LOS ANGELES (AP) — Diana Douglas, the first wife of Kirk Douglas and mother of Michael Douglas, died Saturday in Los Angeles. She was 92.
Douglas died of cancer at a motion picture industry retirement home in the Woodland Hills neighborhood, according to an obituary from Michael Douglas’s production company, Furthur Films. It cited Diana Douglas’s husband of fifteen years, Donald A. Webster of Washington, D.C.
Born Diana Love Dill in Bermuda, where her family had lived for centuries and her father was the attorney general, Douglas later moved to New York and met Kirk Douglas while they were both studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
She later went to California on a $200-a-week contract with Warner Bros. against Douglas’s advice that she try for Broadway instead.
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She went on to have a six-decade 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 did stage roles, including some on Broadway.
In May 1943, Douglas appeared on the cover of Life magazine, modeling 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,” according to the obituary.
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 memoir, “In the Wings and Beyond.”
The two remained on amicable terms. She even appeared with him 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.
Douglas was also married to actor Bill Darrid from 1956 until his death in 1992.