Deborah Kerr


Actor
Deborah Kerr

About

Also Known As
Deborah Jane Kerr-Trimmer
Birth Place
Helensburgh, Scotland
Born
September 30, 1921
Died
October 16, 2007
Cause of Death
Parkinson's Disease

Biography

Known as "The English Rose," lovely, red-haired Deborah Kerr – "It Rhymes with Star!" as MGM memorably proclaimed in her introduction to American audiences – was the distinguished Scotland native who perfectly embodied the attributes of genteel grace and beauty for generations of moviegoers. Following a brief career in ballet and some repertory work in various productions of Shakespeare,...

Photos & Videos

An Affair to Remember - Movie Posters
Marriage on the Rocks - Movie Posters
King Solomon's Mines - Publicity Stills

Family & Companions

Anthony Bartley
Husband
Born in March 1919; married on November 28, 1945; divorced in 1959; died on April 6, 2001.
Burt Lancaster
Companion
Actor. Had relationship during filming of "From Here to Eternity".
Peter Viertel
Husband
Novelist, screenwriter. Married on July 23, 1960.

Bibliography

"Deborah Kerr"
Eric Braun

Notes

In March 2000, Kerr's representative confirmed that the actress was suffering from Parkinson's disease (diagnosed in 1994) and had been confined to a wheelchair.

Made Commander of the British Empire in 1997.

Biography

Known as "The English Rose," lovely, red-haired Deborah Kerr – "It Rhymes with Star!" as MGM memorably proclaimed in her introduction to American audiences – was the distinguished Scotland native who perfectly embodied the attributes of genteel grace and beauty for generations of moviegoers. Following a brief career in ballet and some repertory work in various productions of Shakespeare, she first gained attention in "Major Barbara" (1941) and demonstrated the screen presence of a natural star in Michael Powell’s Technicolor masterpieces "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" (1943) and "Black Narcissus" (1947). Lured to Hollywood, Kerr graced event movies like "King Solomon’s Mines" (1950) and "Quo Vadis" (1951), but it was her dramatic work in "Julius Caesar" (1953) and unexpected display of anger and sensuality in "From Here to Eternity" (1953) that confirmed her full range as a performer. While she sometimes bristled at being cast so often as the prim and proper lady, audiences loved her as those characters, never more so than in the musical "The King and I" (1956), one of her most enduringly popular vehicles, along with the romance perennial "An Affair to Remember" (1957). Admired in the industry for her talent and professionalism, and able to excel at playing everything from nuns to slaves, Kerr emerged as one of the finest and classiest leading ladies of her day.

Born Deborah Jane Kerr-Trimmer in Helensburgh, Scotland on Sept. 30, 1921, Kerr started ballet lessons at the age of five and began her schooling at Northumberland House Boarding School in Bristol. A quiet and sensitive girl, she was frequently bullied, but found escape at age 16 when invited to attend the Hicks-Smale Drama School, where she continued her ballet studies and honed her diction and deportment. Kerr had her first taste of acting when she read some children’s stories on the BBC and earned small parts in performances of Shakespeare. She decided to concentrate on acting instead of ballet – citing her 5’7" inch frame as being inappropriately tall – and participated in productions at Regent Park’s Open Air Theatre. Thanks to this added exposure, Kerr was spotted by a talent scout and offered a five-year film contract. Her first role, a brief appearance in the spy drama "Contraband" (1940), was never seen by the public, as the footage ended up on the cutting room floor.

However, she was soon given a supporting part as a Salvation Army worker in the widely-seen adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s "Major Barbara" (1941), which immediately led to her first lead role in the Depression-era drama "Love on the Dole" (1941). Although Kerr’s beauty opened doors, her fine dramatic performance in a production of "Heartbreak House" (1943) convinced sceptics that she did indeed have genuine talent, and she toured with the play for six months throughout England and Scotland. Kerr’s striking red locks were ideal for the Three-Strip Technicolor world of Michael Powell’s "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" (1943), where she played three very different women who figure into the life of the title character. It was a wonderful showcase for Kerr’s talents and the actress was promptly offered a contract with MGM. Kerr agreed to the deal, but was temporarily allowed to remain on her home soil. She gave another winning performance in the comic espionage thriller "I See a Dark Stranger" (1946) as an Irish girl so disillusioned by Britain that she seeks to join the IRA, but ends up spying for the Nazis.

