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.
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.
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:
ACTOR TIERNEY IN PARIS COURT
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.