So, today I am going to about the lovely Jean Simmons. I did have someone else lined up, but then...well, you'll see tomorrow! (; For all the exceptionally geeky classic film lovers, I give you the task of working out who I was going to post about but decided to postpone until tomorrow. Come on, you can do this!!
So, back to Jean. She was born Jean Merilyn Simmons in London on 31st January, 1929 and died in her Santa Monica home on January 22nd, 2010. She started acting around the age of 14, and although at first she saw it as a "lark", after working on Great Expectations in 1946 she began to take it more seriously.
I first came across her when I watched Black Narcissus (which, incidentally, is a wonderful, tension filled film) which stars Deborah Kerr. I don't think it's Jean's finest performance by any means, but it is a wonderful film AND it introduced me to her (I think I might have seen Great Expectations before, but a long time before!). Jean is in quite a lot of films with Deborah - including The Grass Is Greener which is one of my favourite films ever. Cary Grant, Robert Mitchum, Deborah and Jean - what's not to love!
I do love her in The Grass Is Greener but I think possibly my favourite film of hers is Guys and Dolls with Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, and Vivian Blaine. It's one of the films that most people remember her for - and she does deserve to be remembered for it! She was perfectly cast as Sister Sarah, and made the role hers. She blossoms with her character throughout the film and is utterly charming.
Like most Golden Era Hollywood stars, Jean was very beautiful. But, unlike Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, Clara Bow and other screen vamps/femme fatales, Jean Simmons' beauty was wholesome, fresh and youthful. Maybe this was why she was often cast as the 'good girl' - the prim, proper and prudish character who was the wholesome counterpart to the vamps.
She was by all accounts a lovely person - of course, my opinion of her as a wonderful, amazing, lovely, intelligent person was formed as soon as I hear her say in an interview that "Deborah Kerr is the most beautiful person, inside and out, that I know." *blushes* That's an easy way to win over my allegiance.
This is one of my favourite photos of Jean - she looks so beautiful, it's painful!
Well, I think I'll be off now! Hope you enjoyed the post - make sure you check back tomorrow for a post about a very special lady! (: A presto!