A collection of family histories and genealogies.

Gene Eliza Tierney

Female 1920 - 1991  (70 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Gene Eliza Tierney 
    Born Nov 19, 1920  Brooklyn, Kings county, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Female 
    Social Security Number 043-12-2502 
    • Gene T Lee, 19 Nov 1920, 06 Nov 1991, LR 77027 (Houston, Harris, TX), 043-12-2502, issued CT
    Died Nov 06, 1991  Houston, Harris county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • -
      TIERNEY, GENE. The Handbook of Texas Online.
      TIERNEY, GENE (1920-1991). Gene Tierney, movie star, was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 19, 1920 (incorrectly reported as the 20th), the daughter of Howard S. and Belle Taylor Tierney. Her father, a successful insurance broker, and her mother were wealthy socialites, and as a child Tierney enjoyed a privileged life that included private schools in Connecticut and finishing school in Switzerland. After completing her schooling, where she had exhibited some interest in acting, Tierney earned a supporting part in the Broadway comedy Ring Two in 1939. In the early 1940s she went to Hollywood and established herself as a star for 20th Century Fox, usually playing elegant social characters. Her early films included The Return of Frank James (1940), Belle Star (1941), and Heaven Can Wait (1943). It was, however, her 1944 portrayal of the title character in the murder mystery Laura that established Tierney as a major screen star. In this movie she played a high-society woman who is an apparent murder victim and with whom a police detective, played by Dana Andrews, falls in love through her pictures. Two years after this movie, Tierney was nominated for an Academy Award for her melodramatic role as a self-centered woman who commits suicide in Leave Her to Heaven (1945). Tierney exuded a patrician air and was strikingly attractive, causing some critics to suggest that her acting did not live up to her presence. But others found her a refreshingly direct actor, and she enjoyed continued success throughout the 1940s and 1950s in such movies as The Razor's Edge (1946); The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), in which she costarred with Rex Harrison; and The Left Hand of God (1955). While Tierney enjoyed professional success during her years as a screen star, tragedy struck in her personal life. In 1943, while married to designer Oleg Cassini, she gave birth to a severely brain-damaged daughter. She and Cassini had another daughter in 1948, but the couple divorced four years later. In 1955 Tierney left Hollywood, suffering from stress and depression, and became a patient at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. She was determined to regain a happy life, and in 1960 she married W. Howard Lee, a Houston oil executive and the former husband of Hedy Lamarr. She joined Lee in Texas, where she lived for the next thirty-one years. After her marriage she made a few more movies, including Advise and Consent in 1962 and The Pleasure Seekers in 1965, but subsequently, with more than thirty movie credits to her name, she retired permanently from films. Tierney later made a few television appearances but spent most of her time traveling with her husband and participating in civic and charitable causes in Houston, a life she said was preferable to her years of Hollywood stardom. In 1979 her autobiography, Self-Portrait, was published by Wyden Books. Gene Tierney died of emphysema in Houston on November 6, 1991. She was preceded in death by her husband and was survived by her two daughters, four grandchildren, and one sister.
      BIBLIOGRAPHY: Contemporary Authors (Detroit: Gale Research, 1986). New York Times, November 8, 1991. David Ragan, Who's Who in Hollywood, 1900-1976 (New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1976). Mel Schuster, comp., Motion Picture Performers: A Bibliography of Magazine and Periodical Articles, 1900-1969 (Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press, 1971).
      Debbie Mauldin Cottrell
          Green-eyed beauty Gene Tierney was born to a wealthy New York family, and when she expressed an interest in acting, her father established a corporation whose sole purpose was to promote her. Tierney progressed from Broadway supporting roles to a contract with 20th Century Fox after being discovered by David O. Selznick. Her rise to popularity -- from 1940 through the mid-fifties -- coincided with the post-war fascination with neurosis, and Tierney became associated with disturbed characters driven by torment. Her troubled souls' tumultuous passions inevitably led to obsession and tragedy, the best illustration of which is her portrayal of a paranoid woman who steals her sister's lover and kills her unborn baby in 1945's Leave Her to Heaven, a role that earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination. Her acting performances were few in the 1950s as she battled a troubled emotional life that included hospitalization and shock treatment for depression. Her imbalance was likely the result of twenty years of being buffeted by tragedy in the form of her parents' shattering divorce, a bout with German measles during pregnancy that resulted in the birth of a deaf and hopelessly retarded daughter, her divorce from the child's father, designer Oleg Cassini, and derailed romances with Tyrone Power and Ali Khan. In 1960, Tierney married oil businessman W. Howard Lee (he was also the fifth Mr. Hedy Lamarr) and thereafter ventured out cautiously in occasional roles.
    Person ID I53709  mykindred
    Last Modified Mar 31, 2019 

    Father Howard Sherwood Tierney,   d.
    Mother Belle Lavina Taylor,   d.
    Divorced 1942 
    Family ID F18923  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Oleg Cassini (Loiewski),   b. Apr 11, 1913, Paris, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Mar 17, 2006, Long Island, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years) 
    Married Jul 1941  Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Divorced 1952 
     1. Living
     2. Living
    Family ID F18924  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 William Howard Lee,   b. Sep 12, 1908, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Feb 16, 1981, Houston, Harris county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Married Jul 11, 1960  Aspen, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F18922  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Tierney Cassini Lee, Gene (1920-1991)
    Tierney Cassini Lee, Gene (1920-1991)
    Tierney Cassini Lee, Gene (1920-1991)
    Tierney Cassini Lee, Gene (1920-1991)

  • Sources 
    1. [S5160] SSDI - Social Security Death Index.

    2. [S428] Texas Death Records on-line.
      Lee, Gene Tierney, 11-06-1991, HARRIS