became one of the screens 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 arent 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 Hudsons
Bay, an historical northwoods
adventure with Paul Muni,
and "The Return of Frank James" with Henry Fonda as the western outlaw.