After MGM was compensated to the tune of £16,000 by Powell, she reteamed with the director for his classic "Black Narcissus" (1947). As a resolute nun seeking to establish a school and hospital in a remote area of the Himalayas, Kerr’s superb performance helped to make the film a major success in both England and America. By that time, director Powell had fallen deeply in love with Kerr, but was unsuccessful in convincing her to stay in England. She launched her Hollywood career opposite no less than Clark Gable in "The Hucksters" (1947) and earned her first Oscar nomination with a powerful performance as a disillusioned alcoholic in "Edward, My Son" (1949). Now one of the studio’s prime assets, Kerr was given the female leads in MGM’s adventure spectacles "King Solomon’s Mines" (1950) and "Quo Vadis" (1951), both box office smashes and among the most fondly remembered pictures of their type from that era.

While she more than fulfilled the basic requirements of the roles MGM assigned her, it was her turn as Portia opposite Marlon Brando and an assortment of distinguished British stars in "Julius Caesar" (1953) that provided Kerr with the sort of acting challenge her Hollywood career had largely lacked up to that point. Another key title from that period, "From Here to Eternity" (1953), provided Kerr with the chance to shatter her image as a proper, demure Englishwoman. Sporting blonde locks and a convincing American accent, her daring performance as an adulterous wife resulted in another Oscar nomination, and her famous encounter with co-star Burt Lancaster in the Hawaiian surf ranked among the most erotically charged moments of 1950s cinema, as well as one of the most iconic film scenes in history. That year, Kerr also made her Broadway debut in the very well received drama "Tea and Sympathy" (1953) and recreated that role for the 1956 motion picture version, though its story of a young man’s struggle with his sexual identity was blunted in the latter by the production code censorship of the period.

Although "From Here to Eternity" helped to broaden her appeal, Kerr did return to playing proper ladies on occasion, and was never better than as the governess who falls for Yul Brynner’s dynamic monarch in the musical smash "The King and I" (1956), arguably Kerr’s best remembered part. She donned a nun’s habit once again for "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison" (1957), the first of four films with Robert Mitchum, had wonderful chemistry with Cary Grant in the romantic comedy-drama "An Affair to Remember" (1957), and shed glamour for her role as a sheep shearer’s wife in "The Sundowners" (1960), one of her most affecting performances. Although Kerr’s marriage to World War II hero Anthony Bartley was depicted by the Hollywood press as ideal, it had quietly disintegrated over the years, thanks to Kerr’s many months on various locations and his embarrassment over her financial success. On the day Kerr’s divorce was finalized in 1960, she wed writer Peter Viertel, best known for his screenplays for "The Sun Also Rises" (1957) and "The Old Man and the Sea" (1958).

Following her wedding, Kerr slowed down a bit in order to spend time with her new husband, but had several memorable roles in the early 1960s, perhaps most famously as a governess caring for two seemingly possessed children in the eerie and visually striking chiller "The Innocents" (1961). "The Chalk Garden" (1964) found her playing another governess dealing with another problem child, though one affected by more mundane problems in that case. Kerr also impressed in "The Night of the Iguana" (1964) as a spinster who proves to be an unlikely saviour for troubled alcoholic Richard Burton, and the actress had another encounter with evil in the offbeat thriller "Eye of the Devil" (1966).

With the arrival of the new motion picture ratings system in the United States, filmmakers were able to include more explicit imagery of a sexual or violent nature, as well as examinations of mature themes previously forbidden to them. Thus, it was not a complete surprise that "The Gypsy Moths" (1969) included some nudity, but eyebrows were raised when the sequence in question featured Kerr. Age 47 at the time of shooting, her love scene with Burt Lancaster in the movie was tastefully shot and germane to her character – that of a housewife in an unhappy, sexless marriage. She also did a second, unused nude scene for Elia Kazan’s "The Arrangement" (1969), but Kerr announced her retirement from movies after that production and cited the increasing proliferation of sex and violence and a lack of age appropriate roles as the reasons.

