Jennifer Jones

Jennifer Jones
Colombia Pictures


Jennifer Jones
Film: North side of the 6400 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Phylis Isley on March 2, 1919 in Tulsa, OK
Died Dec. 17, 2009 in Malibu, CA

Jennifer Jones, who won an Academy Award for her luminous performance in the 1943 film "The Song of Bernadette," was married to two legendary men — producer David O. Selznick and industrialist and art collector Norton Simon.

But she was best known for her movie career. In all, she starred in more than two dozen films, playing opposite such A-list actors as William Holden, Joseph Cotten and Gregory Peck.

The tall, sensitive Jones might never have risen to stardom but for Selznick, who was the first to see something special in the beautiful "big-eyed girl" named Phylis Isley who showed up in his New York office to test — although not very well — for the part of Claudia in the 1943 film of the same name. (Dorothy McGuire won the role.) After seeing her second test, he decided she was "the best sure-fire female star to come along since Leigh and Bergman" — referring to Vivien Leigh and Ingrid Bergman, both then under contract to the producer.

He found the young actress a new name and began grooming her for stardom, finding Jones her first big role in "Bernadette" and, afterward, producing or choosing most of her films. He endlessly pestered Hollywood with his memos about her makeup, her camera angles, her costumes. She was his protege, his obsession, his crusade, eventually his lover and, finally, his wife.

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Points of interest

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1943 Best Actress The Song of Bernadette Win
    1944 Best Supporting Actress Since You Went Away Nomination
    1945 Best Actress Love Letters Nomination
    1946 Best Actress Duel in the Sun Nomination
    1955 Best Actress Love Is a Many Splendored Thing Nomination

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