Lawrence Olivier cast her as Ophelia, Powell and Pressburger had to have her in “Black Narcissus.” Stewart Granger wanted her as his wife, Howard Hughes wanted her as his mistress. Starting out as a British actress, she went on to a Hollywood career with directors such as Preminger, Mankiewicz, or Cukor.
Although she had a rich career that won her two Oscars, neither the public nor Hollywood knew quite what to make of her. One of her obituaries yesterday said that, like Gene Tierney and a couple of other leading ladies, she was simply too beautiful. True. A fragile, disquieting beauty, Ophelia will float forever down the river of cinematic dreams.