How much did you know about one of the screen’s toughest bad guys?
Lawrence Tierney was one of film noir’s most volatile actors who excelled at the rough stuff onscreen and off. Throughout his checkered but lengthy career (comprising some 100 titles), he was often known more for the latter than the former.
We remember him because by the 1970’s, he was that aging actor familiar to the Variety staff on New York City West 46th Street — where we both worked for different spells.
The purpose of these his regular Variety office visits? To pick up the Weekly edition on publication day each Wednesday. Tierney worked pretty much throughout his 82-year life, after all, and had to keep up with the latest show biz news.
Ok, let’s get to our Monday Quiz answers. To review the questions, please scroll down to the blog below. Here we go:
1) Answer: Tierney’s famous brother was Scott Brady, who was about five years younger but died more than decade before Lawrence departed the scene. Brady like Lawrence specialized in tough guy roles. His most famous role is perhaps as “Dancin’ Kid” in the 1954 Joan Crawford western, Johnny Guitar. He too had several run ins with the law and was quite a lady’s man as well, involved with Gwen Vernon and Dorothy Malone, among others.
2) Answer: d) Claire Trevor, Tierney’s superb costar in perhaps his darkest and meanest noir, 1947’s Born To Kill.
3) Answer: a) Born To Kill.
4) Answer: All options apply for this one. Despite Tierney’s roles on screen and television he may well be best remembered for his off-screen arrests. He was an alcoholic and a brawler and was often in the news, once for being stabbed in a bar fight, often for taking on other brawlers and the police. He served time in prison.
5) Answer: Tierney’s breakout feature was the 1945 biopic for Monogram Pictures, Dillinger. It was about, of course, celebrated bank robber, John Dillinger.
6) Answer: c) Early-career Jayne Mansfield just before her sexpot renown. In 1956’s Female Jungle, she held her own against such genre stalwarts as Tierney and John Carradine.
7) Answer: d) Quentin Tarantino, who revived Tierney’s career with his role as a belligerent gang leader in 1991’s Reservoir Dogs.
8) Answer: d) Norman Mailer, who cast Tierney in one of the novelist’s infrequent film forays, 1987’s Tough Guys Don’t Dance.
9) Answer: Our man was Elisha Cook Jr., the superb character actor who turned up — seven years after his memorable appearance as the fall guy in The Maltese Falcon — in RKO’s Born To Kill as out-of-control murderer Lawrence Tierney’s nebbishy buddy, who futilely lectures him about the merits of self restraint.
10) Answer: All choices apply except The King of Queens.