Hollywood star Deborah Kerr has died.

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The British ballet dancer-turned-actress, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease in recent years, passed away aged 86 on Tuesday (16.10.07).

Kerr is best known for her performance as a haughty governess in the 1956 film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I.

She will also be remembered for her sexy portrayal of the adulterous wife Karen Holmes in the classic romantic film From Here to Eternity in 1953.

The role earned Kerr one of the six Oscar nominations she notched up throughout her career.

From Here to Eternity – which is often voted one of the most romantic films of all time – caused controversy at the time for a racy love scene in which Kerr’s character romped with her onscreen lover played by Burt Lancaster on the beach as waves crashed over their entangled bodies.

The red-haired screen goddess also co-starred with another leading Hollywood actor of her time, Cary Grant, in An Affair to Remember in 1957.

The actress was born Deborah Jane Kerr-Trimmer on 30 September, 1921, in Scotland and educated in Bristol, where she attended drama school.

She then trained as a ballet dancer, making her first professional stage appearance at Sadler’s Wells in 1938.

Her breakthrough film role came in 1947 when she was cast as a nun in Black Narcissus.

Later in her career, her English rose good looks secured her a role as a Bond girl in the 1967 version of Casino Royale.

Kerr’s credits included more than 50 films in four decades of cinema, as well as a number of TV roles and theatre work.

Although an Academy Award alluded her, she received an honorary Oscar in 1993 for the “perfection, discipline and elegance” of her screen work.

She was also appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for her services to the arts in 1998.

Kerr’s first marriage to Squadron Leader Anthony Bartley was dissolved after 14 years in 1959.

She is survived by her second husband the author and screenwriter, Peter Viertel, who she married in 1960, and two daughters from her first marriage.