SELF-PORTRAIT by Gene with Mickey Herskowitz Tierney
Kirkus Star


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Gene Tierney, conventional to a fault, ""wanted everything to be nice""--innocently, during her privileged childhood and early Broadway and Hollywood breaks; then desperately, as she became the victim of feelings she couldn't confront. The Fox girl so prized because she didn't make waves was to find herself ""drowning""-mentally ill--but until she acknowledged her ""weakness"" years later, it was business as usual, degeneratively. Hollywood hoopla is subsidiary to Gene Tierney's evergracious but disorderly account of her disappointments: in her father, for moral and financial betrayal; in her rocky marriage to Oleg Cassini; in ""the unsound birth"" of their retarded daughter; in liaisons with Aly Khan and Jack Kennedy. Escapes into sleep and delusion preceded the trip to window-ledge (the only scene exploited here, for dramatic opening effect) that led to her hospitalization and eventual mendlng at the Menninger Clinic. She praises its therapeutic environment and inveighs against the shock-treatments to which she was subjected elsewhere; her recoveryprocess and reflections on a condition that she now attributes in large part to chemical predisposition are sources worth her sharing. Propriety must have discouraged her from sharing, more and in ""My Favorite Role"" as the real-life wife of ""solid citizen"" Howard Lee, she's as proper as ever. Also, nice.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1979
Publisher: Wyden--dist. by Simon & Schuster