Gene married Texas oilman Howard Lee, a former husband of Hedy Lamarr, in 1960 and afterward made occasional movie and television appearances. Lee died in 1981.
Prior to her final movie, “The Pleasure Seekers” in 1964, Gene had a supporting role in the remake of “Three Coins in the Fountain.” Her last appearance on television was in a guest star role in “Scruples,” a 1980 romantic miniseries.
Retired from acting, she died of emphysema in 1991. Like the unfortunate encounter with a fan that gave her measles, it was another tragic irony in her life that she had only taken to smoking cigarettes because studio bosses suggested it would lower her speaking voice attractively.
In her autobiography, Self Portrait (1979), Tierney candidly reported on the misfortunes of her personal life and revealed many romances, including dating John F. Kennedy during his Navy service.