Jean Simmons has died, a week shy of her 81st birthday. One of the most beautiful, most talented, sexiest, and classiest film actresses in the history of cinema is now gone.
In movies as different as Black Narcissus (Indian servant girl), Angel Face (spoiled femme fatale), The Big Country (school teacher/rancher's granddaughter), Spartacus (slave), and The Grass Is Greener (wealthy gadabout), Jean Simmons showed that she could do it all and do it all superlatively. (She was also the female lead in the original version of The Blue Lagoon.)
She demonstrates as well as any film actress in the business ever did why they used to be called screen goddesses.
[Black Narcissus, 1947]
[1950s publicity photo, Screen Cave]
[From Big Hollywood, circa 1954]
[From Point de Vue magazin, January 1959, two years after filming The Big Country.]
"Thank you, Jean Simmons" is a pitifully inadequate phrase for the decades of glorious hours spent in your divine presence.