Deborah Jane Trimmer (September 30, 1921 – October 16, 2007), known professionally as Deborah Kerr, was a British film, theater, and television actress. In Hollywood, Kerr's British accent and manner led to a succession of roles portraying refined, reserved, and "proper" English ladies. She was nominated six times for the Academy Award for Best Actress and holds the record for an actress most nominated in the lead actress category without winning.
King Solomon's Mines (1951)
Quo Vadis (1952)
From Here to Eternity (1954)
Julius Caesar (1954)
The King and I (1957)
Separate Tables (1959)
The Sundowners (1961)
10 FUN FACTS!
Deborah got her start in the spotlight as a ballet dancer, but then switched to acting when her aunt – who worked at a drama school in Bristol – offered to coach her.
In 1942, Deborah was reported to be the most popular British actress with Americans. By 1947, she had won the New York Film Critics Award as Actress of the Year.
Usually typecast as a prim and proper lady, Deborah was able to show her sensual side as Karen Holmes in From Here to Eternity. Her iconic beach scene with co-star (and possible off-screen lover) Burt Lancaster helped the film rank 20th on The American Film Institute’s 100 Most Romantic Films of All Time.
Deborah made her Broadway debut in 1953 in Robert Anderson’s, Tea and Sympathy. The role earned her a Tony nomination.
Up until a few years ago, Deborah held the record for the oldest “Bond Girl” for her role in Casino Royale (1967). She was 45 at the time. The record now belongs to Monica Bellucci who, at age 50, appeared in Spectre (2015).
Deborah’s singing voice in The King and I was dubbed by gifted soprano, Marni Nixon. Marni was also the singing voice for Natalie Wood (West Side Story) and Audrey Hepburn (My Fair Lady).
Deborah was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award six times and never won (she holds the record for most Best Actress nominations without a win). However, she was awarded an Academy Honorary Award in 1994, with a citation recognizing her as “an artist of impeccable grace and beauty, a dedicated actress whose motion picture career has always stood for perfection, discipline and elegance.” The award was presented by another actress with several nominations and no wins: Glenn Close.
Her surname is pronounced “car”, not “care” or “cur”.
Deborah was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1998 Queen’s New Year Honors List for her services to drama.
Deborah was a patron of the National Society of Clean Air and Environmental Protection in Britain from 1992 until her death in 2007.