Lawrence Tierney (1919 - 2002)

A photo of Lawrence Tierney
Lawrence Tierney
1919 - 2002
updated July 15, 2019
Lawrence Tierney was born on March 15, 1919. He died on February 26, 2002 at age 82. We know that Lawrence Tierney had been residing in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California 90078.

Lawrence Tierney
Born March 15, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died February 26, 2002 in Los Angeles, California, USA (pneumonia)
Birth Name Lawrence James Tierney
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)
Legendary Hollywood "tough guy" on screen and off. Remembered as the title character in Dillinger (1945) and as the consummately brutal lover of Claire Trevor in Born to Kill (1947). Notorious also for his frequent, well-publicized past involvements in public altercations - like barroom brawls - and other real-life manifestations of rowdiness. (In a 1973 incident, he managed to get himself stabbed.) Tierney still continues as screen actor to project the hard-as-nails mien that has been ingrained since his younger days, as he evidences quite amply in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (1992).
Trade Mark
B-movie leading man whose two-fisted, tough-guy image on screen in the 1940s and '50s rivaled that of his off-screen personal life.
Deep, gravelly voice
Known for being immensely difficult and intimidating to those he worked with but he was especially nice to kids and autograph hounds.
Elder brother and erstwhile mentor of actor Scott Brady
Brother of actor Edward Tierney
Uncle of Michael Tierney
After writer/director Rick McKay published a magazine article "Lawrence Tierney: Crack-Up - The True Story of a Hollywood Tough Guy", Tierney called and asked him to collaborate on an autobiography of the screen legend. After a tumultuous, chaotic week in Los Angeles with Tierney, McKay bowed out, exhausted. The book was never written, McKay is now a successful TV/film producer/director and Tierney passed away in February of 2002.
Has the very last line in the TV series Hill Street Blues (1981): "Hill Street .", answering the phone in a burned-out police station.
Was a brawler up until the end of his career, provoking almost all of the younger actors he worked with on Reservoir Dogs (1992) and actually having nearly come to blows with director Quentin Tarantino.
When he guest-starred on Seinfeld: The Jacket (1991) as Elaine's father, he scared the cast so badly that they never had him back on. He stole a butcher knife from Jerry's TV kitchen and hid it under his jacket. When Seinfeld undauntedly confronted him about it (much to the dismay of the entire cast), Tierney pretended that he was going to use the knife as a gag in reference to the movie Psycho (1960) during the episode and quickly returned it.
Was offered the role of Charlie "The Gent" Malloy, the mob lawyer, in Elia Kazan's classic On the Waterfront (1954). Tierney lost out on the part when he demanded more money than was offered. Subsequently, Rod Steiger played Charlie, and won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. Accepting the part likely would have revitalized Tierney's career, at least in the short-term.
Never married but has a daughter Elizabeth.
Irish-American.
His Father was a Police Officer.
Was considered for the role of Perry White in Superman (1978).
1996 Cauliflower Alley Club Reel Member Inductee.
Was considered for the role of Gillespie in In the Heat of the Night (1967).
Became a seven decade actor with a sole credit in a 2000 film appearance.
Was considered for the title role in Joe (1970).
Personal Quotes (1)
[during a 1987 interview] "I haven't had a drink in, oh, five years now. I finally wised up. I'd say it was about time. Heck, I threw away about seven careers through drink."
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Lawrence Tierney Biography

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Most Commonly Known Name

Lawrence Tierney

First name

Lawrence

Middle name

Unknown.

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Gender

Male

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Nationality & Locations Lived

Unknown.

