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Howl's Moving Castle Actress Jean Simmons Passes Away

posted on 2010-01-23 04:03 EST
Acclaimed UK actress played Sophie in Miyazaki film for one of her last roles

Jean Simmons, the award-winning British actress who brought her long career to a close with a starring role in Howl's Moving Castle, passed away on Friday in Santa Monica, California. She was 80. The actress was suffering from lung cancer.

Simmons was born in London in 1929, and she made her film debut at the age of 15. She later launched a long string of iconic roles with Estella in Great Expectations (1946) and Ophelia in Hamlet (1948). Hamlet earned Simmons the first of two Oscar nominations, and she later won an Emmy for the 1983 mini-series The Thorn Birds. Younger fans might best know her from one of her final roles — that of the older Sophie in the English version of Hayao Miyazaki's 2004 anime film Howl's Moving Castle. She also voiced a smaller role in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001).

Source: Los Angeles Times via Jiji Press


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