Last March, Scottish born actress of 62, was awarded an honorary Oscar in Los Angeles to celebrate her long and brilliant career. It was an aknowledgment that made justice to the work of her life and that meant a great satisfaction for the artist. “I felt a deep emotion and, at the same time, I felt confused and shy about it… thousands of people gave me a standing ovation and I wasn’t sure I deserved that much. After being nominated six times, I never thought I’d finally have this award in my hands. It was a very special moment that I will cherish forever. A thrill like this is enough for one lifetime”, Deborah said.
The actress welcomes us to her house in Marbella, accompanied by her husband, the Austrian born script writter Peter Viertel to whom she got married on July 24th, 1964. Deborah is a sweet lady with a gentle humanty. Something you can see glowing in her face and through her tender stare, and is proven with her always ponderated words. A great lady who has displayed her British elegance around the world, receiveing the admiration of millions in return. A great satisfaction to which she now can add obtaining Hollywood’s most precious recognition.
– Do you feel this award compensates for all the waiting?
– I appreciate it enormously, but for me, the most important thing was always feeling completely satisfied with myself doing my job. For me, that is the best compensation.
– We, the Spaniards, feel quite happy with the Oscar that “Belle Epoque” was awarded, but we are also delighted with yours…
– That is an honour. It makes me really happy that there are two Oscars in Spain right now. We chose this country to live in and we feel loved. I can assure you that this award will remain here.
– How long have you been living in Marbella and why did you choose this place?
– It’s been over twenty years – says Peter with a smile – We used to live in Switzerland, that’s where our kids were brought up. Deborah fell in love with Spain inmediately. We wanted a home to spend the summers at, and we found one in Biarritz. But one day we crossed over the border and met the wonderful people of this land, and we decided to stay.
– How is your everyday life?
– Our life in our little private paradise is quite easy – replies Deborah – One of my biggest pleasures in going for a walk with my three cats. I also enoy reading and watching the television. At the moment, I am not contemplating resuming my career at the movies, I am quite busy right now answering the hundreds of letters I am gtting from all the world over. Anyway, if I were offered a script that I felt interested in, I would naturally consider it.
The actress from “Bonjour Tristesse” is a happy woman in her Marbellan home, surrounded by pictures of her beloved daughters and grandchildren. She is cherished and cared of by her husband who is to her like “a guardian angel”. The actress, who was first married to English pilot Tony Bartley, and with whom she had two children, met Peter during the shooting of “The Journey” in Vienna. It was almost love at first sight and she knew she had found the man of her life.
– Are you still as much in love as the first day?
– In 33 years of marriage the relationship changes, evolves, but we are still in love – says Peter Viertel. The most important thing is that our relationship is based in mutual respect. It wasn’t always easy, we had to face our problems together with a great deal of tolerance, especially from Deborah. I can assure you that she has been a much better wife to me than I’ve been a husband to her. She, believe it or not, is a very shy person. She loves solitude and I just tried to mold to the way she is.
-Deborah, how do you feel when you have to be apart from your husband?
– Peter has to ravel a lot because of his work and I find his absences dreadful, but there is always the joy of his return, which compensates it all. I feel really proud of his success as a novelist and screen writer.
– Ours was a special relationship – Peter adds, – I have never been jealous of Deborah’s fame or her work. And she’s never been of mine. We have always felt proud of what th other accomplished. This is not easy to take when you are young, but we learned to deal with it.
-Deborah, how did you manage to stay away from Hollywood for so long and still be so well loved?
– I have always been myself, that was my secret. When I left the studio, everything related to Deborah, the actress, was left behind those doors. I never mixed my profession with my personal life. When I got home, I was just a wife, a mother for my children.
– How would you like to be remembered by your fans?
– I’d love to be remembered as a good actress, but, above all, as a good human being. To be loved, one has to always keep in mind the others, think of all the other people with love.