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GENE TIERNEY

This Brooklyn Beauty starred in "LAURA" & 30+ other features.
John F. Kennedy begged for her hand in marriage. She turned him down
.

Signed 8" x 10" Vintage Photo

Biography for
Gene Tierney



Mini biography
With prominent cheekbones and the most appealing overbite of her day, her striking good looks helped propel her to stardom. Her best known role is the enigmatic murder victim in "Laura". She was also Oscar nominated for "Leave Her To Heaven". Her acting performances were few in the 1950s as she battled a troubled emotional life that included hospitalization and shock treatment for depression.

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Mini biography
Gene Tierney was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 19, 1920 to well-to-do parents. Her father was a very successful insurance broker and her mother, a former teacher. Gene's childhood was lavish indeed. She also lived, at times, with her equally successful grandparents in Connecticut and New York. She was educated in the finest schools on the East Coast and at a finishing school in Switzerland. After two years in Europe, Gene returned to the US where she completed her education. By 1939, she was performing on Broadway. Her wealthy father set up a corporation that was only to promote Gene theatrical pursuits. Her first role consisted of carrying a bucket of water across the stage prompting one critic to announce that "Miss Tierney is, without a doubt, the most beautiful water carrier I have ever seen!" Her subsequent roles were more meatier and received praise from the tough critics of New York. After being spotted by the legendary Darryl Zanuck during a stage performance, Gene was signed to a contract with Fox studios. Her first role as Barbara Hall in 1940's HUDSON'S BAY would be the send-off vehicle for her career. Later that year she appeared in THE RETURN OF FRANK JAMES. 1941 would prove to be a very busy year for Gene as she appeared in THE SHANGHAI GESTURE, SUNDOWN, TOBACCO ROAD, and BELLE STARR. The performances in each of these productions was masterful. In 1944, Gene was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Ellen Berent in LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN. Though she didn't win, it solidified her position in Hollywood society. The same year, Gene also turned in an outstanding performance in LAURA where she was a murder victim named Laura Hunt. In 1947, Gene played Lucy Muir in the acclaimed THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR. Gene Tierney was the hottest player around and the 1950's saw no let up as she appeared in a number of good films such as NIGHT AND THE CITY (1951), PLYMOUTH ADVENTURE (1952), PERSONAL AFFAIR (1953), and THE LEFT HAND OF GOD (1955). The latter was to prove to be the last performance for Gene for seven years. Owing to a failed marriage to Oleg Cassini, the birth of a daughter who was mentally retarded in 1943, and several love affairs that didn't get off the ground, Gene was hospitalized for depression. When she returned to the screen in 1962 for ADVISE AND CONSENT her acting was as good as ever but there was no longer a big demand for her services. Her last film in the big screen was THE PLEASURE SEEKERS in 1964 and her final appearance in SCRUPLES, a TV mini-series, in 1980. Gene died of emphysema in Houston, Texas on November 6, 1991, just two weeks shy of her 71st birthday.

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IMDb mini-biography by
Denny Jackson
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Spouse
'Howard Lee' (1960 - 1981) (his death)
Oleg Cassini (1941 - 1952) (divorced); 2 daughters

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Trivia

Her first daughter was born mentally retarded because Gene had contracted measles during a U.S.O. tour.

Interred at Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas, USA.

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Personal quotes

"Although she was beautiful in her films, they couldn't quite capture all of her. Fortunately I did, even if it was late in my life." - Spencer Tracy


Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Actress. (b. Nov. 20, 1920, Brooklyn, N.Y.; d. Oct. 6, 1991.) Can anybody remember this dark-haired, radiantly beautiful 1940s star without hearing the haunting strains of David Raksin's theme for Laura (1944), her most famous film? Tierney, who was better known for her beauty than her talent, was the daughter of a wealthy stockbroker, and started acting on stage in the late 1930s. A supporting role in the Broadway production of "The Male Animal" in 1940 brought Tierney to the attention of 20th CenturyFox; she was signed and received a rapid star buildup in such pictures as The Return of Frank James, Hudson's Bay (all 1940), and Tobacco Road receiving star billing with Belle Starr (both 1941). She was loaned to director Josef von Sternberg for The Shanghai Gesture (also 1941), but was woefully miscast as an exotic dragon lady; at her home studio, her projects were carefully tailored to her talents.

Tierney was at her best in such films as Ernst Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait (1943), the aforementioned Laura (1944), and the memorable The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947, opposite Rex Harrison); she earned an Oscar nomination for her persuasive performance as a venal woman who "just loves too much" in Leave Her to Heaven (1945), one of several films to capture her beauty with the full force of Technicolor. Other films include Sundown (1941), China Girl, Thunder Birds, Rings on Her Fingers, Son of Fury (all 1942), A Bell for Adano (1945, as a blonde), Dragonwyck, The Razor's Edge (both 1946), That Wonderful Urge (1948), Whirlpool (1949), Night and the City, Where the Sidewalk Ends (both 1950), On the Riviera, The Mating Season (both 1951), Plymouth Adventure (1952), Never Let Me Go (1953), Black Widow The Egyptian (both 1954), and The Left Hand of God (1955), among others.

From 1941 to 1952 Tierney was married to designer Oleg Cassini, and as her career began to falter in the mid 1950s, her love affair with Aly Kahn was the main focus of press attention. She suffered a nervous breakdown, and was hospitalized for two extended periods. She remarried in 1960 and returned to the screen in Advise and Consent (1962), directed by Otto Preminger, who had helmed Laura She appeared in Toys in the Attic (1963) and The Pleasure Seekers (1964) before going into semiretirement. Her final film work was in the 1980 miniseries "Scruples." The tragic story of how an innocent kiss from a female fan, who had German measles, caused her to give birth to a retarded child was dramatized, without citing Tierney, years later in the mystery film The Mirror Crack'd (1980). Her autobiography "Self Portrait" was published in 1979.
 

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