Screen Legend Jennifer Jones Dead at 90

Oscar winner for 'Song of Bernadette' was Selznick's muse
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2009 1:31 PM CST
In this publicity image originally released by 20th Century Fox, Jennifer Jones is shown in "Song of Bernadette" (1943), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.   (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, file)
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(Newser) – Jennifer Jones, an Oscar winner for The Song of Bernadette and the widow of both legendary producer David O. Selznick and industrialist Norton Simon, died today in Malibu. She was 90. Selznick plucked Jones from obscurity by casting her in Bernadette (1943) and launching a career that included four more Academy Award nominations. "I cried all the way through Bernadette because Jennifer was so moving and because I realized then I had lost the award," fellow nominee Ingrid Bergman recalled.

Selznick and Jones eventually married, but she rejected the widespread impression of him as a manipulative force: "I had good roles, and I had David to guide me," she said. Six years after after his death, she married Simon, who said later he was attracted to her work with drug addicts as well as her beauty, the Los Angeles Times reports. "Every time I stop to think about it, I'm really amazed," the former Phylis Lee Isley of Tulsa, Okla., said in 1977. "I think I've had an extraordinary life."

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