Jennifer Jones was born Phylis Lee Isley on March 2, 1919 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The daughter of Flora Mae Suber and Phillip Ross Isley, her parents toured the Midwest in a traveling tent show they owned and operated.
Jennifer Jones attended Monte Cassino Junior College in Tulsa and Northwestern University, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority before transferring to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1938.
Jennifer Jones landed two small roles, first in a 1939 John Wayne western titled New Frontier, followed by a serial entitled Dick Tracy's G-Men. However, she failed a screen test for Paramount Pictures and decided to return to New York City.
When she learned of auditions for the lead role in Claudia, Rose Franken’s hit play, she presented herself to David O. Selznick’s New York office but fled in tears after what she thought was a bad reading. Selznick, however, overheard her audition and was impressed enough to have his secretary call her back. Following an interview, she was signed to a seven-year contract.
Her first role would be Bernadette Soubirous in The Song of Bernadette (1943). She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this role.
Jennifer Jones next film was Since You Went Away (1944), she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 1945, she appeared in Love Letters earning her third Academy Award nomination, this time for Best Actress.
In 1946, she played Pearl Chavez in Duel in the Sun, earning her fourth Academy Award nomination, for Best Actress.
In 1955, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing.
Jennifer Jones also appeared in Portrait of Jennie (1948), Madame Bovary (1949) Beat the Devil (1953), A Farewell to Arms (1957), and Tender Is the Night (1962).
Jennifer Jones final appearance was in the 1974 blockbuster The Towering Inferno.
Jennifer Jones died of natural causes at her home on December 17, 2009, aged 90.