In early 1971 I was pregnant with my second child, and I chanced to see an old movie on TV. It was Portrait of Jennie, starring Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotton. I know now that the movie wasn't a hit when it was released in December 1948. But there was something about Jennifer Jones in that movie that made me fall in love with the actress. I thought she was so very beautiful. I decided right then that if my baby was a girl she would be named Jennifer.
Unfortunately for my creative, free-thinking Jennifer, 1970 was the year the hit movie Love Story was released (I hadn't seen it), and about every other baby girl (slight exaggeration) born in 1971 was named Jennifer because of it. My Jennifer has often wished she had a different, more unique name. But my fondness for the name lingers because of the actress who captured my heart on the small screen.
On Thursday, Jennifer Jones passed away at the age of 90. Jones was nominated five times for the Academy Award and won for the film, The Song of Bernadette.
I'll be watching the Turner Classic Movie tribute to her on January 4th. May she rest in peace.