Lawrence Tierney
American actor
Lawrence Tierney
Lawrence Tierney was an American actor, known for his many screen portrayals of mobsters and hardened criminals, which mirrored his own frequent brushes with the law. Commenting on the DVD release of a Tierney film in 2005, a New York Times critic observed, "The hulking Tierney was not so much an actor as a frightening force of nature."
Biography
Lawrence Tierney's personal information overview.
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70s Rewind: DILLINGER - Twitch
Google News - over 5 years
Even before the Milius version, however, the Dillinger saga had been told at least five times before, the first coming in 1945, with Lawrence Tierney as the gangster. Later incarnations included Ralph Meeker (on TV) and Nick Adams (as Young Dillinger
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Google News article
On This Day in History: August 9 Prison, Parole and a Return To Fame - Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Google News - over 5 years
A sequel, The Steel Cage ('54), co-starred another Brooklynite, Lawrence Tierney. Kelly suffered a fatal heart attack on November 6, 1956. Few actors could have survived the trauma, publicity and heartbreak Paul Kelly withstood in the late 1920s
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Google News article
A Beginner's Guide to… Quentin Tarantino - Front Row Reviews
Google News - over 5 years
Here, the audience is shown the events before and after a botched diamond heist, though not the heist itself through an ensemble cast of Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, and Lawrence Tierney
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Google News article
La Cinémathèque ne perd pas le noir - Ecrans
Google News - over 5 years
Ce n'est pas tout à fait le cas d'un autre favori du duo de programmateurs : Lawrence Tierney, « the toughest guy on earth » (« le plus coriace du monde »), comme le surnomme Muller. L'un de ses derniers rôles l'a rendu célèbre auprès des moins de 30
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La Cinémathèque ne perd pas le noir - Libération
Google News - over 5 years
Ce n'est pas tout à fait le cas d'un autre favori du duo de programmateurs : Lawrence Tierney, «the toughest guy on earth» («le plus coriace du monde»), comme le surnomme Muller. L'un de ses derniers rôles l'a rendu célèbre auprès des moins de 30 ans
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Google News article
Dread Central: Six Sites Remember the Class of 1981 - Dread Central
Google News - over 5 years
Sure, there's the painfully dull traipse through Lawrence Tierney's home occurring at the midway point, but there's nothing else hindering the film beyond that unfortunate setback. To make up for it, there are terrific moments like when a young girl
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New On Netflix Instant: Reservoir Dogs - Heavy.com
Google News - over 5 years
You already know the story of Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr. Blue (Eddie Bunker), Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino), Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn) and Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney),
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Google News article
5 Films and the Hodgepodge Teams That Made Them Work - JustPressPlay
Google News - over 5 years
Joe Cabot's Crew (Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Lawrence Tierney, Tim Roth) from Reservoir Dogs They are the meanest and most dangerous bank heist crew there is and, better yet, none of them has real names
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Hey, Watch It! Cinematheque beefs up its summer schedule with Belmondo, family ... - Wisconsin State Journal (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
And the Cinematheque has one more film that didn't fit any of the series: "Singing in the Dark" (Wednesday, July 13), a 1956 drama starring Joey Adams and Lawrence Tierney that was one of the first American films to deal with a Holocaust survivor
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Critic's Choice: New DVD's
NYTimes - about 11 years
Wedding Crashers Uncorked Edition American Pie Band Camp The new year begins with two comedies of caddishness, the ''Uncorked Edition'' of last summer's hit comedy ''Wedding Crashers'' (with eight minutes of new material) and the direct-to-video ''American Pie: Band Camp,'' the fourth entry in the series of teenage sex comedies that began,
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NYTimes article
Critic's Choice: New DVD's
NYTimes - over 11 years
Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 2 Warner Home Video's new set highlights two of the quintessential stars of the dark, despairing thrillers that haunted American theaters in the aftermath of World War II. In very different ways, both Lawrence Tierney, the swaggering Brooklyn native who specialized in cold-hearted killers in films like Max
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NYTimes article
Philip Yordan Dies at 88; Won an Oscar for Writing
NYTimes - almost 14 years
Philip Yordan, an Oscar-winning writer, died on March 24 in San Diego, his family said. He was 88. Although he was most active in movies, Mr. Yordan's breakthrough came on Broadway in the 1940's with his play ''Anna Lucasta.'' It was the first Broadway production to feature an all-black cast in a drama unrelated to racial issues. Similar to Eugene
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NYTimes article
Lawrence Tierney, 82, Actor Known for Tough-Guy Roles
NYTimes - almost 15 years
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
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NYTimes article
FILM; Off the Hippies: 'Joe' and the Chaotic Summer of '70
NYTimes - over 16 years
THE regime of the summer blockbuster dictates that entertainment build the largest possible consensus. The notion that a movie might succeed by polarizing audiences seems absurd. Thirty summers ago, however, the landscape was quite different. The most talked-about and likely the most profitable movie to open that season was a cheaply made political
