"I came over here
to act, but it turned out all I had to do was to be high-minded, long-suffering, white-gloved, and decorative."
(rhymes with "star"
, but this doesn't stop people in Britain
saying it so it rhymes with the "err" sound in "ferry") was a Scottish-born actress who specialized in playing high-souled ladies of quality
and one of Hollywood's favorite redheads from the 1940s through the 1960s. She's best known for From Here to Eternity
(where she had [implied] sex on the beach with Burt Lancaster); An Affair to Remember
(where she fell in love with Cary Grant); and The King and I
. Her first leading role was the triple one of the three women loved by the title character of Michael Powell
and Emmeric Pressburger's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
, but she really shot to stardom
in Powell and Pressburger's Black Narcissus
, about nuns who struggle with, er, "carnal desires" in a former harem in India.
Kerr was the queen of Oscar snubs
, as she was nominated six times and never won.
She was a precursor to Meryl Streep
, as she never gave a bad performance. One of Hollywood's most underrated stars.
Some films in which Deborah Kerr appeared include:
- Award Snub: Six times she was nominated for an Oscar and never won. In the 90s they presented her with an honorary Oscar for her contribution to film.
- I Am Very British: Her voice was naturally this, which was probably the reason she did so many period movies.
- Playing Against Type: See Type Casting below for what her type was but From Here to Eternity had her playing a Fake American trophy wife unhappy in her marriage that has an affair with a Pearl Harbour soldier. Also The Innocents plays with her type as Miss Giddens is quite possibly going mad and has a questionable relationship with young Miles.
- Rapunzel Hair: Sported a lot of this in many of her period films - The Innocents, The King and I, King Solomon's Mines (at first anyway).
- Those Two Actors: She was the favorite leading lady of Robert Mitchum, who co-starred with her in four movies: Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), The Sundowners (1960), The Grass is Greener (1960), and Reunion at Fairborough (1985).
- Type Casting: Initially as the English Rose Proper Lady in her early films. She also played a lot of: