Guys And Dolls Star Jean Simmons Dies Aged 80

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Guys And Dolls Star Jean Simmons Dies Aged 80

Post  Andrea on Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:23 am

British actress Jean Simmons, who starred in films with legendary actors Laurence Olivier and Marlon Brando, has died aged 80.

Simmons, who earned two Oscar nominations during a career spanning seven decades, died at her home in Santa Monica, California, after suffering from lung cancer, the Los Angeles Times said.

She gained fame during the 1950s and 1960s after starring in several hit films including Hamlet, in which she played Ophelia in Laurence Olivier's 1948 production.

Simmons was born in London in 1929 and was spotted by a talent scout at 14.

One of her earliest roles was playing Estella in David Lean's 1946 adaptation of Great Expectations.

She moved to Hollywood in 1950 accompanied by her future husband Stewart Granger and soon became a leading actress, starring alongside many of the era's greatest stars.

When the couple arrived in California, they were befriended by reclusive tycoon Howard Hughes, who flew them to Tucson, Arizona, for a surprise wedding.

"When I returned from the honeymoon," Simmons told a reporter in 1964, "I learned that Hughes owned me - he had bought me from (the British producer) J. Arthur Rank like a piece of meat."

Simmons later went on to sue Hughes which then allowed her to make films with other studios.

Her other notable films include Guys and Dolls, where she sang alongside Marlon Brando, Spartacus and The Happy Ending.

She also won an Emmy Award for her role in the 1980s miniseries The Thorn Birds.

Simmons was married twice - to Granger from 1950 to 1960 and to director Richard Brooks from 1960 to 1977.

Both marriages ended in divorce but she is survived by two daughters.

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