Deborah Kerr: Lovely, talented and versatile.
She was born Deborah Kerr-Trimmer in Scotland in 1921 and educated in Bristol.
Her first credited role was in Major Barbara (1941).
Part I, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943). Description on imdb: “Portrays in warm-hearted detail the life and loves of one extraordinary man.”
From Here to Eternity (1953) won Best Picture. She was so beautiful in this film and wore the Edith Head costumes with real flair.
The King and I (1953), nominated for Best Picture. Oh, that dress!
Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) is the story of 2 people stranded on a South Pacific island during World War II. He’s committed to the U.S. Marines, she’s committed to the Lord. It has long been one of my favorite movies. Not only is she very good, the scenery (which includes Robert Mitchum) is gorgeous. If you watch it, try to get it in widescreen – it’s definitely worth it. Should’ve been nominated for Best Picture.
1957 was quite a year for her (and us). She starred with Cary Grant in her next film, An Affair to Remember. Very glamorous. Again, beautiful costumes.
Here’s a clip. Make sure you have a handkerchief ready.
Then, in 1958 she played the painfully emotionally stunted daughter of Gladys Cooper in Separate Tables. Co-starring Burt Lancaster, Rita Hayworth, David Niven and Wendy Hiller. Nominated for Best Picture.
In 1960, she again teamed up with Robert Mitchum in a completely different type of role. She plays his wife, Ida Carmody and they are traveling Australian sheepherders. A great supporting cast includes Peter Ustinov, Glynnis Johns, Chips Rafferty and Michael Anderson, Jr. The Sundowners was nominated for Best Picture.
In The Chalk Garden (1964), she played a governess (with her own mysterious past) trying to help a very disturbed girl, played by Hayley Mills.
My almost contact with Deborah Kerr: several days ago a cousin and I were discussing a trip that Joe and I made to see her and her family in California in 1976. We had dinner at her in-laws in Pacific Palisades, a very nice neighborhood. Walter Matthau and Elliot Gould lived close by. What I didn’t know until recently was that Deborah Kerr lived right across the street from where we had Easter dinner! It seems a shame I didn’t know it at the time, but I probably would’ve made an idiot of myself standing in front of the window trying to get a glimpse. Doris also told me that her husband used to feed Kerr’s Scottie dogs when she was traveling. What a job for a kid. Getting to feed a movie star’s dogs. That’s a lot more glitzy than just mowing the lawn.
*This post was updated on April 18, 2011 to remove the youtube links which were no longer available.