An actress who took her first steps on stage during a Weston-super-Mare theater before becoming a Hollywood legend was recognized in the city where she grew up.
Deborah Kerr, who lived in her grandparents’ house on Elmsleigh Road in Weston as a child, first took the stage at the resort’s Knightstone Pavilion in 1937.
But it did not take long for the young actress to discover a talent that led her to become one of the most beloved British actresses, attracting international fame.
A blue plaque commemorating his connection to the city has now been unveiled in his former home by his grandsons Lex and Joe Shrapnel.
Deborah was born in Scotland in 1921 before moving to Elmsleigh Road, where she became a pupil at Rossholme school.
She studied theater and ballet and, with the help of her aunt, became a radio actress and had her first glimpse of the big stage in the play “Arlequin And Columbine” at the Knightstone Pavilion.
Her big hit came in 1939 when she was spotted by a talent scout at an open-air theater in Regent’s Park, London.
His first film role was in Love on the Dole in 1941.
She also starred in George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara and became a British movie star.
Deborah gained Hollywood attention after her role as a nun in Black Narcissus in 1947.
She also made film history when she melted into the arms of her co-star Burt Lancaster amid the crashing waves in From Here to Eternity.
The erotic load in the scene was so hot it had to be censored.
Deborah also starred with Cary Grant in An Affair To Remember, Stewart Granger in King Solomon’s Mines and as a housekeeper opposite Yul Brynner in The King and I.
In 1957, Deborah was named “World’s Most Famous Actress” by Photoplay magazine, appearing in 47 major films.
During her career, she has been nominated for a total of six Oscars, four Baftas and three Golden Globes.
Another major accolade was an Emmy nomination for A Woman of Substance on television in 1985.
In 1994, she finally received an honorary Oscar for her life in cinema.
In 1994, having already received honorary distinctions from the cannes film festival and BAFTA, Kerr received a Honorary Prize of the Academy with a quote recognizing her as “an artist of impeccable grace and beauty, a dedicated actress whose film career has always been synonymous with perfection, discipline and elegance”.
She died in Suffolk in 2007 at the age of 86 from Parkinson’s disease and is buried in Surrey.
The blue plaque in his honor was funded by Weston City Council and the Weston Civic Society.
A plaque for actor Bob Hope already exists in the city.
Hope, who died in 2003 at the age of 100, lived in the city child before moving to America at the age of four.
He went on to become one of America’s most famous artists, performing on Broadway and as a comedian, singer and actor.
Councilor John Crockford-Hawley said: âWe know what it’s like to have acting talent in Weston-super-Mare.
âThe city is full of talent and we should tell everyone that. “
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