Biography

Sensitive stage and film leading man John Kerr was able to pass as a teenager well into his 20s. Kerr made his Broadway debut in the high-school comedy Bernardine (1953). Two years later, he scored a huge success in the role of emotionally overwrought, sexually ambivalent college freshman Tom Robinson Lee in Robert Anderson's play Tea and Sympathy; he brilliantly repeated this role in the watered-down 1956 film version. Kerr's only other film roles of note were the doomed Lieutenant Cable in South Pacific (1958) and the imperiled victim of torture-prone Vincent Price in The Pit and the Pendulum (1961). After portraying district attorneys in two separate TV series, Arrest and Trial (1963) and Peyton Place (1966), Kerr evidently decided he enjoyed the world of jurisprudence and became a full-time lawyer. John Kerr remained available for the occasional cameo role into the 1980s. He died in 2013 at age 81. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi