Deborah Kerr
Actress
Deborah Kerr
Deborah Jane Kerr CBE was a Scottish film and television actress. She won the Sarah Siddons Award for her Chicago performance as Laura Reynolds in Tea and Sympathy, a role which she originated on Broadway, a Golden Globe Award for the motion picture The King and I, and was a three-time winner of the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress.
Biography
Deborah Kerr's personal information overview.
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We Need To Talk About Sean Penn Dating Vincent D’Onofrio's 24-Year-Old Daughter
Huffington Post - 5 months
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Huffington Post article
'From Here to Eternity' blasts viewers with atomic bomb
LATimes - 9 months
The Times' longtime critic Edwin Schallert had a strong negative reaction to "From Here to Eternity" on Oct. 1, 1953. Despite that review, the film --  based on James Jones' novel, directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra --  went...
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LATimes article
To Exhume or Not to Exhume
Huffington Post - 12 months
Whenever the anniversary of a famous author's birth or death reaches a significant milestone, critics and creative types may stop, look back, and think about a particular artist's cultural contribution. The more famous the artist, the less urgent the need to mark any major anniversary simply for the sake of history. Although this year marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death (April 23, 1616), Shakespeare festivals now dot the international landscape. Box office returns easily justify Mostly Mozart festivals and celebrations of Beethoven's music. Performances of Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung draw enthusiasts from around the world (the Washington National Opera will be performing three Ring cycles this spring). Back when Tito Capobianco was in charge of the San Diego Opera, he launched an annual Verdi festival with the goal of performing two of the beloved composer's operas each season until San Diego audiences had gone through the entire catalog. Each ye ...
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Huffington Post article
12 Times That Oscar Got Best Actress Wrong
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Sometimes the Academy Awards get it right. And sometimes the Oscar goes to actors for the wrong reason -- especially in the leading role categories. Let's face it, in its 88 years, there are instances where actors were awarded Oscars not because they were truly the category's strongest, but because they were the most popular, the most sentimental, played the studio politics game with the most savvy, played the most likable character, the actor whose character dies from the most horrible disease, etc. All wrong reasons. I have always loved the Academy Awards' Best Actress category, and this year's crop features the five strongest in years: Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlotte Rampling, Saoirse Ronan -- all worthy. I sincerely hope that the "best" performance wins, and I urge everyone to see all five before weighing in. If I could rewrite Best Actress history, I would tweak some of its more frustrating choices. So in chronological order, I'm calling out twelve ins ...
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Huffington Post article
Snowbound in the Big Apple? Try a Bite of Your Favorite Warren Beatty Flicks
Huffington Post - about 2 years
Snowbound in the Big Apple? Try a bite of your favorite Warren Beatty flicks. Get out your DVD collection or surf Netflix. Here are mine. Agree or disagree. What are yours? Reds (1981). An epic three-hour drama with intermissions. Music by Stephen Sondheim. Shows why communism/socialism never caught on in the USA. As someone who majored in Political Science and minored in Drama at Dartmouth and Vassar, it's not only the politics of the film but the drama that intrigues. It has the most romantic close-up of a kiss/embrace ever between Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton. That embrace graces the movie poster, but it is even better on screen. Beatty won the Academy Award for Best Director. A surprise Henry Miller cameo appearance, the author most known for his once banned book, Tropic of Cancer , discusses artistic freedom as himself, a witness. Splendor in the Grass (1961). Directed by Elia Kazan. A film for parents, grandparents, teens. Beatty makes his film debut opposite ...
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Huffington Post article
Michael Russnow: Why Leonardo DiCaprio Deserves the Oscar: It's About Time, Don't You Think?
