Lawrence Tierney Poster


Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (18) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 15 March 1919Brooklyn, New York, USA
Date of Death 26 February 2002Los Angeles, California, USA  (pneumonia)
Birth NameLawrence James Tierney
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Legendary Hollywood "tough guy", on screen and off. Remembered as the title character in Dillinger (1945) and as the consummately brutal lover of Claire Trevor in Born to Kill (1947). Notorious also for his frequent, well-publicized past involvements in public altercations - like barroom brawls - and other real-life manifestations of rowdiness. (In a 1973 incident, he managed to get himself stabbed.) Though now a puffy-faced, totally bald old man, he continues as screen actor to project the hard-as-nails mien that has been ingrained since his younger days, as he evidences quite amply in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (1992).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill Takacs <kinephile@aol.com>

Trade Mark (3)

B-movie leading man whose two-fisted, tough-guy image on screen in the 1940s and '50s rivaled that of his off-screen personal life.
Deep, gravelly voice
Known for being immensely difficult and intimidating to those he worked with

Trivia (18)

Elder brother and erstwhile mentor of actor Scott Brady
Born at 6:15 pm EST.
Brother of actor Edward Tierney
Uncle of Michael Tierney
After writer/director Rick McKay published a magazine article "Lawrence Tierney: Crack-Up - The True Story of a Hollywood Tough Guy", Tierney called and asked him to collaborate on an autobiography of the screen legend. After a tumultuous, chaotic week in Los Angeles with Tierney, McKay bowed out, exhausted. The book was never written, McKay is now a successful TV/film producer/director and Tierney passed away in February of 2002.
Off-screen, the actor's arrests for drunken brawls at bars and Hollywood parties took a heavy toll on his once-promising Hollywood career in the 1950s. Booze was always at the root of his misbehavior, which included tearing a public phone off the wall, hitting a waiter in the face with a sugar bowl, breaking a college student's jaw and attempting to choke a cab driver.
Has the very last line in the TV series Hill Street Blues (1981): "Hill Street .", answering the phone in a burned-out police station.
Was a brawler up until the end of his career, provoking almost all of the younger actors he worked with on Reservoir Dogs (1992) and actually having nearly come to blows with director Quentin Tarantino.
When he guest-starred on Seinfeld (1989) in "The Jacket" episode as Elaine's father, he scared the cast so badly that they never had him back on. He stole a butcher knife from Jerry's TV kitchen and hid it under his jacket. When Seinfeld undauntedly confronted him about it (much to the dismay of the entire cast), Tierney pretended that he was going to use the knife as a gag in reference to the movie Psycho (1960) during the episode and quickly returned it.
Was offered the role of Charlie "The Gent" Malloy, the mob lawyer, in Elia Kazan's classic On the Waterfront (1954). Tierney lost out on the part when he demanded more money than was offered. Subsequently, Rod Steiger played Charlie, and won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. Accepting the part likely would have revitalized Tierney's career, at least in the short-term.
Never married but has a daughter Elizabeth.
His Father was a Police Officer.
Was considered for the role of Perry White in Superman (1978).
1996 Cauliflower Alley Club Reel Member Inductee.
Was considered for the role of Gillespie in In the Heat of the Night (1967).
Became a seven decade actor with a sole credit in a 2000 film appearance.
Was considered for the title role in Joe (1970).

Personal Quotes (1)

[during a 1987 interview] "I haven't had a drink in, oh, five years now. I finally wised up. I'd say it was about time. Heck, I threw away about seven careers through drink."

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