Happy Birthday, Deborah Kerr!

Few women stars of the Cladrite Era starred in more iconic motion pictures than Deborah Kerr, born 94 years ago today in Helensburgh, Scotland. The list is an impressive one: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), Black Narcissus (1947), From Here to Eternity (1953), Tea And Sympathy (1956), The King and I (1956), and Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), to name just a few.

And yet, in our sometimes foggy recollection, it seems she played primarily two disparate types of roles (mind you, we haven’t done the math on this): nuns and adulterous wives.

Kerr’s low-key elegance is still quite appealing, though we fear that, considering how big a name she once was, her star has fallen more than many others of her time. And that’s a shame. She was supremely talented—at six, she holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations for Best Actress without a win (she was, thankfully, finally awarded an honorary lifetime achievement Oscar)—and she seems to been a person of principles as well: She was patron of Britain’s National Society of Clean Air and Environmental Protection from 1992 until her death in 2007.

Happy birthday, Ms. Kerr, wherever you may be.

Deborah Kerr quote