According to Richard Burton's biography "And God Created Burton" Simmons had an affair with the actor when they were filming The Robe (1953) together.
As of 2007, she is one of six women, who have received Best Actress nominations for performances directed by their spouses. The other five are Frances McDormand for Fargo (1996), Gena Rowlands for A Woman Under the Influence (1974) & Gloria (1980), Julie Andrews for Victor Victoria (1982), Elisabeth Bergner for Escape Me Never (1935) and Joanne Woodward for Rachel, Rachel (1968). Jules Dassin also directed his future wife Melina Mercouri in an Oscar-nominated performance (Never on Sunday (1960)), but they weren't married yet at the time of the nomination.
Became a U.S. citizen in 1956.
Becoming depressed at the lack of quality parts being offered her, Jean became addicted to alcohol. In 1986, she sought professional treatment.
Director Richard Brooks claimed that he wrote The Happy Ending (1969), the filmed story of an alcoholic wife (played by Simmons) as a way to tell his wife that she herself had a problem. The marriage eventually broke up due to Simmons' drinking and Brooks' workaholic tendencies.
Even before her American debut, she was revered and beloved by both the British critics and filmgoers. By the end of 1950, she was the #4 box office attraction, American or British, in British cinema.
Her Hamlet (1948) co-star Laurence Olivier urged the young actress to perfect her craft on the stage; instead she decided to follow her future husband Stewart Granger to Hollywood.
Her mother was Winifred Aida Loveland. Her father, Charles Simmons, won a bronze medal in the Olympics for Great Britain in artistic gymnastics and died, when Jean was 13, from an ulcer.
In 1958, she accepted the Oscar for "Best Actor in a Leading Role" on behalf of Alec Guinness, who wasn't present at the awards ceremony
In America from the early 1950s, Jean found out that RKO head Howard Hughes had purchased the remaining six months of her Rank Studio contract. When Hughes claimed that an oral agreement with Rank precluded her from being loaned out to any other studio, she sued RKO. The legal battle raged for over a year. When the suit was finally settled, RKO had a three-year contract for Jean's services but was obligated to pay her $250,000 in addition to her legal fees. Furthermore, she won the right to work on loan to other studios at a substantial salary.
In Italy, most of her films were dubbed by Fiorella Betti. She was occasionally dubbed by Dhia Cristiani during the mid-fifties, most notably in The Robe (1953). Other actresses like Miranda Bonansea, Rosetta Calavetta and Rina Morelli also lent their voice to Simmons at some point. From the sixties onwards, Maria Pia Di Meo became her official Italian voice.
In the early 1980s, she and daughter Kate Brooks lived in the Litchfield County town of New Milford, Connecticut. They later returned to their long-time California home in Santa Monica.
Jean was made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to acting in the 2003 New Year Honours List.
Naturalized U.S. citizen.
She and Marlon Brando were originally supposed to lip-sync their songs in the musical film Guys and Dolls (1955/I). Samuel Goldwyn heard them during rehearsal and decided the untrained stars should do their own singing for authenticity.
She was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of her outstanding contribution to film culture.
Turned down the role of Jean Pargetter in the British TV series "As Time Goes By" (1992).
Was William Wyler's first choice for the role of Princess Ann in Roman Holiday (1953), but Howard Hughes, who owned her contract, wouldn't loan her out to Paramount to do the film.