Deborah Kerr Dies at Age 86

The From Here to Eternity actress was nominated for six Oscars in her lifetime.

by | October 18, 2007 | Comments

Deborah Kerr, the actress whom the Academy once called an "artist
of impeccable grace and beauty," has died from Parkinson’s disease in Suffolk,
England. She was 86.

While Kerr acted in 45 movies during the height of her
career between 1940 and 1970, she made her greatest impact with a single image:
the passionate kiss between she and
Burt Lancaster in
From Here to Eternity
The image of Kerr and Lancaster on the beach shore with ocean crashing upon them
endures as the poster image for old Hollywood romanticism, and made waves at the
time for breaking Kerr’s image as a prim and conservative lady of the screen.

"I came over here [Hollywood] to act," Kerr is reported to
have once said, "But it turned out all I had to do was to be high-minded, long
suffering, white-gloved and decorative."

Kerr began her career with a small part in 1940’s
Contraband that was ultimately left on the cutting room floor.
Contraband was
also her first instance of working with legendary filmmaking duo
Michael Powell
and Emeric Pressburger, establishing between them a fruitful working
relationship. Playing three separate roles in  Powell and Pressburger’s
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
, presenting herself as a formidable
on-screen presence.

The success of 1947’s
Black Narcissus
(another Powell and Pressburger production) made her an oft-spoken name in Hollywood and American
households. As a stern nun establishing a religious commune in the Himalayas,
the film gave her the austere image that would mark her memorable turns in films
like The King and I,
An Affair to Remember, and
Bonjour Tristesse.

Kerr entered cinematic history with From Here to Eternity,
which the American Film Institute deemed in 2002 the 20th most
romantic film of all time. Kerr’s performance in that picture earned her second
of six Oscar nominations, tying with
Thelma Ritter as the most nominated actress
to never win an acting Oscar. However, Kerr received an honorary lifetime Oscar
in 1993, considered by the Academy "a dedicated actress
whose motion picture career has always stood for perfection, discipline and

By 1970, Kerr took a leave of absence from acting, calling herself "either
too young or too old
" for the parts she was receiving. She also
registered disappointment over the increasing violence and sexuality that marked
contemporary and upcoming movies, but did enter a brief return to acting in the
early and mid 1980s with a handful of TV and now-obscure movies.

Kerr is survived by her
husband, author Peter Vertel, two daughters, and three granddaughters.


