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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In Memoriam: Jean Simmons

One of the most beautiful and talented Hollywood actresses is gone. Jean Simmons, who starred opposite Laurence Oliver in Hamlet and Kirk Douglas (and Olivier, again) in Spartacus, has died of cancer at age 80.

She was one of my heroes, and remained lovely throughout her life. I never heard or read one complaint about her; my understanding was that she was a very sweet and professional actress who was a delight to work with.

Of course, being a very beautiful woman, her deft craft as an actress sometimes was overlooked (also because she was such a natural). She will be missed!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also remember her from "The Big Country," where she won the heart of Gregory Peck. That is a movie worth seeing over and over. It is chock full of talent.

January 26, 2010 2:15 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I haven't see that film. I want to - the overture is terrific!

January 26, 2010 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chock full of talent: Peck, Simmons, Charlton Heston, Carrol Baker, Charles Bickford, Burl Ives, and as chief villain and scumbag, Chuck Connors. That was his finale as a heavy for some years. That same year, 1958, Connors landed the role of Lucas McCane, the Rifleman. He played the hero in that for several years, then followed it with a stint as Jason McCord in "Branded," a series about a soldier mistakenly convicted of cowardice.
I have the overture from "The Big Country" on a 33 rpm LP along with the theme from "The Magnificent Seven."
Postscript: TBG also featured Alfonso Bedoya (Gold Hat from "Treasure of the Sierra Nevada") as a stable hand. He has some memorable scenes, one of which involves Peck's riding a bucking bronco. When Peck asked for advice, Bedoya responded "Don' do eet."
(We don' need no steenkeeng bahjes)

January 26, 2010 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some interesting notes about Ms. Simmons: in 1946 she appeared in "Great Expectations" as the spoiled Estelle. Several decades later she portrayed the demented Miss Havishem in a TV series.

Poor little gal: she was troubled by alcoholism later in life when quality roles were in short supply. This same affliction killed one of her costars in "The Big Country." Alfonso Bedoya was only fifty-three when he passed away, before "TBC" was even released.

February 18, 2010 3:00 PM  

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