Turner Classic Movies and Robert Osborne aren’t ones to let grass grow under their feet. News of the death of Deborah Kerr broke only about a couple of hours ago (Variety‘s AP obit was posted today at 10:33 am Pacific, even though Kerr passed away on Tuesday), and yet a press release announcing a special Deborah Kerr memorial double feature — From Here to Eternity and Separate Tables — showing on TCM this Sunday, 10.21 was received from TCM publicist Sarah Hamilton at 11:42 am.
You have to take your hat off. TCM must have a special contingency screening plan for all actors who are 70 years of age or older. They must have had a meeting about this. Some division head must have said to staffers, “When somebody famous dies, I want tribute screenings up and running the following weekend…no exceptions! And I want it announced less than four hours after the news hits the news wires!”
Osborne, TCM’s host for all showings of all films, says in the press release that Kerr “was one of the great jewels of the movie industry. Not only was she an immensely gifted and versatile actress, but also someone who made every film she touched better.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Because Kerr’s image was so prim and proper, I’ve always been a big fan of her sexier performances. From Here to Eternity (’53) is commonly regarded as her hottest. (I once visited Oahu’s Blowhole beach where Kerr and Burt Lancaster made out on the beach with the waves washing over them), followed by John Frankenheimer‘s The Gypsy Moths (’69), in which a 47 year-old Kerr did a nude scene (or a simulation of same), and then Fred Zinneman‘s The Sundowners (’60).
Kerr, born in 1921, was 86 years old.