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Last Known Residence

Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California 90078

Education

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Professions

Lawrence Tierney
Born March 15, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died February 26, 2002 in Los Angeles, California, USA (pneumonia)
Birth Name Lawrence James Tierney
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)
Legendary Hollywood "tough guy", on screen and off. Remembered as the title character in Dillinger (1945) and as the consummately brutal lover of Claire Trevor in Born to Kill (1947). Notorious also for his frequent, well-publicized past involvements in public altercations - like barroom brawls - and other real-life manifestations of rowdiness. (In a 1973 incident, he managed to get himself stabbed.) Though now a puffy-faced, totally bald old man, he continues as screen actor to project the hard-as-nails mien that has been ingrained since his younger days, as he evidences quite amply in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (1992).
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill Takacs

Trade Mark (3)
B-movie leading man whose two-fisted, tough-guy image on screen in the 1940s and '50s rivaled that of his off-screen personal life.
Deep, gravelly voice
Known for being immensely difficult and intimidating to those he worked with
Trivia (19)
Elder brother and erstwhile mentor of actor Scott Brady
Born at 6:15 pm EST.
Brother of actor Edward Tierney
Uncle of film director and actor Michael Tierney.
After writer/director Rick McKay published a magazine article "Lawrence Tierney: Crack-Up - The True Story of a Hollywood Tough Guy", Tierney called and asked him to collaborate on an autobiography of the screen legend. After a tumultuous, chaotic week in Los Angeles with Tierney, McKay bowed out, exhausted. The book was never written, McKay is now a successful TV/film producer/director and Tierney passed away in February of 2002.
Off-screen, the actor's arrests for drunken brawls at bars and Hollywood parties took a heavy toll on his once-promising Hollywood career in the 1950s. Booze was always at the root of his misbehavior, which included tearing a public phone off the wall, hitting a waiter in the face with a sugar bowl, breaking a college student's jaw and attempting to choke a cab driver.
Has the very last line in the TV series Hill Street Blues (1981): "Hill Street .", answering the phone in a burned-out police station.
Was a brawler up until the end of his career, provoking almost all of the younger actors he worked with on Reservoir Dogs (1992) and actually having nearly come to blows with director Quentin Tarantino.
When he guest-starred on Seinfeld: The Jacket (1991) as Elaine's father, he scared the cast so badly that they never had him back on. He stole a butcher knife from Jerry's TV kitchen and hid it under his jacket. When Seinfeld undauntedly confronted him about it (much to the dismay of the entire cast), Tierney pretended that he was going to use the knife as a gag in reference to the movie Psycho (1960) during the episode and quickly returned it.
Was offered the role of Charlie "The Gent" Malloy, the mob lawyer, in Elia Kazan's classic On the Waterfront (1954). Tierney lost out on the part when he demanded more money than was offered. Subsequently, Rod Steiger played Charlie, and won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. Accepting the part likely would have revitalized Tierney's career, at least in the short-term.
Never married but has a daughter Elizabeth.
Irish-American.
His Father was a Police Officer.
Was considered for the role of Perry White in Superman (1978).
1996 Cauliflower Alley Club Reel Member Inductee.
Was considered for the role of Gillespie in In the Heat of the Night (1967).
Became a seven decade actor with a sole credit in a 2000 film appearance.
Was considered for the title role in Joe (1970).
Uncle of actor Terence Tierney.
Personal Quotes (1)
[during a 1987 interview] "I haven't had a drink in, oh, five years now. I finally wised up. I'd say it was about time. Heck, I threw away about seven careers through drink."

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Lawrence Tierney Obituary

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Lawrence Tierney, 82, Actor Known for Tough-Guy Roles
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MARCH 2, 2002

