Jean Simmons was one of my favorite actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age. The name may sound familiar because it also belongs to the lead singer of the rock band KISS (Gene), but she was a different kind of monster. Simmons was a British actress born decades before the singer, who gained a reputation as one of the most talented and beautiful women in the business. This morning, news broke that she died in Santa Monica, California at the age of 80 years old.
Simmons was born in 1929, in London, England and began her career early on as a teenager. She landed a role opposite Sir Laurence Olivier in his production of Hamlet before moving on to headline some of the biggest films of the 50′s and 60′s. She was plucked from obscurity at the tender age of 14 and placed front in center of film’s such as David Lean’s Great Expectations, and the 1949 version of The Blue Lagoon. Throughout her long career her most well known films were led by Hollywood’s top male stars including Marlon Brando in Guys and Dolls and Kirk Douglas in Spartacus.
Over time she earned two Academy Award nominations and won a Prime time Emmy Award for her work on the TV mini-series, The Thorn Birds. She was by far one of the best actresses that came from that era of filmmaking regardless of never winning an Oscar. She was beautiful, talented, strong, and resilient during a career that spanned well over 60 years. Let’s all pay our respects to the late, great Jean Simmons.
What was your favorite Jean Simmons film or role?