Life and career[change | edit source]
Jean Simmons was born in London, England. She began her acting career very young, and appeared in films like David Lean's Great Expectations (1946) and Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948) while still a teenager.
As a very promising young actress, she came to Hollywood in 1950, where she appeared in such films as The Robe (1953), Young Bess (1953), Désirée (1954), The Egyptian (1954), The Big Country (1958), Spartacus (1960), Elmer Gantry (1960), Life at the Top (1965), A Rough Night in Jericho (1967), etc.
In the 1970s, she gradually turned to television work, notably in the highly successful miniseries The Thorn Birds (1983), for which she won an Emmy Award for best supporting actress, and North and South (1985).
Simmons was married twice. Her first was to actor Stewart Granger from 1950 to 1960, with whom she had a daughter, Tracy (born 1956). Simmons and Granger became American citizens in 1956. The second was to film director Richard Brooks from 1960 to 1977, with whom she had a second daughter, Kate (born 1961). Both marriages ended in divorce.