Entertainment & Arts

John Kerr, South Pacific actor dies aged 81

John Kerr
Image caption Kerr played Lieutenant Joe Cable in South Pacific

American stage and screen actor, John Kerr who starred in the 1958 musical film South Pacific, has died aged 81.

Kerr was perhaps best known for his role in the 1953 Broadway production of Robert Anderson's Tea And Sympathy, for which he won a Tony Award.

His TV work included roles in Peyton Place, from 1965-66, and The Streets of San Francisco during the 1970s.

Kerr died of heart failure on Saturday at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, his son, Michael confirmed.

Educated at Harvard University, Kerr received critical acclaim for his portrayal of a sensitive school boy who was bullied for being a suspected homosexual in Elia Kazan's 1953 Broadway production of Tea and Sympathy.

He went on to reprise the role in a 1956 film version alongside Deborah Kerr (unrelated to him, despite the surname), who also repeated her Broadway role.

In 1961, Kerr starred in Roger Corman's version of The Pit and the Pendulum, based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe.

After leaving show business, he became a lawyer specializing in personal injury law.

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