Concentrating on stage work, she appeared in London productions of "The Day After the Fair" (1972-74) and "Overheard" (1981), had runs in the Los Angeles productions of "Souvenir" (1975) and "Long Day’s Journey into Night" (1977), and took a final bow on Broadway with "Seascape" (1975). Kerr also accepted roles on the small screen via the miniseries "A Woman of Substance" (syndicated, 1984), for which she received an Emmy nomination, and the TV movies "Reunion at Fairborough" (HBO, 1985) and "Hold the Dream" (Channel 4, 1985). She also made her final feature film appearance in "The Assam Garden" (1985), a little seen British drama. Although she was nominated on several occasions for Academy and BAFTA Awards, Kerr did not receive any until she was presented with honorary prizes by both organizations after her retirement. Afflicted by Parkinson’s disease and confined to a wheelchair near the end of her life, Kerr passed away on Oct. 18, 2007; Viertel, her husband of more than 40 years, died of cancer a mere 20 days later.

By John Charles

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star (1991)
The Assam Garden (1985)
Helen
Reunion at Fairborough (1985)
Witness for the Prosecution (1982)
Miss Plimsoll
The Gypsy Moths (1969)
Elizabeth Brandon
The Arrangement (1969)
Florence Anderson
Prudence and the Pill (1968)
Prudence Hardcastle
Casino Royale (1967)
Lady Fiona/Agent Mimi
Eye of the Devil (1967)
Catherine de Montfaucon
Marriage on the Rocks (1965)
Valerie Edwards
The Chalk Garden (1964)
Madrigal
The Night of the Iguana (1964)
Hannah Jelkes
The Naked Edge (1961)
Martha Radcliffe
The Innocents (1961)
Miss Giddens
The Grass Is Greener (1961)
Countess Hilary Rhyall
The Sundowners (1960)
Ida Carmody
Beloved Infidel (1959)
Sheilah Graham
The Journey (1959)
[Lady] Diana Ashmore
Count Your Blessings (1959)
Grace Allingham
Separate Tables (1958)
Sibyl Railton-Bell
Bonjour Tristesse (1958)
Anne
An Affair to Remember (1957)
Terry McKay
Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)
Sister Angela
The Big Show (1957)
The Proud and Profane (1956)
Lee Ashley
The King and I (1956)
Anna Leonowens
Tea and Sympathy (1956)
Laura Reynolds
The End of the Affair (1955)
Sarah Miles
Dream Wife (1953)
Effie
Julius Caesar (1953)
Portia
From Here to Eternity (1953)
Karen Holmes
Young Bess (1953)
Catherine [Parr]
Thunder in the East (1953)
Joan Willoughby
The Prisoner of Zenda (1952)
Princess Flavia
Quo Vadis (1951)
Lygia
Please Believe Me (1950)
Alison Kirbe
King Solomon's Mines (1950)
Elizabeth Curtis
Edward, My Son (1949)
Evelyn Boult
If Winter Comes (1948)
Nona Tybar
Hatter's Castle (1948)
Mary Brodie
The Hucksters (1947)
[Francis X.] Kay Dorrance
Black Narcissus (1947)
Sister Clodagh
I See A Dark Stranger (1946)
Vacation from Marriage (1945)
Catherine Wilson
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
The Avengers (1942)
Penn Of Pennsylvania (1942)
Gulielma Maria Springett
Major Barbara (1941)
Love on the Dole (1941)

Music (Feature Film)

Welcome to Woop Woop (1998)
Song Performer

Cast (Special)

The 66th Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1994)
Performer
Cary Grant: The Leading Man (1988)

Cast (Short)

The Sky Divers (1969)
Herself
On the Trail of the Iguana (1964)
Herself
Jimmy Fund - Deborah Kerr (1956)
Herself
King Solomon's Mines Featurette (1950)
Herself

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Hold the Dream (1986)
A Woman of Substance (1984)

