Gene Eliza Tierney was born November 19th, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. Her father was a successful insurance salesman, so Gene's family was wealthy. Gene's childhood was that of an aristocratic young lady, with posh boarding schools and wealthy friends. It was after her "coming-out" party in 1938 that she decided that she was tired of her stuffy and formal life. Gene decided to become an actress.
In 1939, Gene made her Broadway debut in the play, "What a Life". She carried a bucket of water across the stage. This prompted a crictic for 'Variety' to say, "Miss Tierney is certainly the most beautiful water carrier I've ever seen!" After posing for magazines such as "Life" and "Harper's Bazaar", she signed with Columbia Studios. But a year later, she was signed to 20th Century Fox after being spotted by Darryl F. Zanuck. She was quickly cast as Barbara Hall in 1940's "Hudson Bay". This definitely helped to promote her career. Also, Gene made a hit that same year in the movie "The Return of Frank James", starring Henry Fonda. In 1941, Gene made four films in which her performances were wonderful. These were "The Shanghai Gesture", "Sundown", "Tobacco Road", and "Belle Starr". But it wasn't until 1944 that Gene landed the role of a lifetime.
Gene starred as the lead, Laura Hunt, in the film-noir classic "Laura". The film also starred Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Judith Anderson, and Vincent Price. "Laura" was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, and Gene's performance was wonderful. Perhaps it was the best thing for Gene, because of the troubles she had had the year before. After her marriage to Oleg Cassini in 1940, Gene became pregnant. However, she contracted German measles during the pregnancy, and her daughter was born mentally retarded in 1943. Gene was devestated.
1945 proved Gene's biggest triumph. She was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Ellen Berent in "Leave Her to Heaven". The film also starred Gene Lockhart, Jeanne Crain, Cornel Wilde, and Gene's old co-star, Vincent Price. Gene's performance was outstanding, but this was the year for outstanding female performances. Joan Crawford won for her comeback role as "Mildred Pierce", but also nominated for the Best Actress Award were Jennifer Jones for "Love Letters", Ingrid Bergman for "The Bells of Saint Mary's", and Greer Garson for "The Valley of Decision". So it was a hard choice to make!~ I think they all should have won!!!
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