The 1967 Dean Martin film, Rough Night in Jericho, brought Simmons fresh acclaim for her performance as the hard-nosed businesswoman, and she secured her second Oscar nomination for the role of alienated housewife Mary Wilson in The Happy Ending. She found refuge in a number of television movies and mini series before admitting in the Eighties that she was an alcoholic.After treatment she made a triumphant comeback in 1995, starring alongside Winona Ryder, Ellen Burstyn and Anne Bancroft in How to Make an American Quilt.As writer and film historian Alan K Rode said when her agent announced she had died on Friday at her Santa Monica home after a long illness: ''Jean's jaw-dropping beauty often obscured a formidable acting talent.'' Paying tribute to Ms Simmons actor Edward Fox said: ''She was one of my pin ups when I was young.She was simply gorgeous, a real str, a true English girl and a very fine actress.Finally won over by the movie world, she ditched her second name Merilyn in 1950, packed her suitcases, bought a one way ticket and sailed across the Atlantic where she became one of tinsel town's most popular and sought after actors.
I fear there ilk has not been replaced.'' Terry O'Neill, the celebrity photographer, pictured Ms Simmons many time in the heyday of her career.
Val Guest, the movie director who discovered her when he chanced upon her dance troupe practising routines in a back street theatre, begged her to drop her ambitions to study.
But Simmons insisted she wanted to give teaching a go, turning her back on the movie world.
Simmons was scathing about the part however, complaining that all it required of her was ''to look pretty and dignified.'' In a memorable Time magazine article she described it as ''a poker up the arse part.'' In 1955 she teamed up again with Brandon in Guys and Dolls, the Samuel Goldwyn-produced musical, in which she played Sarah Brown, a Salvation Army-style reformer conned into a weekend fling in Havana by gambler Sky Masterson.
Her enormous work lode, however, took a heavy toll on her marriage.
Though she and Granger had a daughter Tracy, they divorced in 1960.