The Huffington Post - about 3 years
As Oscar voters continue to mark their ballots until this Wednesday, I wonder what goes into their thinking? Do they vote specifically for what they believe is the best achievement of last year, a surprising performance and accomplishment or is it a cumulative assessment of someone's career? For all these reasons, and not just one, I'm going against the grain of what appears to be the general consensus and strongly suggest that Leonardo DiCaprio deserves the Oscar this year for The Wolf of Wall Street, even more than favorite Matthew McConaughey. This doesn't in any way diminish McConaughey's performance in Dallas Buyers Club. It was terrific, and the subject matter of the film made it that much more compelling. However, DiCaprio's execution, in my view, was even more powerful, in particular as it was a totally different characterization and portrayal than we've ever seen from the actor before. It's hard to realize sometimes that Leo has been in filmdom's consciousne ...
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The Huffington Post article
Meet the Braaaains Behind AMC's Hit Series "The Walking Dead"
Mother Jones - about 3 years
You probably wouldn't recognize Greg Nicotero on the street, but his work has made you cringe, recoil, and cover your eyes. The 50-year-old makeup-effects guru, executive producer, director, writer, and actor for AMC's popular series The Walking Dead—which boasts 13 million viewers per episode on first airing—got his start as an apprentice to "Godfather of Gore" Tom Savini on director George Romero's 1985 zombie classic Day of the Dead. Three years later he and two partners founded KNB EFX Group, which has worked on hundreds of Hollywood films and TV shows, from James Bond and Indiana Jones to Deadwood and Breaking Bad. Remember that scene in Misery where Kathy Bates smashes James Caan's ankle with a sledgehammer? The bit in Casino where Joe Pesci squeezes the guy's head in a vice? The gruesome ear-slicing sequence in Reservoir Dogs? The failed electrocution in The Green Mile? All Nicotero's doing. His own hand even had a cameo as Bruce Campbell's possessed, disembodied appendage ...
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Mother Jones article
Of Phil Spector, Marshmallows and Ebb Tides
Huffington Post - about 3 years
During the early 1960s, my father, songwriter Carl Sigman, and many of his "Great American Songbook" contemporaries watched in horror as airwaves and record stores were overrun by alien creatures making noises that, to their ears, did not qualify as "music." Carl came from a tradition in which songwriters wrote songs and singers sang them. As the shift away from that model accelerated -- with the advent of the Beatles and other artists who wrote their own songs -- fewer and fewer of Carl's new tunes made the kind of (chart) noise he would have liked. Phil Spector helped change that. Spector's 1963 Christmas Album (nee A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector), which marked its semi-centennial anniversary last week, gave Carl an appreciation of the potential of rock & roll to take his old-school paeans to love (requited or, more often, not) to strange and beautiful places he had never imagined. Writing in the examiner, ace music writer/Rock 'n' Roll Pantheon czar Jim Bessma ...
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Huffington Post article
Aisle View From London: Two Smashingly Good Plays
Huffington Post - over 3 years
With two discretionary nights available in London, I asked my favorite expatriot "what's good?" He sent me off to two plays that I very much enjoyed but surely would not have found on my own. My first playstop was at the Tricycle Theatre for Moira Buffini's Handbagged. This 235-seat house might be described as something akin to New York's Vineyard. What I found was a packed and expectant theatre within a scruffy village arts center, comingling with an adventurous cinema and a lively bar with food. (There was also an adjacent private room with additional tables that was cordoned off and protected by serious black-suited security men with curly-wired earpieces. Back home I would easily identify them as Secret Service men, except we were in suburban London and they all looked Chinese. Better not to ask.) If the title Handbagged sounds enigmatic, let me assure you it's not. The four women in the cast sport big black handbags, which are part of their persona and serve as both p ...
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Huffington Post article
Arianna Huffington: Aloha! Introducing HuffPost Hawaii
The Huffington Post - over 3 years
HONOLULU -- Aloha! I'm here for the launch of our newest edition, HuffPost Hawaii. We are delighted to be partnering with Honolulu Civil Beat, a beacon of journalism in Hawaii focusing on public affairs and investigative reporting, with deep roots in the local culture. In its three years, Civil Beat has committed itself to the mission of its founder, Pierre Omidyar -- who also founded eBay -- and has created a "a vibrant civic square." They've published investigations of topics ranging from the condition of Waikiki's iconic Ala Wai Canal to police disciplinary files and why they are kept secret from the public. And their investigative series on the skyrocketing costs of school bus contracts prompted state officials to revamp the way contracts are handled. This is real impact journalism. Not surprisingly, the Society of Professional Journalists has named Civil Beat the best news website in Hawaii for the past three years. We couldn't be happier to be bringing HuffPost to ...
