Biography

Born Deborah Jane Kerr-Trimmer in Scotland in 1921, she was the daughter of a soldier who had been gassed in World War I. A shy, insecure child, she found an outlet for expressing her feelings in acting. Her aunt, a radio star, got her some stage work when she was a teenager, and she came to the attention of British film producer Gabriel Pascal, who cast her in his film of George Bernard Shaw's "Major Barbara" (Major Barbara (1941)) and Love on the Dole (1941). She quickly became a star of the British cinema, playing such diverse roles as the three women in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) and the nun in Black Narcissus (1947). In 1947 she "crossed the pond" and came to MGM, where she found success in films like The Hucksters (1947), Edward, My Son (1949) and Quo Vadis (1951). After a while, however, she tired of playing prim-and-proper English ladies, so she made the most of the role of the adulteress who romps on the beach with Burt Lancaster in From Here to Eternity (1953). The film was a success, and Kerr received her second Oscar nomination. She also achieved success on the Broadway stage in "Tea and Sympathy," reprising her role in the 1956 film version (Tea and Sympathy (1956)). That same year she played one of her best-remembered screen roles, "Mrs. Anna" in The King and I (1956). More success followed in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), An Affair to Remember (1957), Separate Tables (1958), The Sundowners (1960), The Innocents (1961) and The Night of the Iguana (1964). Then in 1968 she suddenly quit movies, appalled by the explicit sex and violence of the day. After some stage and TV work in the 1970s and 1980s and swan song performances in The Assam Garden (1985) and Hold the Dream (1986), she retired from acting altogether. Kerr holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations for Best Actress without a win (six), but that was made up for in 1994, when she was given an Honorary Oscar for her screen achievements.

Date of Death 16 October 2007, Botesdale, Suffolk, England  (complications from Parkinson's disease)

Born Deborah Jane Kerr-Trimmer in Scotland in 1921, she was the daughter of a soldier who had been gassed in World War I. A shy, insecure child, she found an outlet for expressing her feelings in acting. Her aunt, a radio star, got her some stage work when she was a teenager, and she came to the attention of British film producer Gabriel Pascal, who cast her in his film of George Bernard Shaw's "Major Barbara" (Major Barbara (1941)) and Love on the Dole (1941). She quickly became a star of the British cinema, playing such diverse roles as the three women in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) and the nun in Black Narcissus (1947). In 1947 she "crossed the pond" and came to MGM, where she found success in films like The Hucksters (1947), Edward, My Son (1949) and Quo Vadis (1951). After a while, however, she tired of playing prim-and-proper English ladies, so she made the most of the role of the adulteress who romps on the beach with Burt Lancaster in From Here to Eternity (1953). The film was a success, and Kerr received her second Oscar nomination. She also achieved success on the Broadway stage in "Tea and Sympathy," reprising her role in the 1956 film version (Tea and Sympathy (1956)). That same year she played one of her best-remembered screen roles, "Mrs. Anna" in The King and I (1956). More success followed in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), An Affair to Remember (1957), Separate Tables (1958), The Sundowners (1960), The Innocents (1961) and The Night of the Iguana (1964). Then in 1968 she suddenly quit movies, appalled by the explicit sex and violence of the day. After some stage and TV work in the 1970s and 1980s and swan song performances in The Assam Garden (1985) and Hold the Dream (1986), she retired from acting altogether. Kerr holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations for Best Actress without a win (six), but that was made up for in 1994, when she was given an Honorary Oscar for her screen achievements.

Date of Death 16 October 2007, Botesdale, Suffolk, England  (complications from Parkinson's disease)

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 61

Birthday 1921-09-30

Day of Death 2007-10-16

Place of Birth Helensburgh, Scotland, UK

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • 데보라 커

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2013 Talking Pictures(1 episode) as Herself
1991 Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star as Herself
1986 Hold the Dream(2 episodes) as Emma Harte
1986 Ann and Debbie as Ann
1985 The Assam Garden as Helen
1985 Reunion at Fairborough as Sally Wells Grant
1984 A Woman of Substance(20 episodes) as Emma Harte
1982 Witness for the Prosecution as Nurse Plimsoll
1982 A Song At Twilight as Carlotta Gray
1971 V.I.P. Schaukel(1 episode)
1969 The Arrangement as Florence Anderson
1969 The Gypsy Moths as Elizabeth Brandon
1968 Prudence and the Pill as Prudence Hardcastle
1967 Casino Royale as Agent Mimi / Lady Fiona McTarry
1966 Eye of the Devil as Catherine de Montfaucon
1965 Marriage on the Rocks as Valerie Edwards
1965 Verifica incerta - Disperse Exclamatory Phase as (archive footage)
1964 The Night of the Iguana as Hannah Jelkes
1964 On the Trail of the Iguana as Herself
1964 The Chalk Garden as Miss Madrigal
1961 The Innocents as Miss Giddens
1961 The Naked Edge as Martha Radcliffe
1960 The Grass Is Greener as Lady Hilary Rhyall
1960 The Sundowners as Ida Carmody
1959 Beloved Infidel as Sheilah Graham
1959 Count Your Blessings as Grace Allingham
1959 The Journey as Diana Ashmore
1958 Separate Tables as Sibyl Railton-Bell
1958 Bonjour Tristesse as Anne Larson
1957 An Affair to Remember as Terry McKay
1957 Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison as Sister Angela
1956 The King and I as Anna Leonowens
1956 The Steve Allen Show(1 episode)
1956 The Proud and Profane as Lee Ashley
1956 Tea and Sympathy as Laura Reynolds
1955 The End of the Affair as Sarah Miles
1953 From Here to Eternity as Karen Holmes
1953 Dream Wife as Effie
1953 Julius Caesar as Portia
1953 Young Bess as Catherine Parr
1953 The Academy Awards(4 episodes)
1952 Thunder in the East as Joan Willoughby
1952 The Prisoner of Zenda as Princess Flavia
1951 Hallmark Hall of Fame(1 episode)
1951 Quo Vadis as Lygia
1951 Rome, the Eternal City
1950 King Solomon's Mines as Elizabeth Curtis
1950 Please Believe Me as Alison Kirbe
1949 Edward, My Son as Evelyn Boult
1947 If Winter Comes as Nona Tybar
1947 The Hucksters as Kay Dorrance
1947 Tony Awards(1 episode)
1947 Black Narcissus as Sister Clodagh
1946 I See a Dark Stranger as Bridie Quilty
1945 Perfect Strangers as Catherine Wilson
1943 The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp as Edith Hunter / Barbara Wynne / Angela "Johnny" Cannon
1942 The Day Will Dawn as Kari Alstad
1942 Hatter's Castle as Mary Brodie
1942 Penn of Pennsylvania as Gulielma Maria Springett
1941 Love on the Dole as Sally
1941 Major Barbara as Jenny Hill

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