Kerr, who suffered from Parkinson's disease, died Tuesday in Suffolk in eastern England, her agent, Anne Hutton, said Thursday.
For many she will be remembered best for her kiss with Burt Lancaster as waves crashed over them on a Hawaiian beach in the wartime drama "From Here to Eternity."
Kerr's roles as forceful, sometimes frustrated women pushed the limits of Hollywood's treatment of sex on the screen during the censor-bound 1950s.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated Kerr a six times for best actress, but never gave her an Academy Award until it presented an honorary Oscar in 1994 for her distinguished career as an "artist of impeccable grace and beauty, a dedicated actress whose motion picture career has always stood for perfection, discipline and elegance."
She had the reputation of a "no problem" actress.
"I have never had a fight with any director, good or bad," she said toward the end of her career. "There is a way around everything if you are smart enough."
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