She led a splendidly successful life as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the Forties and Fifties. Offscreen, she coped with the most severe personal setbacks anyone could encounter.
Yet, she survived, found a measure of personal happiness and left us the invaluable legacy of her work.
How much did you know about Gene Tierney, the eternal “Laura”? We’re hoping that our Monday Quiz will prompt you to take look at her films, some the most notable out of any Hollywood studio.
Yes, Tierney was gorgeous. She was also a fine, well-calibrated actress.
As usual, to review our Monday Quiz questions, just scroll down to the blog below. Here we go with our Quiz answers:
1) Answer: In 1936, a 17-year-old Gene Tierney got a tour of the Warner Bros. studio. She caught the eye of a) Anatole Litvak, the Ukrainian-born director perhaps best known for 1948’s The Snake Pit. He arranged a screen test, and Warners offered Tierney a contact at $150 per week. Gene didn’t take it but decided to try the Broadway stage instead. After 20th Century Fox chief Daryl Zanuck saw her onstage in 1940’s The Male Animal, he uttered the time-honored words: “sign that girl.” To his credit, Litvak was there first.
2) Answer: d) Tierney decided to lower her voice by d) smoking a lot. It finally caught up with her decades later (see question 9).
3) Answer: b) designer Oleg Cassini, who married Gene in 1941 and fathered her two daughters. The divorce came 11 years later.
4) Answer: a) The Shanghai Gesture, a moody film noir set in the mysterious Orient, was directed and co-scripted by Josef von Sternberg, a cineaste favorite who was Marlene Dietrich’s screen svengali. The picture is well worth a look with Gene playing a beautiful innocent drawn into the inner workings of a smoky gambling den owned by the exotic “Gin Sling” (played by Ona Muson). Walter Huston and Victor Mature are also on hand for the murky proceedings.
5) Answer: Prince Ali Kahn, formerly the third husband of Rita Hayworth, and John F. Kennedy, then newly elected to Congress and seven years prior to his marriage to Jaqueline.
6) Answer: d) Jennifer Jones. Fortune stepped in and at age 24, Gene made the part her own.
7) Answer: All of the above. The worst was a). On Oct. 15, 1943, Tierney gave birth prematurely to a severely handicapped daughter, partially blind, deaf and severely retarded. The child eventually had to be institutionalized. It was a sorrow Gene carried with her all her life.
8) Answer: d) Tierney’s deranged character sits impassively in a rowboat watching as a handicapped boy a short distance away drowns in a lake. It is one of the most grueling scenes ever included in a big studio Hollywood movie.
9) Answer: Tierney died from b) emphysema. (See Answer 2).
10) Answer: a) True. The 1964 picture, while a vehicle for a hot (at the time) new female star, it was 43-year-old Tierney’s cinematic swan song. She plays a small part as actor Brian Keith’s jealous wife.