(He) was a big lug, broad-shouldered and handsome.
But his eyes narrowed into slits when he started thinking. And his thin-lipped grin was one of the most purely rapacious sights on film … He was the only actor in Hollywood who posed for more mug shots than publicity photos. — Eddie Muller, Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir.
In short, Lawrence Tierney was one rough dude ON and OFF screen. We celebrate his memory today with our Monday Quiz.
How much do your know about this often undervalued stalwart of film noir who, despite his legendary boozing and barroom brawling, lived until age 82 all the while intimidating those he worked with right up until this century.
So, please take our Quiz and have some fun with a true tough guy of classic Hollywood. As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow.
1) Question: Tierney wasn’t the only member of his Brooklyn Irish family to make his mark in classic Hollywood. His younger brother also attained top billing. Can you name this actor? (Hint: his surname was NOT Tierney).
2) Question: As one of Hollywood’s most talented femme fatales, this actress put in a solid performance in perhaps the actor’s best movie. She is? a) Lizabeth Scott; b) Marie Windsor; c) Coleen Gray; or d) Claire Trevor.
3) Question: Which of these titles is considered Tierney’s very best? a) Born To Kill; b) The Devil Thumbs A Ride c) Dillinger; or d) Step By Step.
4) Question: Tierney had more than his share of run-ins with the law during his career. Which of the following infractions were NOT brought against him? a) Simple assault; b) Drunk and disorderly (for kicking a policeman); c) Breaking a guy’s jaw in a saloon brawl; d) Kicking in a woman’s door and assaulting her boyfriend.
5) Question: Tierney first made his mark professionally playing this famous gangster in a Monogram Pictures “B” feature. Can you name the gangster the actor portrayed in this picture? (Hint: Take a close look at Question 3.)
6) Question: Tierney once improbably costarred with a young sex symbol in 1956’s Female Jungle. Can you name this lusty lass? a) Marilyn Monroe; b) Diana Dors; c) Jayne Mansfield; or d) Terry Moore.
7) Question: Tierney’s flagging, later career was given a jump start by the actor’s appearance in a picture directed by: a) Sam Peckinpah; b) Martin Scorsese; c) Walter Hill; or d) Quentin Tarantino. (Can you name the movie?)
8) Question: Tierney was a favorite of this famous novelist who was pretty fast with his fists himself. Can you name him? a) Ernest Hemingway; b) William Faulkner; c) Saul Bellow; or d) Norman Mailer.
9) Question: Tierney’s male costar in 1947’s Born To Kill made a specialty of playing weaselly characters, often hapless fall guys. Can you name him? (Hint: he was in The Maltese Falcon.)
10) Question: Late in his career, Tierney turned up in which of these tv series? a) Hill Street Blues; b) ER; c) Seinfeld; or d) The King of Queens.