San Francisco Chronicle


Tag Cloud

stop motion 72 Emmy Awards Song of Ice and Fire Crackle fast and furious 2015 Star Wars cancelled romance remakes Superheroe Academy Awards Pixar Stephen King mutant President Brie Larson unscripted Logo comics Comic Book binge Syfy scorecard HBO Go Apple TV Plus concert Country 21st Century Fox fresh based on movie satire Marvel franchise OneApp discovery Chilling Adventures of Sabrina talk show Amazon Comedy Central strong female leads Calendar Heroines Avengers Women's History Month Summer telelvision Legendary spinoff Kids & Family Countdown children's TV NBC Winter TV comic ITV SDCC San Diego Comic-Con anime dramedy Black Mirror Discovery Channel Reality Lucasfilm Character Guide Acorn TV boxoffice Spring TV TBS Shudder E3 BET politics Crunchyroll stoner versus Western scary movies period drama USA hidden camera canceled TV shows 99% tv talk TV venice CBS All Access The Purge slashers Universal rotten movies we love kaiju doctor who child's play latino FX video on demand Music independent die hard Walt Disney Pictures cooking PaleyFest Cartoon Network cops Holiday streaming Trophy Talk razzies kong kids stand-up comedy LGBT YouTube YouTube Red casting GLAAD Marathons Black History Month Emmys Lifetime Christmas movies Mystery ViacomCBS anthology IFC Films toronto golden globe awards cats toy story Masterpiece Trailer blockbusters Sundance Now name the review ABC Family Box Office Cosplay El Rey Apple free movies game of thrones Pop comic books Quiz NYCC ESPN Fox News Film TV Land Certified Fresh FX on Hulu singing competition quibi travel TCA 2017 breaking bad First Reviews halloween crime thriller DC Universe Endgame hispanic what to watch Winners Rocketman revenge facebook Exclusive Video all-time ghosts adventure series Comedy Film Festival sequel aliens science fiction psychological thriller Sneak Peek cults Mary Poppins Returns Teen Turner Classic Movies YA Photos Travel Channel TV One TLC 2019 canceled TCA zero dark thirty Cannes football award winner deadpool 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Mindy Kaling archives animated TCA Awards elevated horror MCU laika Rom-Com VH1 Valentine's Day medical drama Bravo Tubi CBS zombie Britbox WarnerMedia Tumblr hist Lifetime Hulu rom-coms space Sundance Mary Tyler Moore Disney+ Disney Plus superman theme song MSNBC rotten BBC Nat Geo Superheroes HBO Max video trailers LGBTQ Best and Worst richard e. Grant best VOD chucky Christmas Holidays foreign SundanceTV french godzilla YouTube Premium documentary 4/20 sitcom crossover DirecTV indiana jones 007 werewolf Peacock APB serial killer Apple TV+ Premiere Dates FXX classics supernatural New York Comic Con 2020 cars Pride Month true crime Watching Series spider-man Sundance TV cancelled television Warner Bros. Hallmark Anna Paquin biography composers HBO Amazon Prime Hear Us Out justice league italian 2017 zombies PBS GIFs History GoT mission: impossible Adult Swim hollywood cancelled TV series green book emmy awards Shondaland Amazon Prime Video cancelled TV shows comiccon Epix finale Oscars harry potter movies Toys Funimation black reboot ID Comics on TV festival documentaries Thanksgiving Awards Tour Tomatazos Esquire christmas movies japanese james bond Spike Sci-Fi OWN sequels Year in Review films blaxploitation teaser The Arrangement Red Carpet Polls and Games Baby Yoda mockumentary National Geographic romantic comedy Action BAFTA Turner Opinion nbcuniversal DC Comics spanish language parents jamie lee curtis a nightmare on elm street Extras natural history WGN Nominations TCA Winter 2020 Broadway MTV book Writers Guild of America Fantasy Martial Arts Dark Horse Comics Chernobyl Fox Searchlight game show pirates of the caribbean Rock popular CW Seed Marvel Television Pirates vampires SXSW Hallmark Christmas movies Alien 45 BET Awards Amazon Studios Video Games Starz ABC Signature Classic Film technology rt archives spanish nature dceu IFC Disney streaming service Pop TV FOX RT History ratings psycho Rocky Showtime DC streaming service The Witch worst See It Skip It renewed TV shows police drama Lionsgate adaptation TNT historical drama Mary poppins A24 2021 docuseries diversity Marvel Studios critics Disney Plus spy thriller TruTV robots PlayStation crime drama Arrowverse Columbia Pictures BBC One American Society of Cinematographers transformers TCM TV renewals war twilight 24 frames DGA Interview USA Network criterion E! Paramount Plus comedies australia BBC America disaster Star Trek superhero thriller RT21 Elton John 2018 Emmy Nominations Disney Channel Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt dark sports dogs jurassic park Creative Arts Emmys Netflix Animation spain universal monsters 71st Emmy Awards cartoon halloween tv Reality Competition Ellie Kemper docudrama The CW blockbuster CNN movie crime boxing Podcast First Look A&E Super Bowl Schedule 20th Century Fox women The Walking Dead Fall TV cinemax Ghostbusters Set visit Vudu south america X-Men nfl The Academy news Television Critics Association Family Television Academy TIFF Binge Guide Ovation Horror VICE Freeform screen actors guild ABC screenings Sony Pictures social media festivals Infographic The Walt Disney Company joker monster movies Grammys prank asian-american reviews CMT witnail sag awards obituary Spectrum Originals dragons Musical Netflix Christmas movies Paramount Drama king kong indie miniseries Musicals Paramount Network Captain marvel golden globes Disney Biopics Food Network Awards worst movies Election dc batman political drama Trivia 2016 Nickelodeon Pet Sematary AMC Tarantino television Mudbound directors