It’s official ! We Glaswegians can claim DEBORAH KERR as our own.
If you check any source ( other than Wikipedia which got it right), Deborah’s birthplace is given as the coastal town of Helensburgh on the west coast of Scotland.
Not true. Deborah’s Birth certificate shows that she was born in 1921 in a private nursing home in Glasgow.
With Yul Brynner.THE KING and I
OK, so she maybe only spent a few days in Glasgow, but that’s her birthplace. She did spend the first three years of her life in Helensburgh where her father and grandfather worked for an engineering firm.
After that it was back down to Bristol for this English family. Deborah had her education there and studied at the drama school run by her aunt. Moving to London, Deborah trained to be a dancer at the Sadlers Wells company before concentrating on acting.
With Cary Grant.AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER
I wonder if Deborah and Cary Grant ever chatted about living in Bristol.
So, the Scottish links are tenuous but I’d still like to claim Deborah as an honorary Glaswegian! But she is the perfect English rose.
Deborah was only 20 when she starred in MAJOR BARBARA and LOVE ON THE DOLE in 1941.
After 7 years of solid work on the stage and in British films like BLACK NARCISSUS, Hollywood beckoned ,with a contract from MGM who gave her CLARK GABLE as her first leading man.
With Clark Gable.THE HUCKSTERS
Were MGM looking for another Greer Garson? Possibly .
Deborah went on to costar with most of the biggest stars in Hollywood, from Alan Ladd, Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant (3 times), Robert Mitchum ( also 3 times), David Niven, Burt Lancaster.
With Alan Ladd
Can anyone recommend THUNDER IN THE EAST?
With Spencer Tracy.EDWARD MY SON
I haven’t seen Edward My Son either.
Deborah was Oscar nominated 6 times for EDWARD MY SON, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, THE KING AND I, HEAVEN KNOWS MR. ALLISON, SEPARATE TABLES and THE SUNDOWNERS.
In 1994, the Academy honoured her with an Oscar. The Oscar citation said: “…an artist of impeccable grace and beauty.”
Receiving her Honorary Oscar
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
With Stewart Granger.THE PRISONER OF ZENDA
When she joined MGM, their slogan for her surname pronunciation was : ” Deborah Kerr, it rhymes with star!”.
This pronunciation is an English indiosyncracy – why would Kerr with an E be pronounced like an A. ( It’s still plain ordinary Kerr here in Scotland.)
With Rita Hayworth. SEPARATE TABLES
In Separate Tables, Deborah’s mother is GLADYS COOPER, playing a domineering character similar to the one she played in NOW VOYAGER.
With Robert Taylor in QUO VADIS
With Yul Brynner.THE JOURNEY
With Burt Lancaster.FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
With her husband,Peter Viertel.
I wish Deborah had worked with Hitchcock – – his mistake!
A fine actress who suffered, like many others, from a certain amount of Hollywood typecasting – always the cool , upper class lady. But whatever her role, her talent shone through .