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The Huffington Post article
Michael Giltz: DVDs: Great Blimp, Badlands, Buster Keaton & More
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Let's catch up with some reissues of classic -- and not so classic -- movies, with a few documentaries tossed in at the end for good measure. THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP ($39.99 BluRay; Criterion) BADLANDS ($29.99 DVD; Criterion) -- It's always exciting when new releases come out from Criterion, you know you're going to get definitive editions of some classic, important films. But The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp is even more exciting than usual since it's a restoration of one of the great works of Powell-Pressburger, one of the most unusual and brilliant teams in all of film history. This two hour and 43 minute masterwork is an anti-war film made at the height of World War II -- Churchill hated it and wanted the film blocked. It's also romantic and moving and deeply entertaining as our hero realizes too late he's in love with a woman (Deborah Kerr) and spends the rest of his life chasing that ideal with other women (all of whom look remarkably like... Debora ...
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Huffington Post article
Michael Russnow: Why Seth MacFarlane's John Wilkes Booth Joke Didn't Work For Most: Bob Newhart Got it Right When Less Than 100 Years Had Passed
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
In the aftermath of my review of the Oscars and that of many others who seemed to agree Seth MacFarlane's humor was often wanting, I thought I'd offer a postscript as to why for most people the John Wilkes Booth joke didn't work. It had nothing to do with Lincoln being a sacred cow and, no, paraphrasing MacFarlane, who defensively rejoindered sarcastically when his joke bombed, it wasn't a case of it being too soon since Lincoln's death. Simply put, along with a host of national critics I found Seth MacFarlane sophomoric, appealing to the basest form of humor, rather than seeking what many might prefer as a cleverer approach, finding unexpected irony while satirizing a situation. And before you point out that the ABC ratings were higher than last year's, it had little or nothing to do with MacFarlane. The host's popularity or lack thereof has only a small degree of audience pull. It's been proven that the highest ratings usually accompany the popularity of the year's ...
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Huffington Post article
Lorenzo Belenguer: Pringle of Scotland AW13: Nostalgic Forward-Thinking Garments
Huffington Post - about 4 years
A new era is here, now, and Pringle of Scotland AW13 collection managed to show that - at the latest London Fashion Week this February. After so many years in a state of anxiety due to such a complex crisis, mainly of ideas; there is a growing confidence that the worst is over. Pringle of Scotland has taken us back to the beloved 60's with a nostalgic element to, then, be able to push us forward with assurance into a new era. Pringle of Scotland is the iconic brand founded in 1815 at the birthplace of the Scottish knitwear industry. From the beginning technical innovation has led to the creation of knitwear as outerwear, the signature argyle pattern and the classic twinset. Pringle has been a favourite of the stars of stage and screen since the 1940s. In the 1950s, the original sweater girls: Jean Simmons, Margaret Lockwood, Deborah Kerr, Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot, Margot Fonteyn and many more all wore Pringle. Pringle's knitwear is made to be felt and touched ...
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Huffington Post article
Jason Apuzzo: What a Surveillance State Looks Like: Barbara Revisits Cold War East Germany
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Imagine being subjected to 24-hour secret police surveillance, or being surrounded by informers at your place of work -- whose mission is to gain your confidence in order to evaluate your loyalty to the state. Or imagine being subjected to random body searches, conducted by capricious security officials with too much time on their hands. (OK, admittedly we already have that -- even if only at our nation's airports.) For the most part, however, Americans only have a dim sense of what it's like to live in a truly repressive society -- such as East Germany was behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. And this, ultimately, is the true value of director Christian Petzold's gripping new film Barbara, which starts its U.S. theatrical run in December and recently screened at the AFI Festival in Hollywood. Germany's official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Barbara is the most compelling depiction since The Lives of Others of day-to-day life in a modern ...
