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John Kerr, Tony winner for 'Tea & Sympathy,' dies

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- John Kerr, the stage and film actor whose credits include the movie "South Pacific," the thriller "The Pit and the Pendulum" and a Tony Award-winning turn in "Tea and Sympathy," has died. He was 81.

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

He was perhaps best known for playing a sensitive prep school student who is 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.

The Harvard-educated Kerr also played a district attorney on TV in "Peyton Place," in the mid-1960s. After leaving show business, he became a lawyer specializing in personal injury law.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
4Comments
Feb 12, 2013 9:04PM
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Sympathy without tea.  I will remember him best in his role as Lt. Cable in the movie version of         " South Pacific."
Apr 23, 2013 8:06PM
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Three awesome movies. Three fabulous characters. Thank you, Mr. Kerr
Mar 7, 2013 5:37PM
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He did a gut-wrenching job in "The Pit and the Pendulum."  That blade was REAL!!!!!!! R.I.P., John.  Thanks for entertaining us for so many years! 
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