Lawrence Tierney (1919 - 2002)

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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."

Lawrence Tierney Biography & Family History

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Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California

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1919 - In the year that Lawrence Tierney was born, in January, Nebraska was the 36th state to ratify the 18th Amendment, making it the law of the land. The 18th Amendment established Prohibition - a law against the production, transport, and sale of alcohol. Private consumption and possession were not prohibited. Several months later, the Volstead Act was passed, creating laws to enforce the Amendment. Bootlegging and bathtub gin followed.

1942 - He was 23 years old when from January 7th through April 9th, the Battle of Bataan was fought in the Philippines. At the end of the battle, the U.S. and Filipino forces surrendered and a three-year occupation of the Philippines by Japan began. Between 60,000 and 80,000 American and Filipino soldiers surrendered and were marched around 60 to 69 miles - most were beaten, abused, or killed. Named the Bataan Death March, it was later declared to be a war crime.

1962 - When he was 43 years old, lasting from October 16th - 28th, the Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest that the United States and the Soviet Union came to nuclear war. The Soviet Union had been installing a nuclear missile base in Cuba. The United States established a blockade to stop the base from being completed. Through secret negotiations, war was averted: the Soviet Union agreed to dismantle their weapons in Cuba and the United States agreed to never invade Cuba and to dismantle weapons in Turkey and Italy.

1974 - By the time he was 55 years old, on July 30th, the House Judiciary Committee adopted three articles of impeachment against President Nixon. He was charged with obstruction of justice, failure to uphold laws, and the refusal to produce material subpoenaed by the committee. In order to avoid impeachment, Richard M. Nixon announced that he would resign on August 8th, the first President to do so.

1982 - Lawrence was 63 years old when on September 14th, Princess Grace of Monaco (American actress Grace Kelly), 52, died of injuries when her car plunged off a mountain road. Her 17 year old daughter, Stephanie, was also in the car and suffered serious injuries but recovered. It's believed that the accident was caused when Princess Grace, who was driving, had a mild stroke.

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Lawrence Tierney passed away on February 26, 2002 at 82 years old. No cause of death has been entered. He was born on March 15, 1919. We are unaware of information about Lawrence's family or relationships. We know that Lawrence Tierney had been residing in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California.

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