Lawrence Tierney, the veteran actor and leading man of B movies whose tough-guy characters in the 1940's and 50's were often mirrors of his own troubled life, died here on Tuesday. He was 82.
In his 80 or so films he played many gangster roles. He is probably best known for the title role in the 1945 B-movie classic ''Dillinger'' and as the leader of a group of killers in Quentin Tarantino's 1992 crime drama, ''Reservoir Dogs.''
In the 1950's, he was arrested many times on charges related to drunken brawls at bars and parties.
Mr. Tierney was born in Brooklyn. As a star member of his high school track team, he earned a scholarship to Manhattan College but dropped out after two years and traveled around the country while working odd jobs.
In 1943 RKO studios signed him to a contract when a talent scout spotted him among members of the American-Irish Theater. He soon landed supporting roles in films like ''The Ghost Ship'' and ''The Falcon Out West.'' Stardom came in 1945 with ''Dillinger.''
That role led him to play other tough-guy characters -- good and bad -- in movies like ''San Quentin,'' ''The Devil Thumbs a Ride,'' ''Born to Kill'' and ''Kill or Be Killed.''
He also played the bad guy who caused the train wreck in Cecil B. DeMille's 1952 best-picture Oscar winner, ''The Greatest Show on Earth.''
Mr. Tierney's legal run-ins damaged his career. Throughout the 1960's and 70's, he was able to get only small parts in movies.
In the 1980's he tried to rekindle his career by being a guest star on television shows like ''Star Trek: The Next Generation,'' ''Remington Steele,'' ''Fame'' and ''Hunter.'' He also had a recurring role on ''Hill Street Blues.''

Mr. Tierney is survived by a daughter, Elizabeth Tierney, of Park City, Utah.

Other Records of Lawrence Tierney

1919 - 2002 World Events

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In 1919, in the year that Lawrence Tierney was born, Indian lawyer Mahatma Gandhi initiated the Satyagraha campaigns, beginning the nonviolent resistance movement against British rule of India. Satyagraha means "holding onto truth" and the campaign for India independence, which was eventually obtained, called for "self-suffering" rather than inflicting suffering (i.e., violence) on others.

In 1923, he was only 4 years old when on August 2, President Warren G. Harding died in office, apparently of a heart attack. He was staying at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco after completing a nationwide tour. Suffering from cramps, indigestion, a fever and shortness of breath, his doctor thought he had food poisoning. After several days of being ill, he suddenly shuddered, slumped over, and died. There were rumors of foul play (some thought that his wife had poisoned him because of his affairs) but no evidence has ever been found.

In 1943, Lawrence was 24 years old when on June 20th through June 22nd, the Detroit Race Riot erupted at Belle Isle Park. The rioting spread throughout the city (made worse by false rumors of attacks on blacks and whites) and resulted in the deployment of 6,000 Federal troops. 34 people were killed, (25 of them black) - mostly by white police or National Guardsmen, 433 were wounded (75 percent of them black) and an estimated $2 million of property was destroyed. The same summer, there were riots in Beaumont, Texas and Harlem, New York.

In 1958, when he was 39 years old, on March 24th, Elvis Presley was inducted into the United States Army. Although he could have served in Special Services as an entertainer, he chose to become a regular soldier. Almost everyone thought it would be the end of his career - it wasn't.

In 1992, when he was 73 years old, on April 29th, riots began in Los Angeles after the "Rodney King" verdict was issued. Four LAPD officers had been accused of using excessive force (assault) on African-American Rodney King, who had been stopped for drunk driving. The beating had been videotaped. Their acquittal sparked a 6 day riot in Los Angeles.

Other Biographies

Other Lawrence Tierneys

Lawrence J Tierney
Born: around 1921
Massachusetts, United States
Lawrence J Tierney
Born: around 1921
Texas, United States
Lawrence Tierney
1850 - 1881
Ararat Asy, Australia
Lawrence Tierney
Apr 27, 1952 - Feb 26, 1964
Lawrence Tierney
around 1846 - Apr 22, 1892
Lawrence Tierney
around 1891  - Mar 25, 1891
Lawrence Tierney
Nov 9, 1895 - July 1967
New York, New York
Lawrence A Tierney
Nov 3, 1920 - December 1987
Lawrence James Tierney
Feb 22, 1903 - Mar 5, 1966
Saint Paul, MN
Lawrence Tierney
Aug 21, 1891 - February 1964
CA
Lawrence J Tierney
Apr 1, 1908 - Dec 1, 1999
Omaha, NE
Lawrence Michael Tierney
May 12, 1949 - Feb 8, 2011
Austin, Texas
Lawrence Tierney
Jan 29, 1926 - October 1981
Chesterton, Indiana
Lawrence Tierney
Dec 20, 1894 - October 1966
Dayton, Ohio
Lawrence Tierney
Feb 9, 1922 - September 1985
Lawrence H Tierney
Feb 24, 1920 - Aug 11, 2002
Springfield, OH
Lawrence Tierney
Apr 29, 1906 - March 1972
Bluefield, West Virginia
Lawrence Tierney
Sep 13, 1894 - November 1972
Reading, PA

