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Jean Kerr Edit Profile

playwright , writer

Jean Kerr was an Irish-American author and playwright born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and best known for her humorous bestseller, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, and the plays King of Hearts and Mary, Mary.


Born Bridget Jean Collins in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Tom and Kitty Collins, Kerr grew up on Electric Street in Scranton, and attended Marywood Seminary, the topic of her humorous short story "When I was Queen of the May." She received a Bachelor's Degree from Marywood College in Scranton and later attended The Catholic University of America, where she received her master's degree and met then-professor Walter Kerr.


Bachelor, Marywood College, 1943. Master of Fine Arts, Catholic University America, 1945. Doctor of Humane Letters, Northwestern University, 1962.

Doctor of Humane Letters, Fordham University, 1965.


She wrote several highly successful plays, including the Tony Award-winning King of Hearts, as well as the comedy Mary, Mary, which ran for over 1,500 performances and, for a time, held the record for the longest-running non-musical play on Broadway. She also wrote many humorous magazine essays, typically about her family. Several collections of these were later published in book form and became best-sellers.

The book was a national bestseller, later adapted for the screen as a vehicle for Doris Day and David Niven and subsequently the basis of a television situation comedy starring Pat Crowley.



Her best-known book was Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1957), a humorous look at suburban life from the point of view of former city dwellers.


Member National Institute Social Sciences.


Married Walter Kerr(deceased 1996), August 16, 1943. Children: Christopher, John and Colin (twins), Gilbert, Gregory, Katharine.

Thomas J. Collins

Kitty (O'Neill) Collins

Walter Kerr

Christopher Kerr

John and Colin Kerr (twins)

Gilbert Kerr

Gregory Kerr

Katharine Kerr