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NYTimes article
AT THE MOVIES
NYTimes - about 19 years
Separating Fact, Fiction and Film In ''Deconstructing Harry,'' Woody Allen plays Harry Block, a blocked writer with, like any character in a Woody Allen film, an avalanche of creative, neurotic and erotic obsessions. ''People confuse the details of Harry's life with my life, when I'm nothing like Harry,'' Mr. Allen (above) insisted in a telephone
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NYTimes article
Critics' Choices; Artful Activities for Summer's Wane
NYTimes - over 23 years
Video If you crossbred "Glengarry Glen Ross" with "Goodfellas" and sloshed on several buckets of blood, you would have a movie that resembles "Reservoir Dogs," last year's gripping, widely praised gangster film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The story about a Los Angeles jewelry story robbery that goes spectacularly wrong, could be
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NYTimes article
Home Video
NYTimes - almost 24 years
As movie directors tell it, in the beginning there was the rectangle. Films are shot for movie screens with a width-to-height ratio of around 16 to 9. Collectors of films on video tape or laser disk often want that rectangle retained when the movies are shown on the more nearly square television screen, with a ratio of about 4 to 3. Thus some films
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NYTimes article
Review/Film; A Caper Goes Wrong, Resoundingly
NYTimes - over 24 years
It's been an unusually good year for the discovery of first-rate new American film directors: Barry Primus ("Mistress"), Nick Gomez ("Laws of Gravity"), Allison Anders ("Gas Food Lodging") and Carl Franklin ("One False Move"), among others. Now add to the list the name of Quentin Tarantino, the young writer and director of "Reservoir Dogs," a
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NYTimes article
HOME VIDEO/NEW RELEASES
NYTimes - almost 29 years
LEAD: Maurice Starring James Wilby, Hugh Grant, Denholm Elliott, Ben Kingsley, Rupert Graves, Judy Parfitt, Billie Whitelaw, Simon Callow, Phoebe Nicholls. Directed by James Ivory. 1987. Lorimar Home Video. 139 minutes. $79.95. Rated R. Maurice Starring James Wilby, Hugh Grant, Denholm Elliott, Ben Kingsley, Rupert Graves, Judy Parfitt, Billie
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NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Lawrence Tierney
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2002
    Age 82
    Tierney died of pneumonia at age 82, at a Los Angeles nursing home on February 26, 2002, where he had been residing for over two years.
    More Details Hide Details He left one daughter, Elizabeth Tierney of Park City, Utah. Tierney's younger brothers were actors Scott Brady, star of the 1959–1961 syndicated western series Shotgun Slade, and Edward Tierney, who subsequently left acting for the construction business. His nephew is film director and actor Michael Tierney.
  • 1994
    Age 74
    That same year, his long-term agent, Don Gerler, recounted over Tierney's continuing troubles with the law: "A few years back 1994 I was still bailing him out of jail.
    More Details Hide Details He was 75-years-old and still the toughest guy in the bar!" Tierney's numerous arrests for being drunk and disorderly and jail terms for assault on civilians and lawmen alike took a toll on his career. He was an admitted alcoholic who tried to go sober in 1982 after having a mild stroke, once observing during a 1987 interview that he "threw away about seven careers through drink". In just seven years between 1944 and 1951, Tierney was arrested over a dozen times for brawling, frequently for drunkenness. His legal troubles included a 90-day jail sentence he served from August to November 1951 for breaking a New York college student’s jaw. At the time of an October 1958 arrest for fighting two policemen outside a Manhattan bar, the New York Times reported he had been arrested six times in California and five in New York on similar charges. In January 1973, he was stabbed in a bar fight on the West Side of Manhattan.
  • 1988
    Age 68
    In 1988, Tierney played a tough holodeck gangster in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and in 1990 had a memorable turn by guest starring as Elaine Benes’s father Alton Benes in the Seinfeld episode "The Jacket".
    More Details Hide Details His performance was brilliant, and they contemplated making him a recurring character. However, when he was caught stealing a knife from the set, and later pulling it on Jerry in a threatening fashion, it became clear that he would not be invited back. In 1991, Quentin Tarantino cast him in a supporting role as crime lord Joe Cabot in Reservoir Dogs. The success of the film bookended Tierney's career in playing gangsters. In an homage to his first starring role, Tierney reports that one of his henchmen was "dead as Dillinger". During production, Tierney's off-screen antics both amused and disturbed the cast and crew. Tarantino later claimed that Tierney was very difficult to work with as he would frequently forget his lines. He also stated that he almost got into a fistfight with Tierney at one point. During late in the filming, Tierney began complaining about working in the hot and humid warehouse scenes and took out his attitude on another actor. When Tarantino told Tierney to "tone it down" with his behavior, Tierney directed his anger at Tarantino and physically shoved him in response. Tarantino responded by backing away from Tierney until his anger subsided.
  • 1985
    Age 65
    From 1985 to 1987, Tierney made a number of guest appearances as Desk Sergeant Jenkins on the night shift on Hill Street Blues, uttering the last line of the series’ final episode when he answered the station house’s front desk phone, "Hill Street."
