MALIBU -- Oscar winning actress Jennifer Jones, who won an academy award for her portrayal of a saintly nun in "The Song of Bernadette" (1943), has died at her Malibu home. She was 90.
Jones, who played opposite giants such as Gregory Peck, died of natural causes, a spokeswoman for the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena said.
Jones was nominated five times by the Academy. She was nominated for a best actress Oscar for her role in "Duel in the Sun" (1946) with Peck, Joseph Cotten, Lillian Gish and Lionel Barrymore, and praised for her work in "Since You Went Away," (1944), "Portrait of Jennie" (1948) and "Beat the Devil" (1953).
She was one of Hollywood's biggest stars in the 1940s and '50s, appearing in such films as "Duel in the Sun," Love is a Many-Splendored Thing" and "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit."
"Jennifer Jones Simon enjoyed an illustrious film career," said museum President Walter Timoshuk. "Another important legacy is her leadership role in the Norton Simon Museum, where she initiated the museum's celebrated gallery renovation by architect Frank Gehry."
Jones was also well known for her marriages to David O. Selznik and industrialist Norton Simon.
Born Phylis Lee Isley in Tulsa, Okla., she attended Northwestern University, then transferred to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, where she met first husband Robert Walker, an actor who mainly did radio programs.
They wed in 1939 and headed to Hollywood with Jones, still known as Isley, quickly landing a role in "New Frontier," a western with John Wayne.
She met Selznick when she auditioned for a play in her future husband's New York office. She fled in tears, thinking the reading went poorly. Selznick
had his secretary call her back for an interview, signed her to a seven-year contract and groomed her stardom.
When she won her Oscar on her 25th birthday, she apologized to Ingrid Bergman, nominated "For Whom The Bells Toll." Bergman famously told her that
"No, Jennifer, your Bernadette was better than my Maria."
Her love affair with Selznick led to her separation from Walker in 1943. Their divorce was final in 1945.
She wed the "Gone With the Wind" producer in 1949, and their marriage endured until his death in 1965.
Two years later, she reportedly tried to commit suicide and was hospitalized, temporarily in a coma, after being found at the foot of a 400-
foot cliff in Malibu. Afterward, she got involved in mental health issues. She later survived breast cancer.
She met her third husband when he tried to buy the portrait of Jones used in the "Portrait of Jennie." Her romance with the multimillionaire philanthropist and art collector started at a party hosted by fellow collector Walter Annenberg.
Jones and Simon wed in 1971 -- when she was 52 and he was 64. Upon his death in 1993, Jones oversaw the Norton Simon Museum.
Her only daughter with Selznick committed suicide by jumping from a 20th-story window in 1976. Her son Michael Walker died in 2007.
Jones is survived by her son Robert Walker Jr., eight grandchildren and four great-grandchilden.
A private funeral is expected.