Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News World

Kirk Douglas' first wife dies at 92

Published 05/07/2015

Kirk Douglas, second from left, with his ex-wife Diana, their son Michael Douglas, right, and Michael's son Cameron, left, in 2003 (AP)
Kirk Douglas, second from left, with his ex-wife Diana, their son Michael Douglas, right, and Michael's son Cameron, left, in 2003 (AP)

Diana Douglas, the first wife of Kirk Douglas and mother of Michael Douglas, has died at 92.

She died of cancer at a motion picture industry retirement home in Los Angeles' Woodland Hills neighbourhood, according to an obituary from Michael Douglas's production company, Furthur Films.

It cited Diana Douglas's husband of 15 years, Donald Webster, of Washington DC.

Born Diana Love Dill in Bermuda, where her family had lived for centuries and her father was attorney general, she later moved to New York and met Kirk Douglas while they were studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

She later went to California on a 200 dollar-a-week contract with Warner Bros against Kirk Douglas' advice that she try for Broadway instead.

She went on to have a six-decade career as an actress and model, appearing in dozens of movies and television episodes, including the 1987 Steve Martin film Planes, Trains And Automobiles and the TV shows ER and The West Wing.

She also played stage roles, including some on Broadway.

In May 1943, she appeared on the cover of Life magazine, modelling spring fashions.

"Kirk Douglas, by then serving in the Navy during World War II, saw her on the cover and told his shipmates he would marry her," the obituary said.

They wed that November and went on the have two sons, Michael and Joel, before divorcing in 1951.

"We had brought to marriage such different concepts of what it constituted, what was expected due," she wrote in her autobiography, In The Wings And Beyond.

The two remained on friendly terms and Diana even appeared with Kirk in several movies, including her last film, 2003's It Runs In The Family, which also starred Michael Douglas and one of her grandsons, Cameron.

She was also married to actor Bill Darrid from 1956 until his death in 1992.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph