Deborah Kerr in 1956.
Deborah Kerr in 1956.
“We have a pact that neither of us will give up our job for the other because we realise what a dither there would be if the other asked.
I think we must be the happiest, most carefree married couple there is. Our marriage is ideal because no ordinary man would understand me. We both love traveling, and are even considering selling our coast house in Kent, which we have just redecorated, because we do not know where the future will take us.
There was a time, about a year ago, when the future nearly took me to Australia, because Tony was stationed there for six months during his Far East service, and I had a mad idea about stowing away to join him. If an Aussie airman had offered me a lift out there I would have jumped at it.” (Deborah Kerr)
Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr on the set of The Hucksters, 1947
“I didn’t realize where my gentility and English accent would lead me. Demure parts? Gosh, yes! I’ve truly known it. I was never demure at home. There were roles that weren’t demure though. In Dark Stranger I wasn’t demure. And in Black Narcissus.” (Deborah Kerr)
“There isn’t much going on in the movie world. There aren’t many good parts for women, and women of my age. I’ll wait. I don’t want to do junk.”
In the seventies, “everything was for men: Redford, Pacino, Hoffman, De Niro, Newman, and poor dear Steve McQueen. On top of that, everything had to be a disaster picture. I was offered 10 lines to say at the bottom of the sea or in an airplane or screaming as I fell off the top of a burning building. I didn’t really feel I wanted to do that. I also got hooked on the theater again, which I’ve always loved. I did get back into the theater world and I’ve been doing nothing else but theater until the end of last year.” (Deborah Kerr, 1980s)
“Rupert Hughes is credited with the observation that, unfortunately for a lot of people in Hollywood, the camera photographs people’s minds as well as their faces. This may be the secret of the success of Deborah Kerr…
What has Miss Kerr got? The answer — and a rarity in Hollywood — is phenomenal acting ability: a capacity for stirring people’s emotions through her dramatic impersonations. Others, from Bernhardt to Bette Davis, have had similar capacities. But with Miss Kerr the ability has appeared at a remarkably early age, with remarkably little experience, and in remarkable quantity.” (1940s press)
The Innocents (1961)
Life Magazine wrote in 1962: “Deborah Kerr plays the governess and her subtle but exciting acting in a complex role makes her a front-runner for the Oscar to be awarded in April.”
Neither Deborah, nor the film received any Oscar nomination.
“It really never got the recognition it should have had. I don’t speak just for myself, I speak for Jack Clayton’s brilliant direction and Freddie Francis’ extraordinary lightning in black and white.” (Deborah Kerr)
"Miss Kerr’s [acting] style is simple and natural; her manner is unmannered. If there is overstatement in Miss Kerr, it is in spite of herself: in her coloring, hair, eyes, complexion, she is like a dazzling Scottish field of wild flowers, filmed in Technicolor." (1950s press, part of a review for the stage production of Tea and Sympathy)