Deborah Kerr

Biography

Deborah Kerr, CBE (born 30 September 1921) is a Scottish actress and a recipient of an Academy Honorary Award for a motion picture career that has always represented perfection, discipline and elegance. Early Life She was born Deborah Jane Kerr-Trimmer in Helensburgh, by the Firth of Clyde, and 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. Films Her debut in the British film Contraband in 1940 was left on the cutting room floor. But that was followed by a series of other films, including the triple role of the hero's loves in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. It was her role as a troubled nun in Powell and Pressburger's Black Narcissus in 1947 which brought her to the attention of Hollywood producers. Her British accent and manner led to a succession of roles portraying a refined, reserved, and proper English lady. Nevertheless, Kerr frequently used any opportunity to discard her cool exterior. In the 1950 jungle adventure film King Solomon's Mines, shot on location in Africa with Stewart Granger and Richard Carlson, she impressed audiences with a sexuality and an emotional vulnerability that new dimensions to a male-oriented action film. Kerr also departed from typecasting with her performance as Karen in 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 she and Burt Lancaster make love on a Hawaii beach amidst the crashing waves. The organization named it one of "AFI's top 100 Most Romantic Films" of all time. From then on Kerr's career choices afforded her one of the most versatile screen personas in Hollywood, ranging from nuns (Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison) and mama's girls (Separate Tables) to an earthy sheepherder's wife (The Sundowners) to lustful and beautiful screen enchantresses (Beloved Infidel, Bonjour tristesse) and delicious comedy (The Grass is Greener). Kerr's most famous roles are probably as Anna Leonowens in the film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I and opposite Cary Grant in An Affair to Remember. At the age of 46, she achieved the distinction of appearing as a Bond Girl in Casino Royale. Deborah Kerr as Terry McKay in An Affair To RememberIn 1969, pressure of competition from younger, upcoming actresses made her agree to appear nude in John Frankenheimer's The Gypsy Moths. This would be the only nude scene in Kerr's career. Concern about the parts being offered to her, as well as the increasing amount of nudity in films in general, led her to abandon film work at the end of the Sixties in favour of television and theatre work. Theatre As a stage actress, Deborah Kerr made her Broadway debut in 1953 in Robert Anderson's Tea and Sympathy, for which she received a Tony award nomination. 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. In 1975, she returned to Broadway, originating the role of Nancy in Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prizewinning play, Seascape. Television She experienced a career resurgence in the early 1980s on television, when she played the role originally brought to life on film by Elsa Lanchester, in Witness for The Prosecution. Later, Kerr re-teamed with multiple screen partner Robert Mitchum in Reunion at Fairborough. This period also saw Kerr take on the role as the older version of the female tycoon, Emma Harte, in the adaptation of Barbara Taylor Bradford's A Woman of Substance. For this performance, Kerr was nominated for an Emmy award. Personal Life Deborah Kerr has been married twice. First, on 28 November 1945, she married Squadron Leader Anthony Bartley. They had two daughters, Melanie Jane, born on 27 December 1947 and Francesca Ann. She and Bartley divorced in 1959. On 23 July 1960, she married writer Peter Viertel. She and her husband lived in Klosters, Switzerland, until her illness led them to return to Britain to be near her daughters. She was diagnosed with Parkinson's several years ago. She died October 16, 2007 in Suffolk. (This bio came from Wikipedia.com) Partial Filmography : 1969 The Arrangement 1968 Prudence and the Pill 1967 Casino Royale 1966 Eye of the Devil 1965 Marriage on the Rocks 1964 The Night of the Iguana 1961 The Innocents 1961 The Naked Edge 1960 The Grass Is Greener 1960 The Sundowners 1959 Count Your Blessings 1959 The Journey 1958 Separate Tables 1958 Bonjour tristesse 1957 An Affair to Remember 1957 Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison 1956 Tea and Sympathy 1956 The King and I 1956 The Proud and Profane 1955 The End of the Affair 1953 From Here to Eternity 1953 Dream Wife 1953 Julius Caesar 1953 Young Bess 1952 Thunder in the East 1952 The Prisoner of Zenda 1951 Quo Vadis 1947 If Winter Comes 1947 The Hucksters 1947 Black Narcissus 1946 I See a Dark Stranger 1945 Perfect Strangers 1943 The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

