Saturday, July 10, 2010

tip of the hat: stars can be fans too

Deborah Kerr and husband Peter Viertel

Hello, my name is Meredith and I am a Deborah Kerr addict. In the past year she has become one of my absolute favorite people, and considering she's on Cary Grant's list of about 10 fascinating women he would invite to a dinner party she must have been a pretty classy lady. Her biography definitely doesn't delve into anything salacious (I raised as inquisitive an eyebrow as I could muster when there was nary a reference to her relationship with Michael Powell) but considering the author knew her professionally and personally I have respect for his respect and admiration for her, as well as the fact that it was published in the 70s so she was still out and about being fabulous.

One thing that I find incredibly refreshing about her is how sincerely she seemed to appreciate her fans. She tried to answer as many as she could, noting that "It's the least I can do, if anyone is kind enough to write." On occasion she became one herself, and didn't think it was beneath her stature to gush.


My dear Marlon [Brando],

Last night I saw Sayonara, and, at the risk of sounding and appearing insincere in the community of perpetual ‘note-dropping’ — I felt absolutely compelled to express my admiration and gratitude for your really exquisite performance. Exquisite may sound, I suppose, an ill-chosen word to apply to an actor, but it was just that. I can think of no other word that expresses the refinement — the myriad thoughts illuminating the scenes — long before the words were spoken. It was a performance of such skill. And which, for another of the same trade to watch, was an unbelievable enjoyment!

Thank you again — and forgive my ‘fan’ letter! …

Most sincerely, Deborah Kerr”

She even joined a fan club! Sort of.

In April, Mary Johnston visited the studio and suggested Deborah Kerr might like to become an honorary member of the Judy Garland club, having heard her express great admiration for the talented Judy, with whom she had become friendly during the days at Metro. She was delighted to do so and her then secretary, Mrs Myrtle Tully, wrote to confirm Deborah's acceptance of the honorary membership, which she has retained ever since, with permament billing in the Garland Club magazine, run by film and theatre buff Ken Sephton.

From Deborah Kerr by Eric Braun

Just goes to show, cliche as it sounds, that stars are people too, and I tip my favorite invisible hat to Ms. Kerr for being a lesson straight out of Funny Face on how to be lovely.


  1. Awww, cute! How nice of her to be in someone else's fan club!

  2. ...and this is a prime example of why Deborah has been my favourite actress since I was 5 :') Also, I just noticed it says "Greer Garsonologist" in your "It Isn't Ethel Barrymore" bit. Both phrases I find highly amusing :D

  3. gotta love Deborah! there was nothing arrogant about her. such a lovely human being she was, warm and never hesitant about expressing her admiration for other people.

  4. to all-most adorable human ever right here. :D her praise of others is always so warm and lovely.

    and thanks sophie! it is a very serious course of study at my university. ;)

  5. Aww! Deborah was so amazing! This makes me love her even more!

  6. Oh, what a wonderful story! I love when famous people are so unaffected and genuine. She was certainly an inspiration of elegance!

  7. Thank you for sharing this lovely story! I am also a Deborah Kerr addict. Some years ago, I was lucky enough to have received a letter and autograph from Deborah after I wrote to her. The fact that she would take the time to personally reply to a gushing fan, just blew me away and endeared her to me that much more. She is the definition of grace and class!

  8. what a wonderful story, lily. further cements my belief that she was truly a lovely lady. thanks so much for sharing.