Gene Tierney: A Shattered Portrait (26 Mar. 1999)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, Biography, History
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A&E Biography about life and times of the beautiful actress of the 40's and feature interview of her ex-husband, her second daughter and her co-star.


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Title: Gene Tierney: A Shattered Portrait (26 Mar 1999)

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Episode credited cast:
Jeanine Basinger ...
Herself - Film Historian
Pat Byrne ...
Herself - Sister
Christina Cassini ...
Herself - Daughter
Himself - Former Husband
Himself - Host
David Raksin ...
Himself - Composer 'Laura'
Kay Adell Stork ...
Herself - Stand-In
Herself (archive footage)
Himself - Actor


A&E Biography about life and times of the beautiful actress of the 40's and feature interview of her ex-husband, her second daughter and her co-star.

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26 March 1999 (USA)  »

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special feature on Laura DVD
24 June 2005 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

This documentary on Gene Tierney describes her as an exotic débutante, an early Grace Kelly, battered by destiny, the unluckiest luckiest girl in the world, and someone who had everything but ended up in stark misery and despair. It is aided immeasurably by the hilarious comments by her former husband Oleg Cassini, and features interviews, make-up and wardrobe tests, home movies, and film clips. The sketch portrait of Gene and her retarded daughter Daria is even more haunting than the Laura painting. There is also a photograph of Gene with a soldier that is possibly the woman that infected the pregnant Gene with measles that led to Daria's condition. Much is made of Gene's beauty. Cassini says she was an extraordinary genetic marvel that he wanted to possess, though soon when his career suffered when he married the younger Gene, he is resentful being Mr Gene Tierney. When she gives him an ultimatum to join him in Argentina during production of a film, he refuses because he claims his career as at the point where he is about to become the man she wanted him to be. How's that for irony? But there is more when Oleg becomes the designer of Jackie Kennedy's personal wardrobe, after Gene had had an affair with Jack Kennedy who had refused to marry her, because she would have needed to divorce Oleg. It is said that Gene had a remarkable gift for mimicry and that she watched movies all night when she first came to Hollywood to learn - but it is not said who she mimicked. It is also said that her role in The Ghost and Mrs Muir mimics Gene's doomed affair with Kennedy. Apart from Daria, Gene's career was affected by her father stealing all her finances, a failed romance with Aly Khan who demanded that she abandon her family to marry her, a mental breakdown in the 1950's which led to a difficult shoot of The Left Hand of God, electric shock treatment and admission to 3 hospitals, severe depression and medication. In 1959 during her mental recovery she worked as a part time dress store clerk. When she returned to Hollywood, she suffered dry mouth from fear, so then was happy to retire from movies and be a Texas housewife, until the death of her husband.

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