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Huffington Post article
Flight Attendant Enters Record Book After 63-Year Career
Business Insider - over 4 years
A flight attendant is landing in the Guinness World Records book after spending 63 years moving about the cabin. Ron Akana, 83, worked his last route over the weekend on a United Airlines flight from Denver to Kauai, ending his career in the state where it began. Hawaii, however, wasn't his final stop. His destination was retirement in Boulder, Colorado, where he has been living since 2002 to be closer to his grandchildren. He spent his first few days of retirement writing thank-you notes to well-wishers. "I wasn't expecting this much attention," he said Tuesday. Akana joined the airline while a student at the University of Hawaii in 1949, when friends spotted a newspaper ad. "We didn't even know what a flight steward was," he recalled. "But it meant getting to the mainland, which was a huge deal in those days. "It seemed pretty exciting and it proved to be more than that," he said. And so he became one of United's first male flight attendants. "We just liked working with ...
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Business Insider article
George Hobica: Oahu's New Vibe May Surprise You
Huffington Post - over 4 years
I'll state right away that Hawaii is one of my favorite places. I'm pretty much over the Caribbean, and although the Maldives and Fiji have beautiful beaches getting there is expensive and time-consuming. So when it comes time for balmy weather, surf, sand and relaxation, it's the Hawaiian Islands. I'm often asked by first-timers which island(s) one should visit. I say visit them all. They're all uniquely beautiful. If you're flying all that way, you might as well make the most of it, especially if it's your first visit. I love the Big Island with its varied ecosystems; peaceful Lanai (recently purchased by software billionaire Larry Ellison and home to two outstanding Four Seasons Resorts, the Lodge at Koele and Manele Bay); gorgeous Kauai, with some of the best hiking in the islands; and Maui, especially the idyllic town of Hana. But on my recent visit I confined myself to Oahu. Some repeat visitors to Hawaii advise you to shun Oahu, where Honolulu is located, becau ...
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Huffington Post article
Pat Gallagher: Rance Howard At 83: 'I Never Play The Ron Howard Card'
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Veteran character actor Rance Howard is a happy man. Although he's been to hundreds of auditions in his 64-year acting career and never quite achieved the superstardom status of his peers -- Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart and John Wayne to name a few -- he doesn't look back with bitterness or resentment. He feels blessed. The actor, who played Henry Boomhauer for two seasons in the television series "Gentle Ben," isn't exactly a household name, but his face is one you've seen thousands of times. He's acted in almost 200 films and various television shows: "Bat Masterson," "The Andy Griffith Show," "That Girl," "The Virginian," "Coach," "Married...With Children," "Ghost Whisper," and "ER." Howard's sons -- Academy Award-winning director Ron and character actor Clint -- have had their share of good fortune as child actors (Ron played Opie Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show" and Richie Cunningham on "Happy Days"; Clint appeared on "Gentle Ben"). Howard spoke candidly about h ...
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Huffington Post article
5 Things to Know in and Around Murrieta: May 13
Murrieta Patch - almost 5 years
1. There will be areas of fog before 11 a.m. and after 11 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.  Otherwise, today will be mostly sunny with a high near 87. Tonight there will be increasing clouds and a low of 54. 2. For those scrambling to find the best Mother’s Day Gift, head to Hallmark Gold Crown to get exactly that for which you are looking. It will be open today between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. 3. Head to Reading Cinemas at Cal Oaks for its “Forty Foot Films” movie night. On the agenda tonight: “The King and I”  (1956). In this film, an Oscar winning musical about a widow who accepts a job as a live-in governess of the King of Siam's children. The film stars Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner. Programs include trivia and prizes. Tickets to each show are $7.50. Social hour begins at 6 p.m., the films start at 6:30 p.m. 4.  “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” will be showing tonight at Temeku Cinemas. Part of their Red Carpet Classic series, the show will begin at 7 p.m. Each guest wil ...
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Murrieta Patch article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Deborah Kerr
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2007
    Age 85
    Kerr died on 16 October 2007 in Botesdale, a village in Suffolk, England, from the effects of Parkinson's disease.
