deborah kerr-- the actress with a prolific, four decades long career that began in the early 1940s-- is best known for sharing one of the most recognized and imitated kisses in motion picture history, laying one on burt lancaster while waves crashed over the two of them on a hawaiian beach in the world war II drama "from here to eternity". but while many will remember kerr from this role or her iconic turn as anna leonowens in "the king and i", i will always remember kerr for her strong and heart wrenching performance opposite the scene-chewing-hunk-of-a-man cary grant in "an affair to remember".
as former night club singer terry mckay, kerr falls for cary grant's playboy nicky ferrante on a trans-atlantic cruise from europe to new york city, where their respective significant others await them. they agree to meet atop of the empire state building on valentine's day (yes- "sleepless in seattle"- they did it first) to see if their love can stand the test of time and if they should marry each other. when terry doesn't show nicky fears that she has married another and the scene between kerr and grant in her apartment when he finally realizes what kept her away from their rendezvous is, well, amazing.
nominated for six best actress academy awards during her career (the most by any one person without a win), deborah kerr represents the best of what the classic era of film has to offer. elegant, witty, beautiful and real, kerr will be greatly missed. and, to be sure, we will always remember kerr and the affair we shared together.