Beyond the darkness of art – Stanley Kubrick the family man

Kubrick married his high-school sweetheart Toba Metz, a keen caricaturist, on 29 May 1948, when he was nineteen years of age. They had attended Taft High School together and had lived in the same apartment block on Shakespeare Avenue.[12] The couple lived together in Greenwich Village and divorced three years later in 1951.

He met his second wife, the Austrian-born dancer and theatrical designer Ruth Sobotka, in 1952. They lived together in New York’s East Village beginning in 1952, got married in January 1955 and moved to Hollywood in July 1955, where she played a brief part as a ballet dancer in Kubrick’s film, Killer’s Kiss (1955). The following year she was art director for his film, The Killing (1956). They divorced in 1957.
Kubrick with his wife, Christiane, and their three daughters, 1960

During the production of Paths of Glory (1957) in Munich, Kubrick met and romanced the German actress Christiane Harlan, who played a small though memorable role. Kubrick married Harlan in 1958, and in 1959 they settled into a home in Beverly Hills with Harlan’s daughter, Katherina, age six.[6]:165 They also lived in New York, during which time Christiane studied art at the Art Students League of New York, later becoming an independent artist. Like Kubrick, she wanted “solace to think, study, and practice her craft,” writes LoBrutto.[6]:224 They remained together 40 years, until his death in 1999. Besides his stepdaughter, they had two daughters together.

Actor Jack Nicholson, who starred in The Shining (1980), observed that “Stanley was very much a family man.”[79] Similarly, Nicole Kidman, who starred in Eyes Wide Shut (1999), adds that Christiane “was the love of his life. He would talk about her, he adored her, something that people didn’t know. His daughters adored them … I would see that, and he would talk about them very proudly.”[79] The opinion was shared by Malcolm McDowell, who starred in A Clockwork Orange: “He was happily married. I remember his daughters, Vivian and Anya, running around the room. It was good to see such a close-knit family.”