2 items from 2013
Actor who starred as the troubled pupil in Tea and Sympathy on stage and screen
The actor John Kerr, who has died aged 81, won a Tony award in his first starring role on the Broadway stage, as Tom in Tea and Sympathy in 1953, and subsequently appeared in the 1956 film version directed by Vincente Minnelli. Robert Anderson's play, in which a schoolboy "confesses" to his housemaster's wife that he might be homosexual – only to be seduced out of the notion by the sympathetic listener – was considered so controversial that it was restricted to a "members only" theatrical run in London, and Minnelli's film received an X certificate, despite modification, notably in the suggestion that the housemaster was gay.
- Brian Baxter
The Two Kerrs: John and Deborah in Tea and Sympathy play and movie [Please see previous article: "John Kerr Has Died: (Possibly) Gay Adolescent in play and movie versions of Tea and Sympathy."] Playwright Robert Anderson's psychological drama Tea and Sympathy is notable for a number of reasons: it marked Hollywood/British cinema star Deborah Kerr's Broadway debut (coincidentally, on her 32nd birthday, Sept. 30); one of the play's key characters (the one played by English Rose Kerr) turns out to be a sympathetic adulteress; and Anderson's play tackles homosexuality, a topic that, despite Elia Kazan's movie version of A Streetcar Named Desire (Kazan also directed the play), remained taboo throughout the 1950s. Also worth mentioning is that Tea and Sympathy shows that the last sixty years haven't necessarily led to a major lessening in cultural or social prejudices, as the narrative would still be considered quite daring in the early 21st century -- even if for not the same reasons. (Above movie still: The two Kerrs, John and Deborah, »
- Andre Soares
2 items from 2013