She was living in London at the English Speaking Union in Charles Street, Mayfair. It was a fine morning and she walked over to see me in Chester Square. She was bare-headed, and I remember her hair shining in the sun like burnished copper...We looked at the bulky script [for The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp] together and I watched the subtle transformations that passed over her face as I made suggestions about the script. Again I felt that mysterious affinity, as between an artist and his model, which is one of the most inexplicable of the sensual sensations...
We all depended upon one another, we all learnt from one another. I was not the only director. There were four directors. I learnt from Anton what an artist is. I learnt from Roger what a man is. I learnt from Deborah what love is.
--Michael Powell, A Life in Movies
Deborah Kerr died Tuesday, and Michael Powell has been dead for many years. They fell in love while making Colonel Blimp. Soon after Kerr took up a contract with MGM, and Powell told her if she went to Hollywood it would be without him. He married someone else, and eventually she married too. "The camera always seems to find an innate gentility in me," Kerr laughed. But in Colonel Blimp, and a few years later in Black Narcissus, Michael Powell's camera found love and longing in that beautiful face, as he did in life.
The most romantic story the Siren knows concerns Powell and Kerr. They separated, but he never forgot. They shared a birthday, September 30. Each year on that date, right up to the year before his death, he sent her a bouquet of flowers with the simplest of notes: "Happy Birthday, Darling."