10 Things You Should Know About Donald Crisp

Here are 10 things you should know about Donald Crisp, born 137 years ago today. Crisp tended to play characters who were forthright and true, but offscreen he had few equals as a teller of tall tales. He claimed he was born in Scotland (he wasn’t), that he was a British spy in Russia right after World War I (nope), that his father was Royal Surgeon to the King (he wasn’t even a physician)—we could go on and on.

We think we have the facts straight for this video tribute, but don’t hold it against us if we get a detail or two wrong. Blame Crisp!

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