elephant dung while dressed head to toe in a dapper tuxedo. “It was not only funny, it was showing me that he was able to do things that are not expected from him.”
After meeting and eventually falling in love, Kirk and Anne got married in 1954. They went on to become the proud parents of their two kids, son Peter Douglas, 64, and late son Eric Douglas. Kirk is also the doting father of sons Michael Douglas, 75, and Joel Douglas, 72, from his first marriage to Diana.
Considering Kirk and Anne have stuck beside each other for the past six decades, we have no doubt they were meant to be. Around the time Kirk turned 100 in 2016, the Paths of Glory actor opened up about his longtime love story and credited much of his longevity and happiness to his wife.
“I was lucky enough to find my soulmate 63 years ago,” he exclusively shared with Closer Weekly at the time, adding, “and I believe our wonderful marriage and our nightly ‘golden hour’ chats have helped me survive all things.”
Although Kirk is no longer with us, his and Anne’s love story will forever go down in Hollywood history!