Tierney exuded a patrician air and was strikingly attractive, causing some critics to suggest that her acting did not live up to her presence. But others found her a refreshingly direct actor, and she enjoyed continued success throughout the 1940s and 1950s in such movies as The Razor's Edge (1946); The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), in which she costarred with Rex Harrison; and The Left Hand of God (1955). While Tierney enjoyed professional success during her years as a screen star, tragedy struck in her personal life. In 1943, while married to designer Oleg Cassini, she gave birth to a severely brain-damaged daughter. She and Cassini had another daughter in 1948, but the couple divorced four years later.
In 1955 Tierney left Hollywood, suffering from stress and depression, and became a patient at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. She was determined to regain a happy life, and in 1960 she married W. Howard Lee, a Houston oil executive and the former husband of Hedy Lamarr. She joined Lee in Texas, where she lived for the next thirty-one years. After her marriage she made a few more movies, including Advise and Consent in 1962 and The Pleasure Seekers in 1965, but subsequently, with more than thirty movie credits to her name, she retired permanently from films. Tierney later made a few television appearances but spent most of her time traveling with her husband and participating in civic and charitable causes in Houston, a life she said was preferable to her years of Hollywood stardom. In 1979 her autobiography, Self-Portrait, was published by Wyden Books. Gene Tierney died of emphysema in Houston on November 6, 1991. She was preceded in death by her husband and was survived by her two daughters, four grandchildren, and one sister.
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