Henry Fonda and Gene Tierney, 1962
Gene Tierney, fresh off Broadway’s The Male Animal, was to star in her first motion picture, Fritz Lang’s The Return of Frank James (1940) with Henry Fonda. An inexperienced actress - and not yet 20 when filming began - Tierney was determined to do a great job. She learned her lines and impressed Henry Fonda.
When Tierney wasn’t talking in a scene, she had a tendency to keep her mouth slightly open. During one scene, Lang, thinking she was trying to upstage Fonda, snapped, “You little bitch! When you have no lines, keep your mouth shut.” Fonda came to Tierney’s defense, barking back at Lang, “Don’t you dare speak to that girl in that way!”
Tierney developed a crush on Fonda, but it ended when she visited the Fonda home and “I saw him, a happily married man, playing with his two small children, Jane and Peter.” [x]
Gene Tierney at the El Mocambo nightclub in Hollywood, California. 1941
Gene Tierney photographed by John Rawlings c. 1940s, scanned by me