Tuesday, November 1, 2022

November-Star of the Month


NAME: Gene Tierney (named after a favourite Uncle)

BORN: November 19, 1920

DIED: November 6, 1991

AGE: 70 years old

DIED FROM: Emphysema

MARRIED: Twice-Oleg Cassini & William Lee

CHILDREN: 2 Children

AFFAIRS: Tyrone Power, Howard Hughes, Kirk Douglas (His manly part should have fallen off from all the work out he gave it), JFK (Ditto), Prince Aly Khan

OSCAR NOMINATIONS: Leave Her To Heaven (should have won)

TALENT: Great Femme Fatale

KNOWN FOR: The best overbite that most men would love to kiss; high cheek bones, brilliant green eyes; her sheer beauty. 

This is one of the great beauties and one of the most tragic ladies that graced the silver screen. A definite beauty that could easily have played Scarlet O'Hara if she was famous back in 1939, but she was not yet, "discovered". She went to school in Switzerland and learned to speak fluent French before coming back to the States. She married the famous costume/fashion designer, Oleg Cassini and was longing to have children. She was overjoyed to become pregnant in 1943 and was healthy until she contracted Rubella shortly after volunteering at the Hollywood Canteen (Started by Bette Davis where the US Servicemen were served food and could dance with famous movie stars). The German measles didn't harm Gene but it was devastating to her unborn daughter, Daria, born severely mentally disabled. Years later, Gene met one of her fans who told her that she was in the service but was sick with the German measles. When she was told that Gene Tierney would be at the Hollywood Canteen, she left her quarantine and snuck out to meet her favourite star. Can you imagine meeting the person who gave you the measles that destroyed your child? Thankfully, Howard Hughes always made sure that Daria was given the best treatment in the best care places for children. 

Gene had a few love affairs with JFK being one of them. Thinking he would marry her, she found out cruelly when he told her he could sleep with her but she was not marriage material if he wanted to run for office and, shortly after, married Jackie..nice guy... great president but an a-hole to women. Anyhoo, She also had an affair with prince Aly Khan but his family decided she was not marriage material and the affair ended. Rita Hayworth thought she dodged a bullet since Rita was married to the man. 

Unfortunately, Gene suffered from severe bi-polar disorder and depression resulting in many numerous shock treatments which she wrote about in her autobiography and became an advocate against this type of treatment. She once, Christmas Day 1957, had to be coaxed off of a ledge, 14 stories up, by the police which was a tense 20 minutes. Thankfully, she found some peace with her 2nd husband (who was married to Hedy Lamarr previously) and could enjoy her life out of the limelight. 

She started up smoking thinking she sounded "an angry Minnie Mouse" when she first heard her voice on the big screen. The smoking lowered her voice but gave her the emphysema that led to her death. She was luminous and a much better actress than given credit for at the time. She was one of a kind.


Tobacco Road-1941

Belle Starr- 1941

Heaven Can Wait -1943

Laura -1944 (most known for)

Leave Her To Heaven - 1945

Dragonwyck - 1946

The Razor's Edge - 1946

The Ghost & Mrs. Muir - 1947

Night and the City - 1950

The Left Hand of God -1955


  1. Hi Birgit - I didn't know any of this ... though your commentary rings true - fascinating woman ... also truly beautiful - thank you ... cheers Hilary

  2. Hi Birgit..one of my favourite films…Heaven can wait…and she was one of my dad’s favourite actresses….so I have seen most of the list….hope you are keeping well…take care xxxx

  3. Gene Tierney looks absolutely gorgeous! I wasn't familiar with her work.

  4. Hi, Birgit!

    Happy November and All Saints, dear friend! I swear this post was not in my reader all morning long. I'm glad I didn't miss it, because you went the extra mile for me last night and stayed up well past your bedtime.

