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Gene Tierney

Real name: Gene Eliza Tierney
Birthdate: November 19, 1920
Status: Married
Partner: Howard Lee

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Biography

She was born Gene Eliza Tierney in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Howard Sherwood Tierney and Belle Lavina Taylor. She had an older brother, Howard Sherwood "Butch" Tierney, Jr., and a younger sister, Patricia "Pat" Tierney. Her father was a prosperous insurance broker of Irish descent, her mother a former gym teacher.

In 1958, she met Texas oil baron W. Howard Lee, who was married to Hedy Lamarr from 1953 to 1960. Tierney and Lee were married in Aspen on July 11, 1960 and lived in Houston. She loved life in Texas with Lee and became an expert bridge player. In 1962, 20th Century Fox announced she would play the lead role in Return to Peyton Place, but she became pregnant and dropped out of the project. She later miscarried the baby.

Her autobiography, Self-Portrait, in which she candidly discussed her life, career and mental illness, was published in 1979.

Tierney starred as Miranda Wells in Dragonwyck (1946). That same year, she played Isabel Bradley opposite Tyrone Power in The Razor's Edge, an adaptation of Somerset Maugham's novel. She followed that with her role as Lucy Muir in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) opposite Rex Harrison. The following year, Tierney co-starred once again with Power as Sara Farley in the successful screwball comedy That Wonderful Urge (1948). As the decade came to a close, Tierney reunited with Laura director Preminger to star as Ann Sutton in the classic film noir Whirlpool, co-starring Richard Conte and Jose Ferrer (1949).

During 1953, Tierney's mental health problems were becoming harder for her to hide; she dropped out of Mogambo and was replaced by Grace Kelly. While playing Anne Scott in The Left Hand of God (1955) opposite Humphrey Bogart, Tierney's long string of personal troubles finally took their toll. She said that "Bogey could tell that I was mentally unstable." During the production, he fed Tierney her lines, and encouraged her to seek help. Worried about her mental health, she consulted a psychiatrist, and was admitted to Harkness Pavilion in New York. Later, she went to the The Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut. After some 27 shock treatments, she attempted to flee, but was caught and re-institutionalized. She became an outspoken opponent of shock treatment therapy, claiming that it had destroyed significant portions of her memory.

She made a screen comeback in Advise and Consent (1962), co-starring Franchot Tone. A year later she played Albertine Prine in Toys in the Attic, starring Dean Martin and Geraldine Page. She received overall critical praise for her performances. Tierney played Jane Barton in The Pleasure Seekers (1964), starring Ann-Margret, Anthony Franciosa, and Carol Lynley, then again retired.



 


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