Gene became one of the screen’s greatest beauties and finest dramatic actresses. Even in comedies, she always played a lady, which was what her first husband said she was upon first meeting her.

Born Gene Eliza Tierney on November 20, 1920 in Brooklyn to a wealthy insurance or stock broker (biographers aren’t certain which) and his wife who had been a school teacher, she was educated in private schools in Connecticut and Switzerland. She became socially prominent, and after some modeling work and then supporting roles in several Broadway plays, Darryl F. Zanuck, head of 20th Century-Fox studios, saw her on-stage in “The Male Animal” in 1940 and signed her to a movie contract. Her first two films, made in quick succession that year, were “Hudson’s Bay,” an historical northwoods adventure with Paul Muni, and "The Return of Frank James" with Henry Fonda as the western outlaw.

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