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Jennifer Jones was born Phylis Lee Isley in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1919. While in college, she transferred to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1938, and one of her fellow students was Robert Walker (who also became a successful actor) and they were married at the start of 1939. They moved back to Tulsa, where they worked in radio, and then on to Hollywood, where Walker worked in radio, and Isley got a few bit parts in movies, but when she was screen tested by Paramount, she failed! So they moved back to New York, where she modeled hats, and she auditioned for a part in a play produced by David O. Selznick, and as luck would have it, she was seen by Selznick himself, and he was captivated by her, and signed her to a 7 year contract! She became Selznick's protege, and he gave her the name Jennifer Jones, and he gave her the title role in The Song Of Bernadette (winner of the Best Actress Academy Award for this film) in 1943. Selznick did everything he could to make the movie and Jones a success (even hiring Norman Rockwell to do a portrait of Jones for the movie posters!) and the movie was very successful. Selznick was madly in love with her, and had an affair with her, which led to her divorcing Walker in 1945 and marrying Selznick in 1949. Walker's later turned to alcohol and drug, which contributed to his early death (he was quoted as saying, "My personal life has been completely wrecked by David Selznick's obsession for my wife. What can you do to fight such a powerful man?"). Jones stood out in many other movies, including Since You Went Away (nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for this film), Love Letters (nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award for this film), Duel In The Sun (nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award for this film), Madame Bovary, Ruby Gentry, Love Is A Many-splendored Thing (nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award for this film), and others. She had two children with Robert Walker and one with Selznick, and remained married to Selznick until he passed away in 1965. In 1971, she married philanthropist Norton Simon, and remained married to him until he also passed away in 1993. She made her last film appearance in The Towering Inferno in 1974, and she passed away in December of 2009 at the age of 90.
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