    More Details Hide Details She was 86. Less than three weeks later, on 4 November, her husband Peter Viertel died of cancer. At the time of Viertel's death, director Michael Scheingraber was filming the documentary Peter Viertel: Between the Lines which would include reminiscences concerning Kerr and the Academy Awards. She is buried at Alfold.
  • 2004
    Age 82
    He was killed in a road rage incident in 2004.
    More Details Hide Details Kerr was educated at the independent Northumberland House School, Henleaze, and at Rossholme School, Weston-super-Mare. Kerr originally trained as a ballet dancer, first appearing on stage at Sadler's Wells in 1938. After changing careers, she soon found success as an actress. Her first acting teacher was her aunt, Phyllis Smale, who ran the Hicks-Smale Drama School in Bristol. She adopted the name Deborah Kerr on becoming a film actress ("Kerr" was a family name going back to the maternal grandmother of her grandfather Arthur Kerr-Trimmer).
  • 1998
    Age 76
    Deborah Kerr was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1998, but was unable to accept the honour in person because of ill health.
    More Details Hide Details She was also honoured in Hollywood, where, for her contributions to the motion picture industry, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1709 Vine Street. Kerr won a Golden Globe Award for "Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy" for The King and I in 1957 and a Henrietta Award for "World Film Favorite – Female". She was the first performer to win the New York Film Critics Circle Award for "Best Actress" three times (1947, 1957 and 1960).
  • 1994
    Age 72
    She received one Academy Honorary Award for her career in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details She was also nominated four times for the BAFTA Award for Best British Actress: The End of the Affair (1955), Tea and Sympathy (1956), The Sundowners (1961) and The Chalk Garden (1964).
    Kerr was nominated six times for the Academy Award for Best Actress, more than any other actress without ever winning. In 1994, however, having already received honorary awards from the Cannes Film Festival and BAFTA, she received an Academy Honorary Award with a citation recognising her as "an artist of impeccable grace and beauty, a dedicated actress whose motion picture career has always stood for perfection, discipline and elegance".
    More Details Hide Details As well as The King and I, her films include An Affair to Remember; From Here to Eternity; Quo Vadis; The Innocents; Black Narcissus; Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison; King Solomon's Mines; The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp; The Sundowners and Separate Tables. Deborah Jane Kerr-Trimmer was born in a private nursing home (hospital) in Glasgow, the only daughter of Kathleen Rose (née Smale) and Capt. Arthur Charles Kerr-Trimmer, a World War I veteran who lost a leg at the Battle of the Somme and later became a naval architect and civil engineer. She spent the first three years of her life in the nearby town of Helensburgh, where her parents lived with Deborah's grandparents in a house on West King Street. Kerr had a younger brother, Edmund ("Teddy"), who became a journalist.
  • 1985
    Age 63
    She received one Emmy Award nomination in 1985 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Special for A Woman of Substance.
    More Details Hide Details She was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama for Edward, My Son (1949), Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) and Separate Tables (1958).
  • 1984
    Age 62
    Although she never won a BAFTA, Oscar or Cannes Film Festival award in a competitive category, all three organisations gave Kerr honorary awards: a Cannes Film Festival Tribute in 1984; a BAFTA Special Award in 1991; and an Academy Honorary Award in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details In September and October 2010, Josephine Botting of the British Film Institute curated the "Deborah Kerr Season", which included around twenty of her feature films and an exhibition of posters, memorabilia and personal items loaned by her family. Biographies of Kerr have been published by Eric Braun and, in 2010, by the entertainment journalist Michelangelo Capua, but she has yet to receive an in-depth study of her filmography, artistry or life. Deborah Kerr was nominated six times for the Academy Award for Best Actress: Edward, My Son (1949), From Here to Eternity (1953), The King and I (1956), Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), Separate Tables (1958) and The Sundowners (1960).
  • FORTIES
  • 1969
    Age 47
    In 1969, pressure of competition from younger, upcoming actresses made her agree to appear nude in John Frankenheimer's The Gypsy Moths, the only nude scene in her career.
