Deborah Kerr’s life story – she was a lady!

Deborah Kerr's life story – she was a lady!

Lady Deborah Kerr (Glasgow, 30 September 1921 – Botesdale, 16 October 2007), Scottish-American film and television actress.

She was nominated for an Oscar six times, but was never awarded. However, in 1994, she won an honorary Oscar for her life’s work. Her most famous films are “Black Daffodil”, “Quo Vadis”, “From Here to Eternity”, “The King and I” and “Affair to Remember”.

Deborah was a blockbuster star and one of the most popular heroines of love dramas.

Below, I will tell you Deborah Kerr’s life story!


She was born as Deborah Jane Kerr Trimmer, in a private hospital in Glasgow (Scotland), as the only child of Kathleen Rose and Captain Arthur Charles, a pilot in the First World War. She spent the first three years in the nearby town of Helensborg, where her parents lived with Arthur’s father and mother.

She later got her brother Edward, who was killed in 2004 in a fight that happened after a car accident. Deborah graduated from Northumberland House School in Clifton, and Rossholme School in Weston. After studying ballet for many years, she got an engagement at Sadler’s Wells Theater very early on. In her free time, she went to acting classes with her aunt Phyllis, who ran an acting school in Bristol.

Deborah Kerr's life story – she was a lady!


Deborah made her first film in 1940, but her scenes were deleted from that film. In the 1943 film The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, she played a triple role, and began dating the director, Michael Powell.

After several failed films in Britain, Kerr’s left her lover in 1947 and moved to the United States, where she signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer. Already the next film she made in the United States, it achieved great commercial success, and it deserved critical acclaim. It was the drama “Black Daffodil”, where she played the nun of a Catholic monastery in the Himalayas.

Her manners and elegance, as well as her apparent emotional coldness, made Deborah very quickly become one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood for performing the roles of cool British ladies. However, she often came out of that pattern by playing elegant ladies very ready for adventure, such as in the adventure film “King Solomon’s Mines”, shot in Africa, and the love drama “From Here to Eternity” (1953), which became her most famous film. , and for which she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Leading Actress. Her partner here was Bert Lancaster, and the scene in which they made love on Halon Beach in Hawaii is considered one of the most romantic scenes of all time. The American Film Institute put this film on the twentieth place on the list of the 100 best love dramas of the twentieth century.

Deborah Kerr and Bert Lancaster in movie 'From Here to Eternity' (1953)!

Prior to this film, Deborah had notable roles in the films “Edward, Son” (Oscar nominee), “Quo Vadis”, “Julius Caesar”, where her partner was Marlon Brando, and the film “Queen of Virgins”, where played Elizabeth I.

Deborah played Lygia, the first baptized woman in history, in the movie “Quo Vadis”.

In 1953, she also debuted on Broadway with the play “Tea and Sympathy”, and occasionally worked there for the next two years. After 1955, she did not perform for twenty years, but she always said that theater was her greatest love.

Deborah continued to play in blockbusters, and became known as the heroine of love movies. The most famous of these films are “The End of a Love Story”, the cult musical “The King and I”, in which her partner was Yul Brynner, “Heaven Knows, Mr. Alison”, where she played a nun again. In 1957, she filmed the love drama “Memory Affair” with Carrie Grant, which was a great commercial success and strengthened her position in Hollywood. The American Film Institute declared this drama the fifth most beautiful love film of all time.

Deborah Kerr and Carrie Grant in movie 'Memory Affair'!

The following year, she starred in the also successful film “Separate Tables”, and in 1960 in the drama “Grass is Green”. She became Bond’s oldest girlfriend in 1967 when she accepted a role at Casino Royale. Two years later, she appeared naked in the film for the first and only time in her career. It was the drama “The Gypsy Moths,” and the reason for that decision lay in the fact that Deborah had a hard time coming to terms with the gradual decline in popularity. In the late sixties, she completely abandoned film and occasionally worked in series and TV movies, and in theater. After “From Here to Eternity”, she was nominated for four more “Oscars”, but did not win any – for roles in the films “Heaven Knows, Mr. Alison”, “The King and I”, “Separate Tables” and “Wanderers”. (1960).

Kerr’s was named the Lady of the United Kingdom in 1998, and four years earlier, she won the “Oscar for Lifetime Achievement”, is “for impeccable grace and beauty – a career during which she strived for perfection, discipline and elegance”.

Deborah Kerr's life story – she was a lady!

Private life

Kerr’s married a certain Anthony Bartley in 1945, and they divorced fourteen years later, as he was incredibly jealous of her fame and financial supremacy in marriage. They had two daughters – Melanie Jane (1947) and Francesca Ann (1951).

She married for the second time in 1960, to screenwriter Peter Virtel, and had a nice relationship with his daughter from her first marriage. Bert Lancaster claimed that he slept with Deborah during the filming of “From Here to Eternity”.

Deborah contracted Parkinson’s disease and died on October 16, 2007, in Safok, England. Virtel died three weeks later.

Deborah Kerr's life story – she was a lady!


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