"'SOUTH PACIFIC' STARTS - John
Kerr is seen as Lt. Cable and Mitzi Gaynor as Nellie Forbush in
'South Pacific' which premieres in Salt Lake City July 31."
Deseret News, 23 July 1958, page A9
John Kerr Fit Perfectly Role In 'South Pacific'
Deseret News, 23 July 1958, page
"Clean-cut, obviously educated and attractive" - those were
the requirements for the role of Lt. Joseph Cable, one of the key figures
in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific."
And John Kerr, who has won critical acclaim on the New York stage and
in Hollywood productions, was a logical choice for the part. In the film,
Bloody Mary (a Tonkinese peddler of grass skirts, shrunken heads, boar's
tooth bracelets and other bracelets) selects Lt. Cable on sight as a proper
husband for her daughter Liat.
"South Pacific," filmed in the revolutionary new TODD-AO process,
will open in Salt Lake City t the Villa Theater with a gala premier Thursday,
July 31. The Deseret News is sponsoring the premiere for the benefit of
the Salt Lake County Assn. for Retarded Children. Regular run of the film
will begin Friday, Aug. 1.
Tickets for the premiere are now on sale at the Uptown Theater, 53 S.
Main St., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and at the Villa Theater, 3092
Highland Dr., from 6 to 9 p.m. A handy coupon for ordering tickets appears
in the Deseret News daily.
"South Pacific" stars Rossano Brazzi as Emile de Becque, Mitzi
Gaynor as Nellie Forbush, Ray Walston as Lt. Billis and Juanita Hall in
her now-famous role as Bloody Mary. France Nuyen makes her screen debut
as the lovely native girl, Liat.
As the young American lieutenant who falls in love with Liat, John Kerr
is ideally cast. Born in New York City, he came by his acting as a natural
inheritance, for his parents were stars in motion pictures and on the
stage. June Walker, his mother, is a stage and screen star; his father
is Geoffrey Kerr, a successful writer.
However, young Kerr didn't give a thought to acting, except during his
vacations from Phillips Exeter Academy in New England, his graduation
from Harvard and his subsequent completion of a year's work at Columbia
In his first stage role after Harvard, one of the leads on Broadway in
"Bernardine," he won the Daniel Blum award as an outstanding
newcomer for the year.
Following this, he was selected to play opposite Deborah Kerr in "Tea
and Sympathy" on the stage and in the screen version. For this role,
he won both the Donaldson and New York Drama Critics Awards as "best