    More Details Hide Details Concern about the parts being offered to her, as well as the increasing amount of nudity included in films, led her to abandon the medium at the end of the 1960s in favour of television and theatre work. Kerr experienced a career resurgence on television in the early 1980s when she played the role of the nurse—played by Elsa Lanchester in the 1957 movie—in Witness for the Prosecution. Later, Kerr rejoined screen partner Robert Mitchum in Reunion at Fairborough. She also took on the role of the older Emma Harte, a tycoon, in the adaptation of Barbara Taylor Bradford's A Woman of Substance. For this performance, Kerr was nominated for an Emmy Award.
  • 1967
    Age 45
    In 1967, Kerr starred in the comedy Casino Royale, achieving the distinction of being, at 46, the oldest "Bond Girl" in any James Bond film, until Monica Bellucci, at the age of 50, became a "Bond Girl" in Spectre (2015).
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1966
    Age 44
    In 1966, the producers of Carry On Screaming! offered her a fee comparable to that paid to the rest of the cast combined, but she turned it down in favor of appearing in an aborted stage version of Flowers for Algernon.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1960
    Age 38
    Her second marriage was to author Peter Viertel on 23 July 1960.
    More Details Hide Details In marrying Viertel, she became stepmother to Viertel's daughter, Christine Viertel. Although she long resided in Klosters, Switzerland and Marbella, Spain, she moved back to Britain to be closer to her own children as her health began to deteriorate. Her husband, however, continued to live in Marbella.
  • 1959
    Age 37
    They divorced in 1959.
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  • 1953
    Age 31
    In 1953, Kerr "showed her theatrical mettle" as Portia in Joseph Mankiewicz's Julius Caesar (1953).
    More Details Hide Details She then departed from typecasting with a performance that brought out her sensuality, as "Karen Holmes", the embittered military wife in Fred Zinnemann's From Here to Eternity (1953), for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. The American Film Institute acknowledged the iconic status of the scene from that film in which Burt Lancaster and she romped illicitly and passionately amidst crashing waves on a Hawaiian beach. The organisation ranked it 20th in its list of the 100 most romantic films of all time. Thereafter, Kerr's career choices would make her known in Hollywood for her versatility as an actress. She played the repressed wife in The End of the Affair (1955), with Van Johnson; a nun in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) opposite her long-time friend Robert Mitchum; a mama's girl in Separate Tables (1958) opposite David Niven; and a governess in both The Chalk Garden and The Innocents (1961). She also portrayed an earthy Australian sheep-herder's wife in The Sundowners and appeared as lustful and beautiful screen enchantresses in both Beloved Infidel and Bonjour Tristesse.
    Having established herself as a film actress in the meantime, she made her Broadway debut in 1953, appearing in Robert Anderson's Tea and Sympathy, for which she received a Tony Award nomination.
    More Details Hide Details Kerr repeated her role along with her stage partner John Kerr (no relation) in Vincente Minnelli's film adaptation of the drama. In 1955, Kerr won the Sarah Siddons Award for her performance in Chicago during a national tour of the play. After her Broadway début in 1953, she toured the United States with Tea and Sympathy. In 1975, she returned to Broadway, creating the role of Nancy in Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Seascape. In 1977, she came back to the West End, playing the title role in a production of George Bernard Shaw's Candida. The theatre, despite her success in films, was always to remain Kerr's first love, even though going on stage filled her with trepidation: Kerr's first film role was in the British production Contraband in 1940, but her scenes were left on the cutting room floor. With her next two British films—Major Barbara and Love on the Dole (both 1941)—her screen future seemed assured and her performance, said James Agate of Love on the Dole, "is not within a mile of Wendy Hiller's in the theatre, but it is a charming piece of work by a very pretty and promising beginner, so pretty and so promising that there is the usual yapping about a new star". She went on to make Hatter's Castle (1942), in which she starred opposite Robert Newton and James Mason, and then played a Norwegian resistance fighter in The Day Will Dawn (1942).
