My strong resolution no to succumb to a bad cold ( nor the Swine Flu) was to fall short on Saturday Night. As Chills, fever and a runny nose inflicted me to bed, I had little comfort watching CNN announce Jean Simmons’ demise.
Strangely her death at age 80 after a rich carreer in movies as a leading lady ranging from such classic films like Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet, Henry Koster’s Desirée to Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus or in noticeable parts in prestigious tv series like the Thorn Birds made only a footnote in the French Press.
Obviously the larger scale and far more devastating news from Haiti’s earthquake and it’s 100 000 victims and miraculous survivors found in the rubbles of an otherwise Paradise like island have made the headlines for the past three weeks and quite justifiably.
Yet the death of one of the most beautiful and talented screen legends to have blessed the silver screens deserved much more attention than what it got.
The past two or three years have been a real hecatomb in Hollywood History. The passing away of Charlton Heston, Richard Widmark, Patrick Macgoohan, Tony Franciosa, Shelly Winters or Deborah Kerr have been sad reminders of the begining of the end of Hollywood’s Golden Age and that of an era where Stardom was earned through hard work and memorable film roles that left an enduring impact on our collective memories as movie goers but also shaped our ideals of beauty or personality. In our digital age of movie consumerism where mega stars seem to be created overnight and in such quantities which makes it harder to distinguish them from their formatted clones, I am happy to have belonged to a last generation of moviegoers who were to appreciate the craft and impact of movies and movie stars in the second half of motion pictures century. The 1960’s and 70’s in my opinion corresponded to this great era where movies were benefiting from technological breakthroughs such as Technicolor or cinemascope and where films were being shot outside studios and realism prevailed over fake sets and corny special effects. Actors and actress could explore their personalities and acting abilities in a more natural way and this led to great performances that greatly contrasted with the stereotypes imposed by Studio Moguls, tyranical directors or movie censors.
Beyond her breathtaking beauty Jean Simmons certainly will be remembered for her unique personality and onscreen presence that paved her carreer from her debuts as one of the rising European Stars of British Cinema towards the limelights of Hollywood Stardom.
She will be missed but certainly never Forgotten …
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhh CHTOUM !
Jean Simmons dies aged 80:
Jean Simmons and Kirk Douglas about Love, Knowledge and Freedom in Spartacus:
Jean Simmons and Kirk Douglas in the last Scene of Spartacus:
Jean Simmons Toasts “The One And Only Spartacus”:
PERSIAN DUBBING: Jean Simmons in Persian opposite Cary Grant in The Grass is Greener:
Jean Simmons and Marlon Brando in Desiree:
Marlon Brando & Jean Simmons – Woman in love:
In Tribute Jean Simmons 1929 – 2010:
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