Life Events

1937

Made stage debut in "Harlequin and Columbine"

1938

Danced in the corps de ballet of Sadler's Wells production of "Prometheus"

1939

Began acting career in English repertory theaters

1939

Made film acting debut in small role of a hatcheck girl in "Contraband"

1940

First prominent role in films, Jenny in "Major Barbara"

1940

Had leading role in "Love on the Dole"

1943

Acted on London stage in an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's "Heartbreak House"; also toured

1943

Played three roles in "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp"

1945

Performed on tour in stage melodrama "Gaslight" for British troops in Europe

1947

Invited to Hollywood; made U.S. film debut in "The Hucksters"

1947

Cast as a nun on a religious mission in the Himalayas in "Black Narcissus"

1947

Voted one of England's top ten money-making film stars in annual "Motion Picture Herald" exhibitors poll

1948

Received first of six Best Actress Academy Award nominations for "Edward, My Son"

1950

Played female lead in "King Solomon's Mines"

1953

Appeared as Portia in all-star filming of "Julius Caesar"

1953

Made Broadway debut as female lead of "Tea and Sympathy"

1953

Offered perhaps her most memorable performance as the adulterous wife of an army officer in "From Here to Eternity"; received second Best Actress Oscar nomination

1955

Again played an adulterous wife in film version of Graham Greene's "The End of the Affair"

1956

Recreated stage role from "Tea and Sympathy" in feature version

1956

Portrayed the proper British governess to the children of the monarch of Siam in film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The King and I"; received third Academy Award nomination; singing voice dubbed by Marni Nixon

1957

Cast opposite Cary Grant in romance "An Affair to Remember"

1957

Earned fourth Oscar nomination for her turn as a nun stranded on a Pacific Island with an army officer (Robert Mitchum) in "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison"

1958

Delivered fine performance as a middle-aged spinster in "Separate Tables"; earned fifth Academy Award nomination

1959

Portrayed writer Sheilah Graham in film adaptation of Graham's memoirs "Beloved Infidel"

1960

Co-starred with Mitchum as a married couple operating a sheep ranch in "The Sundowners"; received sixth and last Best Actress Oscar nomination

1960

Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

1961

Acted in BBC production of "Three Roads to Rome"

1961

Portrayed the governess who may or may not be haunted by spirits in "The Innocents," based on the Henry James novella <i>The Turn of the Screw</i>

1964

Co-starred in John Huston's version of Tennessee Williams' "The Night of the Iguana"

1964

Starred in film version of "The Chalk Garden"

1968

Had lead in uneven comedy "Prudence and the Pill," co-starring David Niven

1969

Last features for 16 years, "The Arrangement" and "The Gypsy Moths"

1972

Starred on London stage in "The Day After the Fair"

1973

Performed on tour in the U.S. in "The Day After the Fair"

1975

Appeared on Broadway in Edward Albee's award-winning, but short-lived play "Seascape"

1978

Toured with stage play "The Last of Mrs. Cheney"

1982

Made U.S. TVmovie debut in remake of "Witness for the Prosecution" (CBS)

1984

Played lead of Emma Harte in British miniseries "A Woman of Substance"; syndicated in the U.S.

1985

Acted on London stage in "The Corn Is Green"

1985

Made one-shot return to feature films with lead role in "The Assam Garden"

1985

Reteamed with Robert Mitchum in HBO romance "Reunion at Fairborough"

1986

Reprised role of Emma Harte in syndicated miniseries sequel "Hold the Dream"; final screen performance

