80 (passed away Jan. 22nd, 2010)
Jan. 31st, 1929
Crouch Hill, London, England, UK
Jean Simmons' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Demure British beauty Jean Simmons was born January 31, 1929, in Crouch End, London. As a 14-year-old dance student she was plucked from her school to play Margaret Lockwood's precocious sister in Give Us the Moon (1944), and she went on to make a name for herself in such major British productions as Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), Great Expectations (1946) (as the spoiled, selfish Estella), Black Narcissus (1947) (as a sultry native beauty), Hamlet (1948) (playing Ophelia to Laurence Olivier's great Dane and earning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination), The Blue Lagoon (1949) and So Long at the Fair (1950), among others.
In 1950 she married actor Stewart Granger (I) and that same year starred in the Frank Sinatra/Marlon Brando musical Guys and Dolls (1955/I); she used her own singing voice and earned her first Golden Globe Award. Simmons divorced Granger in 1960 and almost immediately married writer-director Richard Brooks (I), who cast her as Sister Sharon opposite Burt Lancaster in Elmer Gantry (1960), a memorable adaptation of the Sinclair Lewis novel. That same year she costarred with Kirk Douglas (I) in Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960) and played a would-be homewrecker opposite Cary Grant in The Grass Is Greener (1960).
Off the screen for a few years, she captivated moviegoers with a brilliant performance as the mother in All the Way Home (1963), a literate, tasteful adaptation of James Agee's "A Death in the Family." After that, however, she found quality projects somewhat harder to come by, and took work in Life at the Top (1965), Mister Buddwing (1966), Divorce American Style (1967), Rough Night in Jericho (1967), The Happy Ending (1969) (a Richard Brooks film for which she was again Oscar-nominated, this time as Best Actress).
Jean continued making films well into the 1970s. In the 1980s she mainly appeared in TV mini-series, such as "North and South" (1985) and "The Thorn Birds" (1983). Jean made a comeback to films in 1995 in How to Make an American Quilt (1995) co-starring Winona Ryder and Anne Bancroft (I), and most recently played the elderly Sophie in the English version of Hayao Miyazaki's Hauru no ugoku shiro (2004).
- In 1958, she accepted the Oscar for "Best Actor in a Leading Role" on behalf of 'Alec Guinness' (qv), who wasn't present at the awards ceremony
- Daughter, with 'Richard Brooks (I)' (qv), 'Kate Brooks' (qv). Daughter, with 'Stewart Granger (I)' (qv), 'Tracy Granger' (qv).
- In the early 1980s, she and daughter 'Kate Brooks' (qv) lived in the Litchfield County town of New Milford, Connecticut. They later returned to their long-time California home in Santa Monica.
- In Italy, most of her films were dubbed by 'Fiorella Betti' (qv). She was occasionally dubbed by 'Dhia Cristiani' (qv) during the mid-fifties, most notably in _The Robe (1953)_ (qv). Other actresses like 'Miranda Bonansea' (qv), 'Rosetta Calavetta' (qv) and 'Rina Morelli' (qv) also lent their voice to Simmons at some point. From the sixties onwards, 'Maria Pia Di Meo' (qv) became her official Italian voice.
- Was William Wyler's first choice for the role of Princess Ann in _Roman Holiday (1953)_ (qv), but Howard Hughes, who owned her contract, wouldn't loan her out to Paramount to do the film.
- Her mother was Winifred Aida Loveland. Her father, Charles Simmons, won a bronze medal in the Olympics for Great Britain in artistic gymnastics and died, when Jean was 13, from an ulcer.
- Jean was made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to acting in the 2003 New Year Honours List.
- As of 2007, she is one of six women, who have received Best Actress nominations for performances directed by their spouses. The other five are 'Frances McDormand' (qv) for _Fargo (1996)_ (qv), 'Gena Rowlands' (qv) for _A Woman Under the Influence (1974)_ (qv) & _Gloria (1980)_ (qv), 'Julie Andrews (I)' (qv) for _Victor Victoria (1982)_ (qv), 'Elisabeth Bergner' (qv) for _Escape Me Never (1935)_ (qv) and 'Joanne Woodward (I)' (qv) for _Rachel, Rachel (1968)_ (qv). 'Jules Dassin' (qv) also directed his future wife 'Melina Mercouri' (qv) in an Oscar-nominated performance (_Pote tin Kyriaki (1960)_ (qv)), but they weren't married yet at the time of the nomination.
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