LOS ANGELES - Jennifer Jones, the beautiful, raven-haired actress who was nominated for Academy Awards five times, winning in 1943 for her portrayal of a saintly nun in "The Song of Bernadette," died yesterday. She was 90.
Jones, who in later years was a leader of the Norton Simon Museum, founded by her husband, died at her home in Malibu of natural causes, museum spokeswoman Leslie Denk said.
Among her most memorable roles were the half-breed vixen who vamps rowdy cowboy Gregory Peck in "Duel in the Sun," and the Eurasian doctor who falls for Korean War correspondent William Holden in "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing."
She was born Phylis Isley on March 2, 1919, in Tulsa, Okla., to parents who operated a touring stock company that presented melodramas in tent theaters in the Southwest. She began doing roles in their plays at age 6.
Director Henry King recalled testing the six finalists for the role of Bernadette: "A man held a stick behind the camera; the girls focused their rapt attention on that stick. The other five did very well. But only Jennifer looked as if she saw the vision."
Among her other films were "Love Letters" (with Joseph Cotten), "We Were Strangers" (with John Garfield), "Madame Bovary" (with Louis Jourdan) and "A Farewell to Arms" (with Rock Hudson).
She received a supporting actress Oscar nomination for "Since You Went Away," and lead-actress nominations for "Love Letters," "Duel in the Sun" and "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing."
Her daughter plunged to her death from the 22nd floor of a hotel in west Los Angeles in 1976; the death was ruled a suicide.