Deborah Kerr died at 86. She suffered from Parkinson's disease and died Tuesday in England, her agent said today.
Kerr's roles as forceful, sometimes frustrated women pushed the limits of Hollywood's treatment of sex on the screen during the censor-bound 1950s.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated Kerr a six times for best actress, but never gave her an Academy Award until it presented an honorary Oscar in 1994 for her distinguished career as an "artist of impeccable grace and beauty, a dedicated actress whose motion picture career has always stood for perfection, discipline and elegance."
"I have never had a fight with any director, good or bad," she said toward the end of her career. "There is a way around everything if you are smart enough."
She was invited to Hollywood in 1946 to play in "The Hucksters" opposite Clark Gable. She went on to work with virtually all the other top American actors and with many top directors, including John Huston, Otto Preminger and Elia Kazan.
Tired of being typecast in serene, ladylike roles, she rebelled to win a release from her MGM contract and get the role of Karen Holmes in "From Here to Eternity."
Playing the Army officer's alcoholic, sex-starved wife in a fling with Lancaster as a sergeant opened up new possibilities for Kerr.
She played virtually every part imaginable from murderer to princess to a Roman Christian slave to a nun.
And let's not forget her in NIGHT OF THE IGUANA!