An exquisite beauty with gorgeous green eyes, sculpted cheekbones and a fetching overbite, Gene Tierney had the minimalist acting style of many stars of the studio-system era, which has allowed her work to age very well. In her most striking (and only Oscar®-nominated) performance in Leave Her to Heaven (1945), playing a vindictive woman who maintains a placid surface despite her stormy temperament, Tierney allows the audience to fill in the blanks regarding her character’s thoughts and feelings. (more)
Howard Hughes and Gene Tierney at Jacques Fath’s “Hollywood 1925” costume ball, photo by Willy Maywald, 1951
It is a terrible thing to feel no fear, no alarm, when you are standing on a window ledge fourteen stories above the street. I felt tired, lost, and numb—but unafraid. I wasn’t at all certain I wanted to take my own life. I cat walked a few steps away from the open and window and steadied myself, to think about it. The fact that I could no longer make decisions was why I had gone to the ledge in the first place. What to wear, when to get out of bed, which can of soup to buy, how to go on living, the most automatic task confused and depressed me. I felt everything but fear. The fear comes to me now, twenty years later, knowing that at any moment I might have lost my balance. Then the decision would not have been mine. On that day, if I jumped or fell, either way would have been all right. There is a point where the brain is so deadened, the spirit so weary, you don’t want any more of what life is dishing out. I thought I was there.
— Gene Tierney