I've mentioned before on this blog that I grew up watching old movies on television with my mother. It was the one thing we did together without my father or three brothers. Most of the time, the males ruled the household, but sitting together watching old black-and-white films was our girl thing.
Mom would tell me stories about the stars we were watching on film. I possess an absurd amount of trivia about movies made before I was even born.
Deborah Kerr was one of Mom's favorites. We saw her in An Affair to Remember, where she played a singer who falls in love with playboy Cary Grant; in From Here to Eternity, where she played a bored military wife who falls in love with sergeant Burt Lancaster; in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, where she played a nun who falls in love with Marine Corporal Robert Mitchum during a shipwreck; and in The King and I, where she played a governess who falls in love with the king of Siam played by Yul Brynner.
I was a scrawny little kid with orange-colored pigtails, freckles and knobby knees. Deborah Kerr was a cool redhead who inspired passion in the men around her.
I ate it up.
Last summer, a poll of three thousand movie fans voted Deborah Kerr's kiss with Burt Lancaster on a beach in Hawaii as THE most memorable screen kiss.
The New York Daily News reported today: "In a moment regarded as shockingly erotic by 1952 standards, Kerr's married Karen Holmes and Lancaster's conflicted Sgt. Warden give in to their forbidden desires by sharing an impassioned kiss in the surf as the waves roll over them."
Here it is:
May she rest in peace.