Jean Simmons Dies

Jean Simmons, the English actress who made the covers of Time and Life magazines by the time she was 20 and became a major midcentury star alongside strong leading men like Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton and Marlon Brando, often playing their demure helpmates, died on Friday at her home in Santa Monica, Calif. She was 80.

The cause was lung cancer, according to Judy Page, her agent.

Simmons, who won an Emmy Award for her role in The Thorn Birds in the 1980s, died at her home in Santa Monica on Friday, her agent told the LA Times.

She had been suffering from lung cancer for some time.

The actress, who moved to Hollywood in 1950, first made her name playing Estella in 1946's Great Expectations.

She went on to become one of Hollywood's leading ladies, starring alongside Gregory Peck, Paul Newman and Kirk Douglas.

Jean Simmons, who has died at the age of 80 of lung cancer in Santa Monica, California, was among the finest, most beautiful British movie actresses of the postwar years. She was one of only two from that great 1940s flourishing of our native industry under J Arthur Rank to become a major star in Hollywood; the other was Deborah Kerr, with whom she twice appeared.