Friday, December 18, 2009

Jennifer Jones, 1919-2009

Block photo Jennifer Jones in 'Portrait of Jennie' (1948)
Jennifer Jones in Portrait of Jennie (1948)

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Jones has died at the age of 90. I've posted a photo of her from Portrait of Jennie, since that's one of my favorite pictures in which she appears, but that's not the movie that won her the Oscar; that was several years earlier in The Song of Bernadette.

Jones was married first to fellow actor Robert Walker, and the two played young lovers in the 1944 movie Since You Went Away, hich must have been tough on them since by the time they were making that movie, their marrige was failing. Eventually, after the marriage ended, Jones went on to marry the film's producer, David O. Selznick, who exercised quite a bit of control in selecting parts for Jones (both before and during the marrigae). Indeed, it was only reading the obituaries that I saw Fox wanted Jones to play the role in Laura that eventually went to Gene Tierney.

Jones retired from moviemaking at a fairly young age, having stopped appearing regularly in the mid-1950s, and making only a few films in the 1960s before her swan song, the 1974 all-star disaster epic The Towering Inferno. Partly as a result of not having made movies for so many years, and partly because she by nature wanted to remain very private, Jnoes isn't as well-remembered today as other actors from her era.

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