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Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Thursday, 4 February 2010
Help to unearth Hollywood star Simmons' Somerset past
Jean Simmons
Jean Simmons won an Emmy award in the 1980s for her part in The Thorn Birds

An appeal has been launched to trace the Somerset connections of one Hollywood's most beautiful golden girls, actress Jean Simmons.

The actress made her name playing Estella in the classic 1946 film 'Great Expectations' and went on to play Ophelia in Laurence Olivier's Hamlet.

Simmons, who died from lung cancer on 23 January, also sang with Marlon Brando in Guys and Dolls.

An author is now asking for help after he discovered her link to Somerset.

Ian Payne said after trawling across the internet, he discovered that Simmons and her father were evacuated to Winscombe during World War II.

He believes her father taught at Sidcot School and that Simmons herself worked in Hayle.

As Simmons first starred in films when she was 14, Ian now wants to connect the dots so is looking for anyone who may have family memories, stories or anecdotes about the star.

"I find this particular aspect of her life is more fascinating than anything else because it's the hidden corners of people's lives like this where you can join up the dots.

"There might be something interesting about her as an ordinary person rather than Jean Simmons the actress or the celeb," said Ian.

So if you have a story about the actress or any family photographs, you can write to Ian at 8 Thornbury Road, Walsall, Staffordshire WS2 8JL or telephone 01922 627522.

Obituary: Jean Simmons
23 Jan 10 |  UK

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