John Kerr dies: Tony Award winner for 'Tea & Sympathy' was 81

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Stage and screen actor John Kerr died February 2, at age 81, from heart failure, according to the Associated Press. Kerr starred in the movies "South Pacific," and "The Pit and the Pendulum." One role Kerr did not play was Charles Lindbergh, as he turned down the role in "The Spirit of St. Louis," due to his lack of respect for Lindbergh's early support of the Nazi regime. The role eventually went to James Stewart.

His best known work was on the stage, though, as a prep school student, bullied after being suspected as a homosexual, in the 1953 Broadway production, "Tea and Sympathy." The role won Kerr a Tony Award in 1954, and he went on to reprise the role in a film version of the play in 1956.

Having attended Harvard, and UCLA Law School, Kerr also played a district attorney in the 1960s on TV's "Peyton Place." When he retired from show business, Kerr put his law degree to use, becoming a personal injury lawyer.
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