Birth Date: March 15, 1919
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York
Notable Films: Born to Kill, Prizzi’s Honor, Reservoir Dogs
Lawrence Tierney Biography:
Born in Brooklyn, New York, acting wasn’t always the obvious career choice for Tierney. He attended Boys High School in Brooklyn where he was a star athlete, winning awards for his prowess. He won an athletics scholarship to Manhattan College, but quit to work on the New York Aqueduct. After working an array of jobs, including a stint as a catalog model, Tierney joined Black Friars Theatre Group. It was here he was spotted by a talent scout from RKO Pictures and given a film contract.
After taking supporting roles in movies like The Ghost Ship (1943) and Back to Bataan (1945), Tierney got his breakthrough in the title role of crime film Dillinger (1945). He had a slew of iconic starring roles over the next few years, including the acclaimed noir film Born to Kill (1947). He was well-known for playing hard man roles but showed his range with more sympathetic roles in films like Bodyguard (1948).
Tierney had a lot of off-screen problems, including brawls and altercations with the law. He was arrested several times, and, in 1973 he was stabbed in a bar brawl. Tierney acted more sporadically later in his career and is best-known to modern audiences for his roles in The Prowler (1981), Silver Bullet (1985), and Reservoir Dogs (1992). After battling a stroke, and retiring from acting, Tierney died of pneumonia in 2002, at the age of 82.