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"Banked fires" - Deborah Kerr


Deborah Kerr
1921 - 2007

That a woman can be competent and principled, merry and passionate is not an idea all that prevalent in the world today so it’s wonderful it was evident more than 50 years ago in some of Deborah Kerr’s roles. She radiated "banked fires".

Born in Glasgow, raised in Alford, her film career spanned the British and American film industries from the late 1940s to the 1960s. She starred in Black Narcissus, Edward, My Son, From Here to Eternity, the End of the Affair, Tea and Sympathy, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, and the Grass is Greener. She worked with actors Yul Brynner, Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Cary Grant, and David Niven.

Her film career virtually ended in 1969. She rejected the roles she was offered because she disliked explicit sex and, "far worse", explicit violence. She continued to work in television and theatre. She received an Honorary Academy Award in 1994 and was appointed CBE in 1998.

In the film The King and I, she said with sweet intrepidity, "No, your Majesty, that is not true. I am most certainly not your servant."

She was spirited and enduringly gentle.