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Family Life

Often apart, the Bartleys prize each moment together. (Incomplete)

(Unknown magazine. Circa 1956)

Part of the “clippings series”: Articles of which I only have found random pages and are incomplete.

Deborah Kerr. Often apart, the Bartleys prize each moment together
LONG distance marriages don’t often make for solid families but 11-years-married Deborah Kerr and Tony Bartley seem to be pulling it off. At the moment Debbie is in Trinidad for “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison,” and Tony is in England, as he is six months of every year, for CBS whose European representative he is. “British women are mentally prepared for this sort of thing,” says Deborah, matter-of-factly. “So many British men are in some sort of foreign service. At least, Tony and I never take one another for granted and when we are together, it is especially wonderful.” She figures that they have had about one year, all told, in the hilltop house they bought here six years ago. Whenever Deborah does get home for a while, she gardens passionately and grubbily with the more or less enthusiastic help of sunny-haired Melanie, 9, and Francesca, 6. The three of them make a decorative group. A motherly woman looks after the children and, says Deb, “Tony and I are always coming home from somewhere-with presents. It makes our life exciting.”
[One line was missing]
…she loves a joke, even when it is on her. Glamour, she knows, is wonderful and part of the profession of stardom. But beyond that, she does not take, the Hollywood variety of s-e-x too seriously. Characteristic of Deborah’s own attitude towards those who too long thought of her as glacial, is an incident that reportedly took place in New York, just after Miss Kerr had appeared on a well-known TV show. Up to Deborah strode a stout, craggy woman in no-nonsense shoes. “Miss Kerr,” announced the lady, “I have always admired you.” Deborah was gracious as usual. “Thank you,” she said. “Yes, and I’ll tell you why,” the woman’ plowed on. “I  am the movie censor for my state. And I have never had to cut so much as a foot from one of your pictures.” “Oh,” Deborah protested; “how terribly dull!”

To go back a little ill time, it is undeniably true that the portrait of Miss Kerr as “a lady” without a sign of fleshly yearnings was created largely by the kind of pictures she was tossed into when she first arrived from England. “I wore a halo of decorum and I was about as exciting as an oyster,” she has said. “The studio didn’t think I had any cheesecake. I was considered merely anemic and genteel.”
She was rated so lacking in explosive power that even some of the crew on her first picture felt sorry for her. The story goes that she was dreadfully nervous while making tests with Clark Gable for “The Hucksters.” She was certain the tests were bad, and this despite the fact that she was already a big star in England. “I remember,” says Deborah, “that I was in my dressing room feeling nice and miserable all by myself. The wardrobe girl happened to walk in. She saw how dejected I was. ‘Never mind, dearie,’ she said. ‘Even if you don’t get the part, it was worth traveling 5,000 miles just to be kissed by that handsome Mr. Gable.”
When, after a long succession of lack-lustre parts, Deborah was given the role of Karen, the man-hungry captain’s wife in “From Here To Eternity,” Hollywood was astonished. The entire British colony turned out to congratulate her when the news spread that Deborah Kerr “was finally going to show her legs.” Asked by a reporter why she had never before posed for cheesecake art, Deborah giggled. “Nobody,” she said, “ever asked me. I’m tickled to death that they finally got around to it.” BUT even more than this, a remark that Deborah made about that time demonstrates with what sauciness Miss Kerr wore her halo. Discussing “Eternity” with a friend, and her husband’s possible reaction to it, Deborah mused, “I wonder if I’ll surprise Tony as Karen?” Then she smiled wickedly. “No, I guess not.” Quite possibly, for a long time, Deborah herself was at least partially responsible for the Kerr legend. She was too happily married to make headlines. “I am the despair of the publicity department,” she once said. “Week after week goes by and nothing sensational happens to me. I’m an enthusiastic gardener, but what can you make, newswise, out of that?” She would never fight for a better dressing room, because, as she put it, “you can’t see it in a movie”; she was neither superstitious nor a slave to phobias, “though I can’t say -I’m fond of snakes’ and even more, she was (/)
[More lines missing 🙁 ]

“What matters in life? Children matter. I didn’t know how meaningful life could be until the children came. But a woman with a home and husband and children to look after can be drowned in a sea of trivial chores and worries that aren’t really important.  It was when I realized that this was happening to me that I knew I had to do something about it. I had to  find a way to help myself. Having little Frankie and Melanie grow up to be fine human beings was too important to let myself fail, because I’d surely fail them, too.”
[End of article is also missing]

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