Jennifer Jones, Oscar-winning actress and Norton Simon widow, dies at 90


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Jennifer Jones, who won a 1943 lead actress Oscar for ‘The Song of Bernadette,’ passed away at her home in Malibu today at age 90.

Although she was known primarily for her Hollywood career, Jones was also the widow of Norton Simon, an industrialist and art collector who created the noted art museum in Pasadena that bears his name.


Following her husband’s death in 1993, Jones served as chairwoman of the Norton Simon Foundation Board and oversaw a $3-million renovation of the museum’s interior, which was designed by architect Frank Gehry, as well as the gardens.

Jones met Simon in 1971 at a reception in Los Angeles for a New York magazine editor, according to a Times obituary. At the time, Simon was 64 and Jones was 52.

Upon his death, Simon left behind one of the most important art museums in Southern California. Today, the Norton Simon Museum houses work from all over the world, dating from antiquity to the contemporary. It is particularly known for its works from south and southeast Asia.

Times arts reporter Suzanne Muchnic wrote a biography of Norton Simon titled ‘Odd Man In,’ which was published in 1998. Muchnic was the only person to whom he granted an interview in the last years of his life, according to the book’s publisher.

Jones was previously married to producer David O. Selznick and Robert Walker. Her other notable films include ‘Duel in the Sun,’ ‘Since You Went Away’ and ‘Love is a Many-Splendored Thing.’ Her last motion picture was ‘The Towering Inferno’ in 1974.

Read the full Times obituary here.

-- David Ng

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