Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gene Tierney Star of the Silver Screen

One of Hollywood's most acclaimed beauties of the Silver Screen was Gene Tierney. Born in Brooklyn NY on November 23, 1920 to affluent parents, she was educated in private schools, even spending several years in a finishing school in Switzerland. At age 17 she was noticed by director Anatole Litvak and she turned down a contract offer from Warner Brothers on her father's advice.

She studied acting with Benno Schneider at a small studio in Greenwich Village, her eye on the stage. By the time she was 18 she had several small parts on Broadway and was always mentioned for her beauty. Her father realizing she would have a future in acting set up a corporation to fund and promote her acting career.

In 1939 while under contract to Columbia she met Howard Hughes. Being unimpressed with his wealth as she herself had grown up in a rather wealthy family, she refused to date him. However, they did become lifelong friends.

Her first marriage was to famed fashion designer Oleg Cassini in 1941. They separated after the birth of their first daughter and she began a romance with John F. Kennedy. Their romance was short lived as he could never marry her because of his political ambitions. She reconciled with Cassini and they had a second daughter. This marriage lasted until 1952.

By this time she was suffering severe mental problems, most likely bipolar disorder. At one point in time she went to the Institute of Living in Hartford CT for treatment. After many shock treatments she managed to escape but was caught and returned. She became an outspoken opponent of shock treatment therapy due to the fact it destroyed a significant portion of her memory.

In 1960 she married Texas oil baron W. Howard Lee. They lived happily in Houston for many years. She returned to films for a few small parts mostly in television but mainly remained retired. In 1981 she was widowed when Lee died. She lived until 1991, dying shortly before her 71st birthday in Houston Texas where she continued to live after the death of Lee.

During her long career (1940-1964) she appear in many wonderful movies, winning the academy award for my favorite film Leave Her to Heaven. This particular movie showcased her beauty and of course a fabulous 1940s wardrobe.

If you get a chance pick up this wonderful old movie. I promise you will love it! Below are a few pictures from the film displaying her wonderful wardrobe.


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