    More Details Hide Details Tierney had a more substantial supporting role as the father of protagonist Ryan O’Neal in Norman Mailer’s movie adaptation of his own novel Tough Guys Don’t Dance (1987). He also played a baseball-bat wielding bar owner in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s Silver Bullet.
    In 1985, he had a small speaking role as the chief of New York City police in John Huston’s Prizzi’s Honor.
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  • 1984
    Age 64
    In 1984, he appeared in a national campaign of an Excedrin commercial playing a construction worker.
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  • 1983
    Age 63
    Tierney returned to Hollywood in December 1983 and, over the next 12 years, resumed a fairly successful acting career in film and television.
    More Details Hide Details He guest-starred on a number of television shows such as Remington Steele, Fame, Hunter, Seinfeld, L.A. Law, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and The Simpsons.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1976
    Age 56
    He occasionally found film work, appearing in a bit part as a security guard in Otto Preminger’s Such Good Friends (1971), in Andy Warhol’s Bad in 1976 (which he later described as "a terrible experience—unprofessional"), as well as small roles in Cassavetes’ Gloria (1980) and The Prowler (1981).
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  • 1975
    Age 55
    In June 1975, Tierney was questioned by New York City police in connection with the apparent suicide of a 24-year-old woman who had jumped from the window of her high-rise apartment.
    More Details Hide Details Tierney told police, "I had just gotten there, and she just went out the window." He was never formally arrested or charged with the young woman's death.
  • 1970
    Age 50
    According to the book The Films of John G. Avildsen: Rocky, The Karate Kid and Other Underdogs, Tierney was supposed to have played the role of Joe Curran in Avildsen’s 1970 hit Joe but due to an incident two days before principal photography had begun, when he was arrested for assaulting a bartender who refused to serve him any more liquor, he was fired.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1952
    Age 32
    A turn as the villain who caused a train wreck in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1952 best-picture Oscar-winner, The Greatest Show on Earth earned a request by the director of Paramount Pictures to put Tierney under contract, but the idea was dropped when the actor was arrested for fighting in a bar.
    More Details Hide Details As film offers dried up, Tierney returned to the stage, playing Duke Mantee in a touring version of The Petrified Forest alongside Franchot Tone and Betsy von Furstenberg. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he appeared in only bit parts in movies as a result of fallout from continued brushes with the law. He continued to get arrested and land in jail for either drunk and disorderly and/or assault and battery charges. Among his film roles was a small part in John Cassavetes' A Child is Waiting (1963). He made television appearances in such shows as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. After several years of living in France, Tierney returned to New York City in the late 1950s, but his troubles with the law continued. In New York, he worked as a bartender and construction worker, and drove a horse-drawn carriage in Central Park.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1947
    Age 27
    In 1947 he played the lead in two films that have since gained cult followings, a suave but murderous conman in Robert Wise’s Born to Kill and a homicidal hitch-hiker in Felix E. Feist’s The Devil Thumbs a Ride.
    More Details Hide Details The New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther condemned Born to Kill as "not only morally disgusting but an offense to a normal intellect." He decried Tierney "as the bold, bad killer whose ambition is to ‘fix it so’s I can spit in anybody's eye,’" being "given outrageous license to demonstrate the histrionics of nastiness." More recent critics and scholars have viewed the film as a significant film noir and excellent example of RKO’s approach to the genre. Tierney later maintained he did not like playing violent roles: I resented those pictures they put me in. I never thought of myself as that kind of guy. I thought of myself as a nice guy who wouldn’t do rotten things. I hated that character so much but I had to do it for the picture. Tierney had a more sympathetic role as a man wrongly convicted of murder in Richard Fleischer’s Bodyguard (1948), but by the 1950s his well-publicized off-screen brawls began to hurt his career and diminish his parts. He received fourth billing in Joseph Pevney’s Shakedown (1950), and had a supporting role reprising Jesse James in Best of the Badmen (1951).
  • 1945
    Age 25
    His breakthrough was starring as famous 1930s bank robber John Dillinger in 1945’s Dillinger.
    More Details Hide Details Advertised as a tale "written in bullets, blood, and blondes", Dillinger was initially banned in Chicago and other cities where the felon had operated. A low-budget film costing just $60,000 to make, Dillinger nevertheless proved popular, with Tierney being described as "memorably menacing" in the title role. RKO assigned him other tough-guy roles, including Jesse James in Badman's Territory (1946), a reformed prison inmate in San Quentin (1946), and an ex-Marine falsely accused of murder in Step by Step (1946).
  • 1943
    Age 23
    He was spotted there in 1943 by an RKO talent scout and given a film contract.
    More Details Hide Details Early in his career, Tierney appeared in supporting roles in B movies, including The Ghost Ship (1943), The Falcon Out West (1944), Youth Runs Wild (1944), and Back to Bataan (1945).
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1919
    Born
    Born on March 15, 1919.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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