Friday, September 30, 2011

Deborah Kerr, Lewis Milestone and James Dean

Who was born on this date:

Actress Deborah Kerr was born on September 30, 1921 in Glasgow, Scotland. She was a highly successful British, television and film actress who was nominated six times for an Academy Award for Best Actress but never won. In 1994, however, she was awarded an Honorary Academy Award for her impeccable grace and beauty, and dedication as an actress in motion pictures in which she always stood for perfection, discipline and elegance. Her films include The King and I, An Affair to Remember, From Here to Eternity, The Innocents, Black Narcissus, heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and Separate Tables. She was married twice and is alleged to have had numerous affairs. Some of Kerr's leading men have stated in their autobiographies that they had an affair or romantic fling with her. The actor Stewart Granger claimed that Kerr seduced him in the back of his chauffeur-driven car at the time he was making Caesar and Cleopatra. Likewise Burt Lancaster claimed that he was romantically involved with her during the filming of From Here to Eternity in 1953. But there has been no independent corroboration of either actor's claims. Deborah Kerr died from the effects of Parkinson’s disease October 16, 2007 in Botesdale, Suffolk, England. Her burial location is unknown.

Director Lewis Milestone was born on September 30, 1895 in Russia. Known as “Milly” to his close associates, he directed over fifty films in a career that spanned over four decades from 1918 to 1964. He was nominated for three best director Academy Awards, winning two. The first win was for Two Arabian Knights (1929), which was the first and only best comedy directing award ever given out. His second best directing Oscar was for 1930’s, All Quiet on the Western Front. Other feature film credits include; Front Page 1931), The General Died at Dawn (1936), Of Mice and Men (1939), A Walk in the Sun (1945), The Red Pony (1949), Les Miserables (1952), Pork Chop Hill (1959), Ocean’s Eleven (1960), and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962). Milestone died on September 25, 1980 at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles from complications following an unknown surgery. He is buried at Westwood Memorial Park in the Sanctuary of Tenderness.

Who died on this date:

On September 30, 1955, actor James Dean died. He was born on February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana. He is best remembered for his film Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled Los Angeles teenager Jim Stark. The other two roles that defined his stardom were as loner Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955), and as the surly ranch hand, Jett Rink, in Giant (1956). Dean's enduring fame and popularity rests on his performances in only these three films, all leading roles. His premature death in a car crash on September 30, 1955 near Paso Robles, California cemented his legendary status. He is buried at the Park Cemetery in Fairmont, Indiana.  

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