  • TWENTIES
  • 1950
    Age 28
    In Hollywood, Kerr's British accent and manner led to a succession of roles portraying refined, reserved, and "proper" English ladies. Kerr, nevertheless, used any opportunity to discard her cool exterior. She starred in the 1950 adventure film King Solomon's Mines, shot on location in Africa with Stewart Granger and Richard Carlson.
    More Details Hide Details This was immediately followed by her appearance in the religious epic Quo Vadis? (1951), shot at Cinecittà in Rome, in which she played the indomitable Lygia, a first-century Christian. She then played Princess Flavia in a remake of The Prisoner of Zenda (1952).
  • 1949
    Age 27
    Soon she received the first of her Academy Award nominations for Edward, My Son, a 1949 drama set in England that co-starred Spencer Tracy.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1947
    Age 25
    Her role as a troubled nun in the Powell and Pressburger production of Black Narcissus in 1947 did indeed bring her to the attention of Hollywood producers.
    More Details Hide Details The film was a hit in the US, as well as the UK, and Kerr won the New York Film Critics' Award as Actress of the Year. British exhibitors voted her the eighth-most popular local star at the box office.
  • 1945
    Age 23
    Kerr's first marriage was to Squadron Leader Anthony Bartley RAF on 29 November 1945.
    More Details Hide Details They had two daughters, Melanie Jane (born 27 December 1947) and Francesca Ann (born 20 December 1951 and subsequently married to the actor John Shrapnel). The marriage was troubled, owing to Bartley's jealousy of his wife's fame and financial success and because her career often took her away from home.
  • 1943
    Age 21
    In 1943, she played three women in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.
    More Details Hide Details During the filming, according to Powell's autobiography, Powell and she became lovers: "I realised that Deborah was both the ideal and the flesh-and-blood woman whom I had been searching for". Kerr made clear that her surname should be pronounced the same as "car". To avoid confusion over pronunciation, Louis B. Mayer of MGM billed her as "Kerr rhymes with Star!" Although the British Army refused to co-operate with the producers—and Winston Churchill thought the film would ruin wartime morale—Colonel Blimp confounded critics when it proved to be an artistic and commercial success. Powell hoped to reunite Kerr and lead actor Roger Livesey in his next film, A Canterbury Tale (1944), but her agent had sold her contract to MGM. According to Powell, his affair with Kerr ended when she made it clear to him that she would accept an offer to go to Hollywood if one were made.
    After her first London success in 1943, she toured England and Scotland in Heartbreak House.
    More Details Hide Details Near the end of the Second World War, she also toured Holland, France, and Belgium for ENSA as "Mrs Manningham" in Angel Street, and Britain (with Stewart Granger) in Gaslight.
    In 1943, aged 21, Kerr made her West End début as "Ellie Dunn" in a revival of Heartbreak House at the Cambridge Theatre, stealing attention from stalwarts such as Edith Evans and Isabel Jeans. "She has the rare gift", wrote critic Beverley Baxter, "of thinking her lines, not merely remembering them.
    More Details Hide Details The process of development from a romantic, silly girl to a hard, disillusioned woman in three hours was moving and convincing". Deborah Kerr returned to the London stage 29 years later, in many productions including the old-fashioned, The Day After the Fair (Lyric, 1972), a Peter Ustinov comedy, Overheard (Haymarket, 1981) and a revival of Emlyn Williams's The Corn is Green.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1940
    Age 18
    After various walk-on parts in Shakespeare productions at the Open-Air Theatre in Regent's Park, London, she joined the Oxford Playhouse repertory company in 1940, playing, inter alia, "Margaret" in Dear Brutus and "Patty Moss" in The Two Bouquets.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1938
    Age 16
    She then went to the Sadler's Wells ballet school and in 1938 made her début in the corps de ballet in Prometheus.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1937
    Age 15
    Kerr's first stage appearance was at Weston-super-Mare in 1937, as "Harlequin" in the mime play Harlequin and Columbine.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1921
    Born
    Born on September 30, 1921.
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