SOMETIMES, IT WOULD BE NICE,
GENE TIERNEY'S BROTHER-IN-LAW THINKS,
NOT TO BE BOTHERED
WITH THOSE QUESTIONS: "WHAT'S GENE REALLY LIKE?
IS SHE GLAMOROUS?" AND HERE'S THE ANSWER . . .
Modern Screen magazine, January 1947
|This whole thing springs from a telephone call
I got one morning at nine o'clock. I had been dreaming that a fire engine
had burst into my
flat and I woke up. It was the telephone.
I reached over, sleepily, and grabbed the receiver.
"Is Gene there?" a feminine voice squeaked.
"No," I said. "She's gone back to Hollywood."
"Oh, then this is Oleg?" the voice said."No. Oleg has gone back to Hollywood, too." And with that I was ready to drop the receiver.
"Well, then this must be Igor?" said the tiny voice, hurriedly.
"Yes," I replied. "And, by the way, who are you?"
"You don't know me," she answered. "But I know you. Won't you let us come up?"
"Yes, I have a friend. It's very important that we see you."
I said, stifling a yawn,
"I'm not even out of bed yet."
Igor Cassini, Gene's
brother-in-law, is better known as New York's society reporter, Cholly Knickerbocker.
I hadn't been awake before, this did it.
sergeant," I began. "I" "Then you're her brother,"
which his expression changed to one of friendliness, and friendly, too,
was the pat on the back he gave me. And from that day on I was in big
with the sarge. But there was a catch. He wanted (and got!) a picture
of Gene, autographed especially for him.
Gene couldn't make itwhich was somewhat unfortunate, because I spent
many an hour over the kitchen pots, whereas I figured I should have rated
a "B" for trying. Gene, at the time, was following
Oleg around from camp to camp, just as other wives followed their husbands.
Had this not been the case I'm sure she would have come to Lee.
Oleg, tooby the wayfelt some of the brunt. He had just become a second lieutenant at the Cavalry School at Fort Riley (I was still a private), and was being reminded by the glad-handers that he was Gene's husband. At least in his case it was excusable. Her husband.
But I found it disappointing to know that my success as a soldier hinged more on the fact that I was her brother-in-law rather than on my ability.
It was always interesting to me to know what others thought about Gene. Some invariably put their question this way: "What is she really like? In one movie she was a terrific sirenand in the other she was a slinky murderess." Well, film roles fool you. Stars are flesh, blood and nerves just as is anybody else. They most generally like or dislike the same things you do. Of course Gene is not a "siren" or a "slinky murderess." She's a wife and a mother, and her home comes first. She doesn't "live" the actress once she leaves location. Like other stars, she might well like dancing, or picnicking or moviesin short, they're human. They are not far-away celluloid mannequins.
isn't particularly fond of Hollywood.
I mean as a place to live. She reminds you that she's an Easterner, born in Dodgerland and raised in Yankee Connecticut. She loves New York, too.
What does she do for a good time?
Take a spin or so at the night spots with husband Oleg; or perhaps visit friends in Long Island where she may attend a party; or go window shopping. About shopping, Gene is not a foolish spender. She's well aware of the value of a dollar and she possesses the keen wit of a Yankee horse- trader when it comes to doling out cash.
Gene also leans toward antiques. This, by the way, is genuine, and not affected. Her favorite style is Early American, and she's one of the few "amateurs" who can spot the difference between, say, an American Windsor chair or one of the Louis Quinze period.
home she's lots of fun. When she arrives she kicks off her shoes and romps
about in bare feetan old habit. She is very much attached to her
family, and takes deep pride in the fact that she could send her young
sister, Pat, to school.
I was asked if Gene really likes games.
She does. She can hold her own at swim- ming and plays a whale of a tennis game. Originally she disliked tennis because Oleg played it so much, and he had a habit of getting home late for dinner. Finally Oleg introduced Gene to the courts, and now he can hardly drag her away.
Like most of us, Gene has her favorite film stars. Spencer Tracy stands high on her list, along with Clifton Webb and, of course, Sweden's gift to Hollywood, scintillating Ingrid Bergman, who, she agrees, is a great actress.
her many habits is that of reading at night before dropping off to sleep.
She's a stickler for having windows open while she sleeps, and likes orange
juice and eggs for breakfast.
fence sitter ...
If you want to argue politics with Gene, you must go elsewhere. She doesn't use them. She won't line up on either side publicly, and her ideas remain secret. As for languages, she holds her own with Frenchwhich she and Oleg use to engage in heated arguments (and who doesn't have them?) while the servants are nearby. Gene learned her French in Switzerland, and I'm quite sure at that time she never dreamt she'd be the Gene Tierney of movie fame. And I'm even more sure that I never dreamt I'd be a brother-in-law to such a swell girl.
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