Welcome to the official Lawrence Tierney website

Welcome to the official Lawrence Tierney website.

Lawrence Tierney was born March 15, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York.

Larry’s career as an actor began in 1943 at RKO pictures and spanned over 50 years until his death in 2002.

On this website you will find pictures, videos, audio recordings, movie clips, stories, press clippings, DVD’s, memorabilia, news, and more.


“Tough Guy” by Laura Wagner – Could a Lawrence Tierney biography be in the works?

Tough Guy by Laura Wagner

Tough Guy by Laura Wagner

In the last few weeks classic movie writer Laura Wagner has released an excellent article about Lawrence Tierney in the magazine “Films of the Golden Age” issue #83.

The article, titled “Tough Guy,” is very extensive (32 pages) and has great photos along with stories about Larry’s film and television roles and raucous personal life. The article also chronicles a never ending crime blotter of Lawrence Tierney’s problems with the law.

For some people this may be hard to stomach. But if that’s the case then you didn’t know Lawrence Tierney!

Although Larry was a great guy when sober, his problems with alcohol and violence lasted for decades and were chronicled publicly in newspaper and gossip columns of the day. The result is a laundry list of barroom brawls, petty crimes, dust ups with cops, driving under the influence, choking cab drivers, arrests, bail, 6 month jail stints, apologies, promises, relapses, sugar bowl head busting, door kicking, girlfriend stalking, jaw breaking, whiskey induced real life nightmares, starring Tierney, that culminate in a “shots fired” incident with a .357 magnum that landed Tierney in jail while making Reservoir Dogs.

It was too much for some of Larry’s friends. One 24 year old woman (a girlfriend of Tierney’s in the mid-1970’s) chose to jump out a window and commit suicide rather than entertain another night of drinking with Mr. Tierney!

For you die hard Lawrence Tierney fans, toughen up. And don’t kill the messenger.

Tierney is Laura Wagner’s favorite actor of all time. The article is a MUST read for anyone interested in learning more about Lawrence Tierney’s life. And while we are not sure if Laura Wagner will be writing a Lawrence Tierney biography, she has our 100% support.

The article chronicles Tierney’s life from his early career in 1943 to his death in February 2002.

If you would like a copy of the magazine check your newsstands.

You can also email the publisher Carol Peterson at:


or you can send a check or money order for $6 to:

Films of the Golden Age
301 East 3rd. St.
Muscatine, IA 52761

Great work Laura!

Please keep us posted with what you are up to next…


Paris Sweater Heist Foiled By Frogs

Being a member of Hollywood’s elite comes with it’s perks. Actors generally have a lot of free time and money to burn in between projects. When not discreetly crashing a party held by Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher in Los Angeles, Lawrence Tierney could be found shoplifting in Paris.

Did we say shoplifting? Yes that is correct. Having had more than a few years between projects, Lawrence Tierney, by 1967 was living in Paris doing French language voice-overs for American films, or English language voice-overs for French movies, or both.

Not to be outdone by his Hollywood counterparts, Mr. Tierney was known to shoplift in many of the finer districts of Paris. On this occasion in 1967, the heist of a sweater was foiled by a frog with a stern disliking of this Hollywood actor’s method of inspection.

Paris heist 1967

Paris heist 1967

As the article states, Tierney “ripped a tag from a sweater and stuffed it under his jacket” to which the actor explained he “intended to examine the article by the light of the door and had no intention of stealing it.”

His story makes perfect non-sense. But only if you knew Tierney personally would you get the joke.

In 1984, while re-introducing himself to Hollywood through a national Excedrin commercial, Larry had a lawsuit pending against Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City from which he would eventually receive a $15,000 settlement. Clearly the Saks employees were delusional when they accused Tierney of trying to steal a sweater. After handcuffing him to a chair in the basement for two hours while awaiting police, Tierney filed suit. But this time he was in luck. His methods had improved. He had a receipt.

Whether or not Tierney could afford to purchase things is not the point. Shoplifting for Tierney was a joy unto itself. Every item stolen was a mini-heist that had Tierney feeling a little like a gangster again. If you were ever a friend of Larry’s you know that simply giving Larry a ride to the store could have you embroiled in a liquor store heist of cookies and cough syrup with you cast as his getaway driver accomplice.

Ironically, Tierney would play a security guard that arrests Bart Simpson for stealing in an episode of the The Simpsons many years later.

In the case of the foiled Paris heist, Tierney would receive a one month suspended sentence and a fine of $30. Not a bad rap for a life of crime.

This press clipping is dated February 28, 1967 and is from the El Paso Herald Post in El Paso, Texas. The text of the article can be found below:


Paris, Feb 28 – American Film Actor Lawrence Tierney, 48, today received a one month suspended sentence and was fined $30 for shoplifting.

The prosecution charged Tierney was stopped by a store detective in a Paris department store last Jan 6 after the actor allegedly ripped a tag from a sweater and stuffed it under his jacket.

The actor told the court he intended to examine the article only by the light of day near the door and that he had no intention of stealing it.