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Known For
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The King and I

Anna Leonowens

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Quo Vadis

Lygia

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Black Narcissus

Sister Clodagh

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The Innocents

Miss Giddens

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Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

Sister Angela

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King Solomon's Mines

Elizabeth Curtis

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Bonjour Tristesse

Anne Larson

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The Grass Is Greener

Lady Hilary Rhyall

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Separate Tables

Sibyl Railton-Bell

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The Night of the Iguana

Hannah Jelkes

Starring In
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Les mille et une vies de Yul Brynner

Self (archive footage)

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Robert Mitchum: Hollywoods Bad Boy

Herself (archive footage)

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And the Oscar Goes To...

Herself (archive footage)

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Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff

Sister Clodagh (archive footage) (uncredited)

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Cary Grant: A Class Apart

Herself (1988 interview) (archive footage)

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Nearest to heaven

Terry McKay from film 'An Affair to Remember' (archive footage) (uncredited)

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L.A. Confidential

Self (archive footage) (uncredited)

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20th Century Fox: The First 50 Years

Herself (archive footage)

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Off the Menu - The Last Days of Chasen's

Herself (with Sinatra) (archive footage) (uncredited)

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Hold The Dream - Barbara Taylor Bradford

Emma Harte

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Reunion at Fairborough

Sally Wells Grant

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Starman

Karen Holmes (archive footage) (uncredited)

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A Woman Of Substance - Barbara Taylor Bradford

Emma Harte (3 episodes, 1985)

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Hallmark Hall of Fame: Witness for the Prosecution

Nurse Plimsoll

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The Gypsy Moths

Elizabeth Brandon

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Prudence and the Pill

Prudence Hardcastle

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Casino Royale

Agent Mimi (Alias Lady Fiona)

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Eye of the Devil

Catherine de Montfaucon

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The Love Goddesses

Herself (archive footage)

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Marriage on the Rocks

Valerie Edwards

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The Night of the Iguana

Hannah Jelkes

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Mujer sin Pasado

Miss Madrigal

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The Innocents

Miss Giddens

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The Naked Edge

Martha Radcliffe

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The Sundowners

Ida Carmody

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The Grass Is Greener

Lady Hilary Rhyall

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Beloved Infidel

Sheilah Graham

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The Journey

Diana Ashmore

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Separate Tables

Sibyl Railton-Bell

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Bonjour Tristesse

Anne Larson

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An Affair to Remember

Terry McKay

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Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

Sister Angela

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Tea and Sympathy

Laura Reynolds

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The King and I

Anna Leonowens

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The Proud and Profane

Lee Ashley

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The End of the Affair

Sarah Miles

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From Here to Eternity

Karen Holmes

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Julius Caesar

Portia

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Young Bess

Catherine Parr

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Du und keine andere

Effie

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The Prisoner of Zenda

Princess Flavia

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Thunder in the East

Joan Willoughby

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Quo Vadis

Lygia

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King Solomon's Mines

Elizabeth Curtis

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Edward, My Son

Evelyn Boult

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The Hucksters

Kay Dorrance

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Black Narcissus

Sister Clodagh

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I See a Dark Stranger

Bridie Quilty

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Vacation from Marriage

Cathy Wilson

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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

Edith Hunter / Barbara Wynne / Angela 'Johnny' Cannon

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The Avengers

Kari Alstad

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Courageous Mr. Penn

Gulielma

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Amor en la Miseria

Sally Hardcastle

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Major Barbara

Jenny Hill

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