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Lawrence Tierney

Lawrence Tierney



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Also Known As: Died: February 26, 2002
Born: March 15, 1919 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Profession: Cast ... actor steel worker horse-drawn carriage driver bartender crane operator


"There is absolutely no light in his eyes," wrote author and poet Barry Gifford about actor Lawrence Tierney, an imposing lead and character actor in features from the dawn of film noir in the 1940s through the 1990s with gruff turns in "Reservoir Dogs" (1991), among countless other projects. In crime films like "Dillinger" (1945), "The Devil Thumbs a Ride" (1947) and "Born to Kill" (1947), Tierney possessed an air of implacable menace behind pale, narrow eyes, and fittingly, his characters seemed capable of the most senseless violence for purely sadistic reasons. Offscreen, Tierney cultivated a reputation for reckless behavior, including numerous run-ins with the law that torpedoed his career in the 1950s. By the early 1970s, he was driving a hansom cab in New York, but after gaining sobriety in the 1980s, he made an astonishing number of character turns in features and television, often as elderly but still dangerous criminals, cops and other streetwise types, most notably as the crusty crime boss in Quentin Tarantino's "Dogs." Still capable of making headlines for his irascibility in his seventh decade, Tierney remained one of Hollywood's most enduring tough guys simply by being himself.

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