Photo Collections

An Affair to Remember - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release American movie posters from Leo McCarey's An Affair to Remember (1957), starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.
Marriage on the Rocks - Movie Posters
Marriage on the Rocks - Movie Posters
King Solomon's Mines - Publicity Stills
Here are several Publicity Stills from MGM's King Solomon's Mines (1950), starring Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
King Solomon's Mines (1950) - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release American movie posters for King Solomon's Mines (1950), starring Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger.
Edward, My Son - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for MGM's Edward, My Son (1949), starring Spencer Tracy and Deborah Kerr. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Edward, My Son - Deborah Kerr Publicity Stills
Here is a series of stills taken to promote Deborah Kerr in MGM's Edward, My Son (1949). These Publicity Stills show Deborah engaging in a variety of domestic activities.
Julius Caesar (1953) - Publicity Stills
Here are a number of photos taken to help publicize MGM's Julius Caesar (1953), starring Marlon Brando, Deborah Kerr, James Mason, and Greer Garson. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
From Here to Eternity - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release movie posters for From Here to Eternity (1953), starring Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, and Donna Reed.
The Journey - Publicity Stills
Here are a few photos taken to publicize MGM's The Journey (1959), starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Dream Wife - Publicity Stills
Here are a few Publicity Stills from Dream Wife (1953). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Tea and Sympathy - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Tea and Sympathy (1956). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Hucksters - Deborah Kerr Publicity Stills
Here are a few photos of Deborah Kerr taken to help publicize MGM's The Hucksters (1947), costarring Clark Gable.

Videos

Movie Clip

Black Narcissus - You're All Jealous Of Me! Sister Superior Clodagh (Deborah Kerr) confronts Sister Ruth (Kathleen Byron), who's cracking up, now out of her habit and ready to leave their Himalayan convent, in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Black Narcissus, 1947
Black Narcissus (1947) - You're Slipping Going about business in their Himalayan convent, Sister Superior Ruth (Deborah Kerr) is surprised when local agent Dean (David Farrar) springs Kanchi (Jean Simmons) on her, recruiting Sister Briony (Judith Furse) for support, in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Black Narcissus, 1947.
Arrangement, The (1969) - The Countdown Continues A couple of minutes into writer, producer and director Elia Kazan's stylized opening, advertising executive Eddie (Kirk Douglas) becomes irrational on an L-A freeway, his wife Florence (Deborah Kerr) in the aftermath, in The Arrangement, 1969, also starring Faye Dunaway.
Hucksters, The (1947) - Your Toes Are Not Pointed Enough! Clinton Sundberg (delightful as photographer Michael Michaelson) receives dignified but insolvent war-widow socialite Mrs. Dorrance (Deborah Kerr), savvy Vic (Clark Gable) from the ad agency, who got her the lucrative photo gig, and stiff Miss Kennedy (Kathryn Card), representing the demanding sponsor, in The Hucksters, 1947.
Hucksters, The (1947) - Nobody's Anybody's Friend As singer Jean (Ava Gardner) joins the table after her number, she visits with old pal and ad-man Vic (Clark Gable) and his new maybe-flame, war widow Kay (Deborah Kerr), before Vic's intoxicated boss "Kim" (Adolphe Menjou, a one-time Ivy Leaguer, with Gloria Holden as his wife) takes a bitter turn, in The Hucksters, 1947.
Hucksters, The (1947) - Don't Tell Me 23-year old Ava Gardner (as singer "Jean Ogilvie," her voice dubbed by Cathy Lewis) performs Buddy Pepper's "Don't Tell Me" for an audience including Clark Gable, Deborah Kerr, Adolphe Menjou and Gloria Holden in director Jack Conway's The Hucksters, 1947.
Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp, The (1943) - You Are Livingstone, I Presume? Candy (Roger Livesey) meets Edith (Deborah Kerr) in Berlin, just about perfectly cast in her first appearance in her earliest (of three) characters in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, 1943.
Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The (1943) - Opening, Total War, Isn't It? A variation on the usual "Archers" open (with no arrow!), then a clever embroidery theme for the credits, then the roaring military-musical motorcycling sequence, opening Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's celebrated The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp, 1943.
Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp, The (1943) - Fighting Positions Candy (Roger Livesey) is obliged to duel a German officer (Anton Walbrook) drawn by lot, advised by Colonel Borg (Theodor Zichy), memorably staged by director Michael Powell, in the Boer War segment of The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp, 1943.
Sleepless In Seattle (1993) - Men Never Get This Movie! Writer-director Nora Ephron, Meg Ryan as Annie (engaged to “Walter”) and Rosie O’Donnell as pal Becky dig into director Leo McCarey’s An Affair To Remember, 1957, with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, while Meg considers a letter to the widowed father (Tom Hanks) she heard on the radio, in Sleepless In Seattle, 1993.
Sleepless In Seattle (1993) - All I Could Say Was Hello (Significant SPOILER!) Meg Ryan as (otherwise) engaged Annie is benevolently stalking Tom Hanks, as single-dad Sam, (with Ross Malinger as his son and Rita Wilson, Tom’s real-life wife, as his sister, though Meg assumes she’s a girlfriend), then explaining to Becky (Rosie O’Donnell) back in Baltimore, leading to a second reference to Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, in An Affair To Remember, 1957, in Sleepless In Seattle, 1993.
End Of The Affair, The (1955) - Like Planes On Fire Several months into their London wartime affair, with American Maurice (Van Johnson) spotting the first German buzz-bombs, placing events firmly in June, 1944, he and his married lover Sarah (Deborah Kerr) must decide the safest course, in Edward Dmytryk’s The End Of The Affair, 1955, from the Graham Greene novel.

