Deborah Kerr

Actor, Dancer
Known as "The English Rose," lovely, red-haired Deborah Kerr - "It Rhymes with Star!" as MGM memorably proclaimed in her introduction to American audiences - was the distinguished Scotland native who perfectly embodied ... Read more »
Born: 09/29/1921 in United Kingdom

Filmography

Actor (47)

The 66th Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Cary Grant: The Leading Man 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The Assam Garden 1984 (Movie)

Helen (Actor)

Witness For the Prosecution 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

The Arrangement 1969 (Movie)

Florence Anderson (Actor)

The Gypsy Moths 1969 (Movie)

Elizabeth Brandon (Actor)

Prudence and the Pill 1968 (Movie)

Prudence Hardcastle (Actor)

Casino Royale 1967 (Movie)

Widow McTarry (Actor)

Eye of the Devil 1965 (Movie)

Catherine (Actor)

Marriage on the Rocks 1964 (Movie)

Valerie Edwards (Actor)

The Chalk Garden 1964 (Movie)

Madrigal (Actor)

The Night of the Iguana 1964 (Movie)

Hannah Jelkes (Actor)

The Innocents 1961 (Movie)

Miss Giddens (Actor)

The Naked Edge 1961 (Movie)

Martha Radcliffe (Actor)

The Grass Is Greener 1960 (Movie)

Hilary Rhyall (Actor)

The Sundowners 1960 (Movie)

Ida Carmody (Actor)

The Journey 1959 (Movie)

Lady Diana Ashmore (Actor)

Beloved Infidel 1958 (Movie)

Sheilah Graham (Actor)

Bonjour Tristesse 1958 (Movie)

Anne (Actor)

Count Your Blessings 1958 (Movie)

Grace Allingham (Actor)

Separate Tables 1958 (Movie)

Sibyl Railton-Bell (Actor)

An Affair to Remember 1957 (Movie)

Terry McKay (Actor)

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison 1957 (Movie)

Sister Angela (Actor)

Tea and Sympathy 1956 (Movie)

Laura Reynolds (Actor)

The King and I 1956 (Movie)

Anna (Actor)

The Proud and the Profane 1956 (Movie)

Lee Ashley (Actor)

The End of the Affair 1955 (Movie)

Sarah Miles (Actor)

Dream Wife 1953 (Movie)

Effie (Actor)

From Here to Eternity 1953 (Movie)

Karen Holmes (Actor)

Julius Caesar 1953 (Movie)

Portia (Actor)

The Prisoner of Zenda 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

Quo Vadis 1951 (Movie)

Lygia (Actor)

Black Narcissus 1947 (Movie)

Sister Clodagh (Actor)

If Winter Comes 1947 (Movie)

(Actor)

I See a Dark Stranger 1945 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Woman of Substance (TV Show)

Actor

Edward, My Son (Movie)

Evelyn Boult (Actor)

Hatter's Castle (Movie)

Mary Brodie (Actor)

Hold the Dream (TV Show)

Actor

King Solomon's Mines (Movie)

Elizabeth Curtis (Actor)

Major Barbara (Movie)

Jenny Hill (Actor)

Reunion at Fairborough (TV Show)

Actor

The Hucksters (Movie)

Kay Dorrance (Actor)

Vacation From Marriage (Movie)

Catherine Wilson (Actor)

Young Bess (Movie)

Catherine Parr (Actor)

Biography

Known as "The English Rose," lovely, red-haired Deborah Kerr - "It Rhymes with Star!" as MGM memorably proclaimed in her introduction to American audiences - was the distinguished Scotland native who perfectly embodied the attributes of genteel grace and beauty for generations of moviegoers. Following a brief career in ballet and some repertory work in various productions of Shakespeare, she first gained attention in "Major Barbara" (1941) and demonstrated the screen presence of a natural star in Michael Powell's Technicolor masterpieces "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" (1943) and "Black Narcissus" (1947). Lured to Hollywood, Kerr graced event movies like "King Solomon's Mines" (1950) and "Quo Vadis" (1951), but it was her dramatic work in "Julius Caesar" (1953) and unexpected display of anger and sensuality in "From Here to Eternity" (1953) that confirmed her full range as a performer. While she sometimes bristled at being cast so often as the prim and proper lady, audiences loved her as those characters, never more so than in the musical "The King and I" (1956), one of her most enduringly popular vehicles, along with the romance perennial "An Affair to Remember" (1957). Admired in the industry for her talent and professionalism, and able to excel at playing everything from nuns to slaves, Kerr emerged as one of the finest and classiest leading ladies of her day.

