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July 4, 2022

30 Handsome Portrait Photos of Lawrence Tierney in the 1940s and ’50s

Born 1919 in Brooklyn, New York, American actor Lawrence Tierney is best known for his many screen portrayals of mobsters and tough guys in a career that spanned over 50 years. His roles mirrored his own frequent brushes with the law.

Tierney’s breakthrough role was starring as 1930s bank robber John Dillinger in 1945’s Dillinger, made for the King Brothers and Monogram Pictures, which borrowed him from RKO. Advertised as a tale “written in bullets, blood, and blondes”, Dillinger was initially banned from theaters in Chicago and other cities where the gangster had operated. A low-budget production that cost $60,000 to make, Dillinger nevertheless proved popular, with Tierney being characterized as “memorably menacing”.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Tierney also had guest roles in many television series, including Naked City, The Detectives, New York Confidential, Man with a Camera, Adventures in Paradise, Peter Gunn, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, Follow the Sun, Bus Stop, The Lloyd Bridges Show, and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

Tierney died in 2002 in his sleep of pneumonia in a Los Angeles nursing home, where he had been residing for nearly two years, aged 82. In 2005, film critic David Kehr of The New York Times described “the hulking Tierney” as “not so much an actor as a frightening force of nature”.

Take a look at these vintage photos to see portraits of a young and handsome Lawrence Tierney in the 1940s and 1950s.


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