Gene and Oleg.
After watching the movie Laura (1944) for the first time last night, I threw myself, as I do, full tilt into Gene Tierney research. Imagine my shock when I found out that she was married to the famed and fabled “Secretary of Style to the White House” Oleg Cassini. As it turns out, the two shared a very productive professional relationship throughout the course of their marriage, she the screen siren muse and he her costume designer for a number of movies including The Shanghai Gesture (1941), The Razor’s Edge (1946), and On The Riviera (1951). Tierney and Cassini were married on June 1, 1941. They eloped—she was 20, he was 28. Together they had two daughters, Daria and Christina. However productive their working relationship was during their eleven years of their marriage, their personal relationship was nothing short of tempestuous. Tierney spent most of her life depressed and suffering from mental illness after the birth of her first daughter, Daria, who was born disabled because of a bout of German measles the actress caught from a fan while she was pregnant. Not to mention the various men who were vying for Tierney’s attention during their marriage including Tyrone Power and Howard Hawks. Cassini was also a known playboy, which I’m sure didn’t help matters. Irony of all ironies, during a period of separation in the late 40s, Gene became particularly enamored with a WWII naval veteran by the name of John F. Kennedy. On the brink of his political career, Tierney and Kennedy had a brief flame. Cassini predicted its demise due to his being Catholic and her being Episcopalian. The romance ended, Jack married Jackie and Oleg and Gene reunited briefly before officially divorcing in 1952. At this point, Gene’s career was nearing its end and Oleg’s was beginning its ascent. Cassini, as you know, will have gone on to revolutionize American elegance as Jackie Kennedy’s appointed personal couturier. So not only do we have him to thank for the pill box hat but also for the store of looks worn by one of Hollywood’s most beautiful faces.
Gene and Oleg
Gene and Oleg
Gene and Oleg
Gene Tierney dressed by Oleg Cassini in On the Riviera, 1951
Gene Tierney dressed by Oleg Cassini and Ona Munson in The Shanghai Gesture, 1941
Gene Tierney dressed by Oleg Cassini and Rex Harrison in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. 1947
(L) Gene Tierney dressed by Oleg Cassini in The Matin Season, 1951. (R) Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney dressed by Oleg Cassini in Night and the City, 1950.
Gene Tierney dressed by Oleg Cassini in The Ghost and Mrs. Miur, 1947
Gene Tierney dressed by Oleg Cassini in The Razor's Edge, 1946
(L) Gene Tierney dressed by Oleg Cassini in The Razor's Edge, 1946. (R) Gene Tierney dressed by Oleg Cassini in The Shanghai Gesture, 1941.
José Ferrer and Gene Tierney dressed by Oleg Cassini in Whirlpool, 1949