Trailer

Separate Tables - (Original Trailer) Producer (and co-star) Burt Lancaster himself pitches Separate Tables, 1958, featuring Academy Award winners David Niven and Wendy Hiller.
King Solomon's Mines - (Original Trailer) A spirited widow (Deborah Kerr) hires a daredevil jungle scout (Stewart Granger) to find a lost treasure in diamonds.
Julius Caesar - (Re-issue Trailer) Marlon Brando heads an all-star cast in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's film of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (1953).
Bonjour Tristesse - (Original Trailer) A jealous teenage girl (Jean Seberg) plots to end the remarriage of her father (David Niven) in Otto Preminger's Bonjour Tristesse (1958).
Sundowners, The - (Original Trailer) An Australian sheep-herder and his wife clash over their nomadic existence and their son's future in The Sundowners (1960) starring Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr.
Quo Vadis (1951) - (Original Trailer) A Roman commander falls for a Christian slave girl as Nero intensifies persecution of the new religion in Quo Vadis (1951) starring Robert Taylor.
Prisoner of Zenda, The (1952) - (Original Trailer) An Englishman who resembles the king of a small European nation gets mixed up in palace intrigue when his look-alike is kidnapped in The Prisoner of Zenda (1952), starring Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr and James Mason.
Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison - (Original Trailer) A marine (Robert Mitchum) and a nun (Deborah Kerr) are shipwrecked on a Pacific Island in John Huston's Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957).
Arrangement, The - (Original Trailer) An advertising executive (Kirk Douglas) has a mid-life breakdown in Elia Kazan's The Arrangement (1969).
Count Your Blessings - (Original Trailer) After a wartime separation, an Englishwoman discovers her French husband is a womanizer in Count Your Blessings (1959) starring Deborah Kerr.
If Winter Comes - (Original Trailer) Scandal results when a well-meaning man (Walter Pidgeon) takes in a pregnant girl (Janet Leigh) in If Winter Comes (1947).
Dream Wife - (Original Trailer) Cary Grant sparks an international incident when he proposes marriage to the daughter of a king in Dream Wife (1953).

Promo

Family

Arthur Kerr-Trimmer
Father
Engineer. Died when Kerr was 15 years old.
Kathleen Rose Kerr-Trimmer
Mother
Phyllis Smale
Aunt
Operated a ballet school.
Teddy Kerr
Brother
Younger.
Melanie Bartley
Daughter
Father, Anthony Bartley.
Francesca Bartley
Daughter
Father, Anthony Bartley.

Companions

Anthony Bartley
Husband
Born in March 1919; married on November 28, 1945; divorced in 1959; died on April 6, 2001.
Burt Lancaster
Companion
Actor. Had relationship during filming of "From Here to Eternity".
Peter Viertel
Husband
Novelist, screenwriter. Married on July 23, 1960.

Bibliography

"Deborah Kerr"
Eric Braun

Notes

In March 2000, Kerr's representative confirmed that the actress was suffering from Parkinson's disease (diagnosed in 1994) and had been confined to a wheelchair.

Made Commander of the British Empire in 1997.