BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA) — Anne Douglas, widow of the late Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas and stepmother to actor Michael Douglas, died Thursday at her home in Beverly Hills. She was 102.
“My father could never keep a secret. Anne was just the opposite,” Michael Douglas said in a statement released by the family. “That’s why when I read their co-authored book, ‘Kirk and Anne,’ in which she talked about her early life in Germany; her war years in occupied Paris; her career before she met my father; she also included their private correspondence, which gave me new insights into their courtship and marriage.”READ MORE: Pedestrian Struck and Killed In Compton
Douglas went on to say that Anne was more than a stepmother, bringing out “the best in all of us, especially our father.” He said his father would “never have had the career he did without Anne’s support and partnership.”
Douglas was married to Kirk for more than 60 years, until his death last year, after being wed in Las Vegas in 1954. A more lavish ceremony was held in 2004 when the couple renewed their vows for their 50th anniversary.
Anne and Kirk had two children together, Peter and Eric. Kirk had two sons from his previous marriage to Diana Dill — Michael and Joel.
Anne was an avid philanthropist and co-founded the Cedars-Sinai Research for Women’s Cancers. She also founded the Anne Douglas Center for Women at the Los Angeles Mission downtown and was a key player in the fundraising drive that bankrolled the construction of the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles.READ MORE: Firefighters Battle Pacific Palisades Brush Fire
“More than thirty years ago, Anne Douglas’ driving passion led the building of the Mission’s women’s center, the Anne Douglas Center for Women,” Troy Vaughn, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Mission, said in a statement. “As Anne herself put it: ‘If I had but one wish, I think becoming a recognized patron of homeless men and women would be it. I hope together we will be able to alleviate their plight entirely.'”
In partnership with her husband, she also led a large campaign to refurbish playgrounds at Los Angeles Unified School District campuses — renovating more than 400 and always personally attending the dedication ceremonies.
She is survived by children Peter, Michael and Joel; daughters-in-law Catherine and Lisa; seven grandchildren, Cameron, Dylan, Carys, Kelsey, Tyler, Jason and Ryan; two great-grandchildren, Lua Izzy and Ryder; and a sister, Merle Werbke of Berlin, Germany. Her son Eric died in 2004.
Donations in her memory can be made to the Anne Douglas Center at the Los Angeles Mission, 310 Winston St., Los Angeles, CA 90013.MORE NEWS: Jerry West Insulted At Being Left Off Jeanie Buss’ Top 5 Lakers List
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