Last week we said that Deborah Kerr and Irene Dunne were tied at five nominations and no wins in the Best Actress Category of The Academy Awards. We quickly learned we were wrong.
A new correspondent to our blog who calls himself Melodramaboy wrote: Deborah Kerr was in fact nominated six times for Best Actress Oscar. She should have won for her superb Aussie drover’s wife in ‘The Sundowners’.
Disgracefully, she was not even nominated for her brilliant performances as Sister Clodagh in ‘Black Narcissus’, Hannah Jelkes in ‘The Night of the Iguana’ and one of cinema’s greatest triumphs, Miss Giddens in ‘The Innocents’. Fully expecting Deborah to be nominated for the latter film, columnist Joe Hyams credited her with her 7th nomination.
It didn’t happen, and Deborah said : ‘If I can’t win one without begging, then I dont want one at all.’ Ironically, in the only national Oscar poll conducted in Australia by the long-defunct magazine ‘New Screen News’, Aussies voted Deborah a 1964 Oscar for ‘The Night of the Iguana’.
Her Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1993 was long-overdue, and she was awarded two of the longest standing ovations in Oscar history. Frail and terrified, Deborah gave a speech which was elegant, gracious, generous and supremely moving, intending it to be her public ‘farewell’. Her cinematic legacy is incredibly rich, full of beautifully subtle work. Never has an Oscar been more deserved.
We couldn’t agree with you more. And thanks for keeping us on our toes.
To set the record straight Kerr was nominated in 1949 for Edward, My Son, in 1953 for From Here to Eternity, in 1956 for The King and I, in 1957 for Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, in 1958 for Separate Tables, and in 1960 for The Sundowners.
To Joe’s mind the most unusual and interesting of these performances is as Spencer Tracy’s wife in Edward, My Son. If you haven’t seen this old classic, try and do so. You’ll be surprised at her performance AND Tracy’s.