Who is Kirk Douglas' philanthropist wife, Anne Buydens?

Legendary Hollywood actor Kirk Douglas, best known for the 1960 film Spartacus, has died at the age of 103.

Leading the tributes was his eldest son Michael Douglas, the 75-year-old two-time Oscar-winner, who said: "To the world he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to.

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Douglas passed away at his home in Beverly Hills, California, on 5 February.

Michael said his father's life was "well lived" and that he leaves a cinematic legacy that "will endure for generations to come" as well as being "a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet".

"But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband."

But just who is Anne?

Who is Anny Buydens?

Buydens was born Hannelore Marx in 1919 in Hanover, where she lived until her adolescence; when her family emigrated to Belgium and she became a Belgian citizen.

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Educated in Germany, Belgium and later Switzerland, Buyden became fluent in several languages, and made her first breaks into the movie industry subtitling films.

Buydens married Douglas on 29 May 1954, his second wife (he was divorced from his first, Diana Douglas, in 1951).; together they had two sons.

Peter - born in 1955 - is a television and film producer, who was executive producer of the 2009 roller derby movie Whip It starring Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page.

Eric Douglas was born in 1958, and during his life (he sadly died in 2004), was an actor and stand-up comedian.

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He entered British comedy folklore when during a performance in London he was angered by the audience's reaction to his stand-up routine and shouted, "You can't do this to me, I'm Kirk Douglas's son!"

A member of the audience stood up and shouted "No, I'm Kirk Douglas' son," referring to the iconic "I'm Spartacus" scene of the 1960 film starring his father.

According to legend, the majority of the audience then stood up and repeated the line.

Douglas and Anne in 2017 (Photo: DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)

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Buydens preferred line of work was philanthropy and charity, and one of her first forays into philanthropy came after recovering from breast cancer.

Alongside six other survivors, Buydens established "Research for Women's Cancers", a charity which raised millions of dollars to help finance a research facility at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles.

Buydens and her husband were also behind the establishment of Harry's Haven, an Alzheimer's disease unit at the Motion Picture & Television Fund Home in Woodland Hills, named after Kirk Douglas's father.

The couple were known for their efforts to rebuild playgrounds in the Los Angeles Unified School District, a venture which began when Anne read in the newspaper that the district's school yards were so decrepit that children were being kept indoors.

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Buydens was inducted into The International Best-Dressed Hall of Fame in 1970, founded by fashionista Eleanor Lambert in 1940 as an attempt to boost the reputation of American fashion, and described as "the highest honour a sartorial savant can receive."

Buydens is 100-years old.

This article originally appeared on iNews

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