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Salt Lake City, Utah


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•7/23/58 - John Kerr Fit Perfectly Role In 'South Pacific'
•7/23/58 - Premiere's Ticket Goal - $5,000 For Handicapped
•7/28/58 - New Film To Bring Reality To 'South Pacific' Premiere
•7/30/58 - Seats Still Available for 'South Pacific' Benefit
•7/31/58 - Salt Lake Theater Wins Circuit Courtesy Award
•7/31/58 - Villa Sells Out For Benefit Premiere Of 'South Pacific'
•8/1/58 - Huge Audience Thrills To Glamorous Premiere, Outstanding 'South Pacific'
•8/1/58 - Salt Lakers Throng To Gala Premiere
•9/1/58 - Revolutionary Change In Theaters Seen

•11/10/58 - Theaters Honor Couple For Admissions Mark
•6/2/59 - 'S. Pacific' Sets All-Time Record

Related Links

•TODD-AO & South Pacific (WideScreen Museum)
•Actor John Kerr (IMDB)


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 Home  »  History  »  South Pacific  »  John Kerr Fit Perfectly Role In 'South Pacific'

'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.

"'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 A9

"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 University.

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 supporting actor."