Other Tierneys

Dennis Tierney
Jun 4, 1912 - December 1968
Brooklyn, NY
Ruth Tierney
Jan 29, 1916 - December 1982
Springfield, PA
George Tierney
Oct 19, 1905 - Oct 6, 1992
Hendersonville, NC
Evelyn Tierney
Jan 17, 1911 - May 7, 1988
New York, NY
Mark Tierney
Mar 31, 1912 - December 1977
Plattsburgh, NY
Rita M Tierney
May 6, 1923 - Oct 20, 1989
Bronx, NY
W J Tierney
Dec 14, 1921 - January 1992
Grand Island, FL
Thomas Tierney
Apr 16, 1902 - February 1968
Yonkers, NY
Anna Tierney
May 21, 1911 - March 1980
Charles Tierney
Jul 24, 1930 - July 1970
Thomas J Tierney
Sep 1, 1937 - Apr 11, 2002
West Nyack, NY
Florence A Tierney
Jun 16, 1941 - May 22, 2003
Yonkers, NY
Robert P Tierney
Sep 18, 1941 - Jul 11, 2008
Yonkers, NY
Michael Tierney
Oct 18, 1940 - Aug 12, 2011
Old Hickory, TN
Norah Tierney
Jul 4, 1897 - January 1974
Maspeth, NY
Margaret Tierney
Aug 2, 1910 - October 1978
Bronx, NY
Dorothy J Tierney
Feb 7, 1910 - May 13, 2004
Goleta, CA
William M Tierney
Oct 6, 1899 - Jun 30, 1988
Short Hills, NJ
Joseph W Tierney
Sep 30, 1915 - Sep 2, 1997
Allegany, NY
Seraphine Tierney
Jun 6, 1879 - February 1976
Jersey City, NJ

Other Bios

Rose M Neu
Mar 27, 1903 - Feb 24, 1993
Massapequa Park, NY
Morris Heller
Apr 26, 1892 - December 1968
Miami Beach, FL
Lawrence Ostergard
Feb 2, 1898 - November 1975
Miami, FL
John Shu
Oct 10, 1898 - October 1985
New York, NY
Thomas Angelo Caruso
Sep 21, 1918 - Feb 14, 2008
Glendale, CA
Bessie Chalock
Nov 30, 1899 - November 1976
West Hollywood, CA
Sid Jacobs
Aug 17, 1911 - June 1976
Los Angeles, CA
Frances Davidson
Sep 11, 1919 - January 1974
Michael Destio
May 5, 1904 - Oct 18, 1992
Bay Shore, NY
E P Fink
Jul 20, 1920 - Aug 12, 1998
Islip, NY
Joseph Moll
Aug 30, 1897 - August 1963
New York
Ann Dallegro
Jul 15, 1911 - November 1982
Sanford, FL
Domenico Antignani
Jun 16, 1901 - June 1970
Richmond Hill, NY
Michael Martino
Sep 17, 1913 - Mar 22, 1995
Hicksville, NY
Bessie Holden
Oct 29, 1900 - January 1967
Brooklyn, NY
Howard E Simpson
Aug 26, 1918 - Feb 27, 1989
Brooklyn, NY
Warner Burch
Oct 23, 1921 - June 1981
John J Odonnell
Sep 23, 1920 - Jul 20, 1999
North Brunswick, NJ
Vincent J Ippolito
Jun 17, 1918 - Mar 2, 2001
East Meadow, NY
Anthony Gallo
Nov 27, 1917 - Sep 12, 1997
Staten Island, NY
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