Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Jean Simmons, the mesmerizingly brilliant actress of many of the finest movies ever made, has gone from this plane, but for the wonderful films she has left us.
I could not help crying.
Not only do I adore her in every role I've ever seen - and yes, I may not know the names of any current actors or actresses, but I, a constant TCM viewer, know all the real stars - but I know someone personally whom she has helped in times of need.
She is - was - as noble a person in real life as were the heroines that only she could play, like Varinia, the wife of Spartacus in Kirk Douglas' pivotal film, Spartacus.
Were you aware that all the filmmakers had chosen Spartacus as the best film ever made?
I hadn't known that when I, as a child, had selected it as my favorite of all time, and it still - largely due to the timelessness of Jean Simmon's enchantingly haunting portrayal of the slave heroine - stands as the very best ever made.
If you've never yet been lucky enough to have seen one of Jean Simmon's great films, do so now, and experience the agelessness of time, the irreplaceable aspects of otherworldliness and femininity that she brought effortlessly to the screen, and to film history.
A generous person in real life, she exuded qualities that we would like to think had applied to some of our beloved historical figures. Whether or not the reality fit the glamorously beautiful ideal that Simmon's portrayed or not, I'm sure the actual historical heroines would have given everything just to look like Jean Simmons, and Spartacus, who in actuality did not, or at least we don't know, have a wife, but if he had, he would certainly have won that revolt just to be able to be with someone so divinely gorgeous and regal.
Rent Spartacus and go back in time as you fall into instant belief in romance, heroism, and tragedy as you watch the unforgettable Jean Simmons.
Below is from the Daily Telegraphs' Homage to Jean Simmons:
"As writer and film historian Alan K Rode said when her agent announced she had died on Friday at her Santa Monica home after a long illness: ''Jean's jaw-dropping beauty often obscured a formidable acting talent...
Terry O'Neill, the celebrity photographer, pictured Ms Simmons many time in the heyday of her career. ''She was a stunning beautiful young woman and a lovely, lovely, gentle lady,'' he said. "The camera absolutely adored her and she had tremendous patience. The thing that always stuck in my mind about Jean was her dignity. She belonged to that illustrious band of British actresses who were utter stars and were so very ladylike. Her death will bring great sadness to her many fans.''
From a nice film tribute to Simmons: