One of those post-war beauties with the bright eyes and rose petal skin, with that voice. I miss that voice that ingenues of the cultured variety used to have, that delicate touching of all the consonants like expert fingers tickling all the right piano keys. I miss the lilt in the cadence, and the slower delivery as if she were thinking about what she was saying before she said it. People rarely do that now, especially in the media. They just gush words, any words, whether or not they are meaningful, just to fill up air space.
She wasn't the only one who spoke like that or looked like that. There were a distinct, select graduating class of them back then in the late 1940s and early 1950s, whose mannerisms and speech perhaps might have been studied, but always appeared genuine.
I like to remember her most as Ophelia in "Hamlet", her screen debut in which she played one of the oldest, most classic of troubled females and brought her down to human size just be being -- what was it? Eighteen years old herself at the time? Contrasting this, I like to remember her in "Guys and Dolls", singing with the gusto of her own natural voice and swinging on a lampost, being drunkenly kittenish with an unusually reserved Marlon Brando. She put on American girl bravado like she put on her Salvation Army-style costume, neither natural to her, but the playfulness, like the rest, seemed genuine.
Jean Simmons had many fans, and will continue to have many fans.