Relationships

Kathleen Rose Kerr-Trimmer

Mother

Anthony Bartley

Husband
born in March 1919 married on November 28, 1945 divorced in 1959 died on April 6, 2001

Francesca Bartley

Daughter
father, Anthony Bartley

Melanie Bartley

Daughter
father, Anthony Bartley

Teddy Kerr

Brother
younger

Arthur Kerr-Trimmer

Father
died when Kerr was 15 years old

Burt Lancaster Actor

Companion
had relationship during filming of "From Here to Eternity"

Phyllis Smale

Aunt
operated a ballet school

Peter Viertel Actor

Husband
Married on July 23, 1960 until her death October 16, 2007

EDUCATION

Sadler's Wells Theatre School

1938
received scholarship to study ballet

St Martha's School

Bramley , Surrey

Northumberland House Private School

Phyllis Smale Ballet School

Milestones

1986

Reprised role of Emma Harte in syndicated miniseries sequel "Hold the Dream"; final screen performance

1985

Acted on London stage in "The Corn Is Green"

1985

Made one-shot return to feature films with lead role in "The Assam Garden"

1985

Reteamed with Robert Mitchum in HBO romance "Reunion at Fairborough"

1984

Played lead of Emma Harte in British miniseries "A Woman of Substance"; syndicated in the U.S.

1982

Made U.S. TVmovie debut in remake of "Witness for the Prosecution" (CBS)

1978

Toured with stage play "The Last of Mrs. Cheney"

1975

Appeared on Broadway in Edward Albee's award-winning, but short-lived play "Seascape"

1973

Performed on tour in the U.S. in "The Day After the Fair"

1972

Starred on London stage in "The Day After the Fair"

1968

Last features for 16 years, "The Arrangement" and "The Gypsy Moths"

1968

Had lead in uneven comedy "Prudence and the Pill," co-starring David Niven

1964

Starred in film version of "The Chalk Garden"

1964

Co-starred in John Huston's version of Tennessee Williams' "The Night of the Iguana"

1961

Acted in BBC production of "Three Roads to Rome"

1961

Portrayed the governess who may or may not be haunted by spirits in "The Innocents," based on the Henry James novella The Turn of the Screw

1960

Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

1960

Co-starred with Mitchum as a married couple operating a sheep ranch in "The Sundowners"; received sixth and last Best Actress Oscar nomination

1959

Portrayed writer Sheilah Graham in film adaptation of Graham's memoirs "Beloved Infidel"

1958

Delivered fine performance as a middle-aged spinster in "Separate Tables"; earned fifth Academy Award nomination

1957

Earned fourth Oscar nomination for her turn as a nun stranded on a Pacific Island with an army officer (Robert Mitchum) in "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison"

1957

Cast opposite Cary Grant in romance "An Affair to Remember"

1956

Recreated stage role from "Tea and Sympathy" in feature version

1956

Portrayed the proper British governess to the children of the monarch of Siam in film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The King and I"; received third Academy Award nomination; singing voice dubbed by Marni Nixon

1955

Again played an adulterous wife in film version of Graham Greene's "The End of the Affair"

1953

Made Broadway debut as female lead of "Tea and Sympathy"

1953

Appeared as Portia in all-star filming of "Julius Caesar"

1953

Offered perhaps her most memorable performance as the adulterous wife of an army officer in "From Here to Eternity"; received second Best Actress Oscar nomination

1950

Played female lead in "King Solomon's Mines"

1948

Received first of six Best Actress Academy Award nominations for "Edward, My Son"

1947

Cast as a nun on a religious mission in the Himalayas in "Black Narcissus"

1947

Invited to Hollywood; made U.S. film debut in "The Hucksters"

1947

Voted one of England's top ten money-making film stars in annual "Motion Picture Herald" exhibitors poll

1944

Performed on tour in stage melodrama "Gaslight" for British troops in Europe

1942

Acted on London stage in an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's "Heartbreak House"; also toured

1942

Played three roles in "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp"

1940

Had leading role in "Love on the Dole"

1940

First prominent role in films, Jenny in "Major Barbara"

1939

Began acting career in English repertory theaters

1939

Made film acting debut in small role of a hatcheck girl in "Contraband"

1938

Danced in the corps de ballet of Sadler's Wells production of "Prometheus"

1937

Made stage debut in "Harlequin and Columbine"

Bonus Trivia

.

Kerr was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1998.

.

In March 2000, Kerr's representative confirmed that the actress was suffering from Parkinson's disease (diagnosed in 1994) and had been confined to a wheelchair.

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