Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jean Simmons Dies at 80 of Cancer

JAN 23, 2010 - Actress Jean Simmons, 80, has died in California, the Los Angeles Times reported today. Simmons, who had lung cancer, died at her home in Santa Monica last night.

Born in London, Simmons (pictured) started acting in British films as a teenager and later moved to the United States to star in movies such as the 1955 musical Guys and Dolls with Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, and Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus with Kirk Douglas in 1960.

Simmons won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for playing Ophelia in Hamlet in 1948 and a Best Actress nomination for her role in The Happy Ending — a 1969 film directed by her second husband Richard Brooks. She was married twice: in 1950 to Stewart Granger, divorcing in 1960, and in 1960 to Brooks, divorcing in 1977.

Simmons 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). She made a comeback to films in 1995 in How to Make an American Quilt co-starring Winona Ryder and Anne Bancroft, and most recently played the elderly Sophie in the English version of Hayao Miyazaki's Hauru no ugoku shiro (2004).

She is survived by her two daughters, Tracy Granger and Kate Brooks.


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