Jean Simmons Dies at 80; Actress Whose Talent Exceeded the Parts She Played
Jean Simmons, the English actress who made the covers of Time and Life magazines by the time she was 20 and became a major midcentury star alongside strong leading men like Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton and Marlon Brando, often playing their demure helpmates, died on Friday at her home in Santa Monica, Calif. She was 80.
The cause was lung cancer, according to Judy Page, her agent.
“Simmons is one of the most quietly commanding actresses Hollywood has ever trashed,” the critic Pauline Kael wrote when reviewing her performance as the half-genuine, half-fraudulent revivalist preacher who succumbs to Burt Lancaster’s con man in “Elmer Gantry” (1960). Indeed, she rarely found roles to match the talent so many colleagues and critics recognized in her, despite a dazzling start to her career... http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/movies/24simmons.html