    I admired actress Gene Tierney and appreciated the opportunity to learn more about her troubled life and career. I thoroughly enjoyed the clip from Laura, the 1944 film-noir, drama mystery for which Gene is best remembered. Imagine Vincent Price inviting you to dance! It gives me the shivers! By 1944, Vinny had already appeared in several spooky features including his first go-round in Tower of London (1939), to be repeated in a 1962 Roger Corman remake in which he assumed the lead, and The Invisible Man Returns (1940). It would take until the late 50s for Vincent to become a genuine horror movie icon.

    The scene you posted from Laura includes another favorite, Clifton Webb, who notably played Barbara Stanwyck's hubby in Titanic, and Dana Andrews, the busy actor we recently discussed as having been paired on screen for the umpteenth time with Jeanne Crain in Hot Rods To Hell.

    I am disturbed after reading that an avid fan was responsible for spreading German Measles to Gene Tierney, resulting in Gene's daughter being born with severe disabilities. It is also sad to read that Gene suffered from depression and bipolar disorder, underwent shock treatments and needed to be talked down from a skyscraper ledge, and on Christmas Day, as you reported.

    It was noble of JFK to offer to sleep with Gene. A lesser man would have wanted to have sex with her.


    It's interesting that Gene was good enough to flop around in the sack with, but not wife material in the eyes of her powerful lovers.
    It's a shame she chose Tobacco Road (the smoking habit) - a path to disease and early death.

    I enjoyed your Star of the Month essay on Gene Tierney. Have a great day, dear friend BB. I'll be back to see you tamale on Song Day!

  5. Gene was lovely, and a fine actress. It's been a while since I've watched one of her movies. I need to watch Laura again. Gene spent some time living in the town where I grew up, Topeka, Kansas, because she was treated at a well-known mental hospital there. As she recovered she worked at a women's clothing store called Billie's. It was before we lived there. I wish I'd had the opportunity to meet her. Strangely, I never met a Billie's customer who remembered her.


  6. I saw Prince Aly Khan among the people on the list of her love affairs and had to ask myself why any man married to Rita Hayworth (who I consider one of the most beautiful women to have graced the silver screen) would ever want to stray. Then I saw Ms. Tierney's picture and realized why. I enjoyed the movie Laura, especially the way the theme kept showing up...

  7. Hi Birgit! I'm back commenting with vision restored after a hell of a month and a half.

    Great pick! LOVE Gene!! She had such a serene surface with that latent nervous energy lurking in her eyes.

    She's one of the stars whose filmography I've managed to complete and while she never appeared in anything flat out bad and tawdry like many of her contemporaries being a contract girl she was slotted into several flicks that were routine and used her incorrectly.

    Be that as it may she did also appear in some truly fine pictures, Laura and Leave Her to Heaven being the tops. Much as I admire both of those films my two favorite films of hers (though not necessarily my favorite performances she gave) are the lovely fantasy "Heaven Can Wait" with Don Ameche and she sharing an irresistible chemistry and the delightful "The Mating Season" where she is chic and charming but the film is owned by Thelma Ritter as her (unbeknownst to her) mother-in-law though scene stealer Miriam Hopkins gives her a run for the money.

    Other good Gene films: "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" (a real charmer), "The Razor's Edge" (which offers her a rare chance to be the villainess), "Rings on Her Fingers", "That Wonderful Urge" (a reworking of Rings), "Night and the City" and "Where the Sidewalk Ends". I'm also a fan of "Toys in the Attic" and "Advise and Consent" but Gene's roles aren't central to the main plots though she is good in each.

  8. Interesting! I recognised the rubella story as an Agatha Christie plot (The Mirror Crack’d) and Wikipedia confirms it was probably based on Gene Tierney (without the murders!)

  9. Sounds like her life was challenging, putting it mildly.

  10. I didn't know any of this behind the scenes stuff. Yikes, what a tragic life. The men in her life were terrible. Next time I see one of her movies, I won't look at her the same. (That's not a bad thing, I think.)

  11. I had no idea Gene Tierney had such a hard life! She was a favourite of mine. Interesting that she and Rita Hayworth had the same taste in men.