Jean Simmons was born January 31, 1929 and passed away on January 22, 2010.
Simmons began acting in 1944, appearing in British films such as Give Us the Moon (1944), Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), and David Lean’s Academy Award-winning 1946 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, in which she played the young Estella. She then played the supporting role of Kanchi in the acclaimed 1947 British drama Black Narcissus.
In 1949, she starred in the original British version of the romance adventure The Blue Lagoon and co-starred with her then-husband, Stewart Granger, in the romantic comedy Adam and Evelyne.
Simmons’ first American production was Otto Preminger’s 1952 film-noir Angel Face with Robert Mitchum.
In 1953, Simmons was selected as Best Actress by the National Board of Review for her performances in three films released that year. One was Young Bess, in which she played the title role (aka Queen Elizabeth I) opposite her husband. Another was George Cukor’s The Actress, which co-starred Ian Wolfe. The third was the Biblical drama The Robe, in which she played Diane. n addition, Simmons starred in the comedy Androcles and the Lion, which was also released in 1953. She was in the 1954 film Desirée.
Simmons and Brando co-starred together in the Academy Award-nominated 1955 musical Guys and Dolls. In 1957, Simmons starred in two films, This Could Be the Night and Until They Sail.
She starred in William Wyler’s 1958 western drama The Big Country.
Simmons was in the 1960 film Elmer Gantry. She earned a second Academy Award nomination and a fifth Golden Globe nominations for her leading role in the 1969 drama The Happy Ending.
Her other film credits during the 1960s included the 1966 drama Mister Buddwing. She also starred in her first TV movie, NBC’s infamous 1968 adaptation of Heid.
Simmons’ feature film credits during the 1970s included the 1975 comedy Mr. Sycamore. In 1977, Simmons guest-starred on the CBS television series Hawaii Five-O. Simmons then starred in the 1978 mini-series The Dain Curse. In 1979, Simmons starred in the NBC TV movie Beggarman, Thief.
In the 1980s, Simmons appeared primarily in television productions. She played Fiona “Fee” Cleary in ABC’s acclaimed mini-series The Thorn Birds.
Simmons later guest-starred as Clarissa Main in the mini-series North and South in 1985 and North and South, Book II the following year. In 1989, Simmons starred in Disney’s miniseries adaptation of Great Expectations.
Simmons’ TV movie credits during the 1980s included Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls, A Small Killing, Midas Valley, Perry Mason: The Case of the Lost Love, Inherit the Wind. Her only two feature films in this decade were released in 1988: The Dawning and Going Undercover.
In 1983 and again in 1985, Simmons guest-starred on the series Hotel. In 1989, Simmons guest-starred in a two-episode arc on the mystery series Murder, She Wrote.
In 1991, Simmons starred in the short-lived MGM/NBC re-imagining of the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. She played two characters on this show, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard and Naomi Collins.
In 1993, Simmons was a regular cast member on the short-lived CBS drama Angel Falls.
She played the retired Rear Admiral Norah Satie in the Star Trek: The Next Generation fourth season episode “The Drumhead” in 1991.
Simmons’ other TV movie credits this decade include the movies People Like Us and One More Mountain.
Simmons’ sole feature film credit during the 1990s was the 1995 drama How to Make an American Quilt.
In the last years of her career, Simmons lent her voice to foreign animated films, including the English version of the acclaimed 2005 Japanese film Howl’s Moving Castle. In addition, she had a voice-over role in the 2001 Japanese-animated Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Simmons later lent her voice to the Chinese film Thru the Moebius Strip.
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