Friday, October 19, 2007

Deborah Kerr: High-Minded, Long Suffering, White-Gloved and Decorative

Screen star Deborah Kerr, a Bijou favorite, died in England on Tuesday Oct 16th. The elegant leading lady made memorable an impressive range of characters in 51 roles spanning 50 years Originally from Scotland, her film career began in England in 1939 with an uncredited bit part in Contraband, and accelerated upon release of her first American film, the Hucksters, in 1946. MGM promoted their new “British” find as “Deborah Kerr: Her Name Rhymes With Star”

In contrasting her transatlantic filmmaking experiences to that of the Hollywood studio system, Ms. Kerr was once quoted as saying: "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".

An engaging way to remember Deborah Kerr is to attempt to select her top three films from her distinguished filmography. Give it a's harder than you might expect. Consider she was nominated for six Academy Awards, won none, but was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1994. Then consider her many co-starring performances with such great leading men as Cary Grant, Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, David Niven, Yul Brynner, Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger and Walter Pigeon.

Three obvious titles would top most lists: An Affair to Remember, From Here to Eternity and The King and I. But then consider The Sundowners, Black Narcissus and The Innocence. How about Tea & Sympathy, The Grass is Greener, Night of the Iguana, Separate Tables, King Solomon’s Mines and The Razor’s Edge? The list goes on.

Why not leave a comment and share your own favorite Deborah Kerr role. And remember a new Mini-Matinee at the Bijou starts Wednesday, Oct 24. Check back for titles and descriptions.

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