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Kirk Douglas’ Wife Anne Was Brokenhearted When He Bought an Engagement Ring — It Wasn’t for Her

Titi Dokubo
Oct 08, 2021
10:30 P.M.

Life is not all rosy, and Anne Douglas knew this when she helped her future spouse to choose a Bulgari engagement ring for the other woman in his life.


Even though this action broke her heart, their love was able to bring them back together, and they were married for over sixty-four years before Kirk Douglas passed on.

They were one of Hollywood's longest married couples, and their story is one of perseverance, passion, compromise, forgiveness, loyalty, love, and more.

Photo of Kirk and Anne Douglas and Photo of Pier Angeli | Photo: Getty Images

Photo of Kirk and Anne Douglas and Photo of Pier Angeli | Photo: Getty Images


Kirk Douglas was born to Russian Jewish parents who immigrated to the United States in 1910.

He managed to finance his studies at St. Lawrence University by being a gardener and a janitor before getting a scholarship at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Portrait of Kirk Douglas in 1963 | Photo: Getty Images

Portrait of Kirk Douglas in 1963 | Photo: Getty Images

He joined the United States Navy in 1941 before World War II and was medically discharged in 1944. He became a stage actor, but with the help of his friend Lauren Bacall from drama school, he went into acting films.

In his eighth film, he played the lead role in a movie called "Champion." He played the role of a boxer who refuses to be bribed as directed by Mark Robson. This earned him his first Oscar nomination for best actor.


He toured in Europe before founding his own production company in 1954. In 1960, he acted and executive produced "Spartacus," which confirmed the actor's status as a big Hollywood star.

In the 2000s, Kirk appeared in two films: "It Runs in the Family" in 2003 and "Illusion" in 2004. His last appearance was in 2008 in the movie "Empire State Building Murders."



Angeli and Kirk met on the set of "The Story of Three Loves," and she was taken by him. He was 16 years older than she was and had already been divorced from his first wife, Diana.

He was instantly attracted to her, and in their eighteen months of being in a relationship, he helped her attain a degree of maturity but could not mold her.

Portrait of Pier Angeli in 1950 | Photo: Getty Images

Portrait of Pier Angeli in 1950 | Photo: Getty Images

Angeli was almost always elusive during their relationship, but Kirk was smitten by her and did not notice. After over a year, when they had time to spend together, he kissed her and felt nothing but unhappiness.

At that point, he knew it was over. Angeli handed him the ring, and he walked away. He believed the relationship was a silly fantasy built on nothing but an adorable little giggly girl playing a game with him.




Anne was the woman behind the Hollywood legend Kirk. Anne died at the age of 102 on Thursday, April 29, 2021, while Kirk died on February 5, 2020, at 103.

She had married the American actor in 1954, after meeting him in Paris on the set of the film "An Act of Love," a year earlier.


Their love story, which, until the death of the actor in February 2020, was set up as a model in Hollywood. They knew they were meant for each other.

Married for 66 years, Anne and Kirk Douglas had two sons Peter and Eric, and formed a blended family with the actor's other sons from his previous marriage, Michael and Joel.


When they met, Kirk fell under the spell of Anne, who was a publicist at the time. When she rejected his dinner invitations, he became more intrigued and decided she was worth the chase. He said,

"She turned me down! But I was determined to win her over."

He was dating Angeli, whom he said took her mother on all their dates. However, he had warned Anne not to expect him to be committed and even went with her to buy the engagement ring for Angeli.


He proposed to Angeli on her 21st birthday, and she accepted. However, he fell out of love with her and broke off the engagement almost immediately.

Anne and Kirk were back together, and he eventually proposed to her when he saw her packing up to leave him. The couple flew to Las Vegas and got married.


In 2017, the couple published their memoirs, "Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood." The book revealed candid unheard stories, correspondences, and adventures.

Their marriage was not without its ups and downs, as Anne intentionally turned a blind eye to Kirk's infidelities.

However, they were able to weather any storm together. Anne believes that all the obstacles they have faced have been beautiful.

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