|Birth: ||Oct. 15, 1943|
District Of Columbia, USA
|Death: ||Sep. 11, 2010|
New Jersey, USA
Gene Tierney's first marriage to Oleg Cassini in 1941, they had their first daughter Antoinette Daria (known simply as Daria).
Tierney contracted rubella during an appearance at the Hollywood Canteen while she was pregnant with Daria. Daria was born premature and required a complete blood transfusion due to Tierney's illness. Daria was also deaf, partially blind, and had severe mental retardation that developed. Tierney's close friend, Howard Hughes, paid Daria's medical expenses in the beginning.
This may have been the impetus for Tierney's future problems with mental health–Daria's condition provoked intense stress on the family, and after the birth of their second daughter Tina in 1948, Tierney's marriage to Cassini ended in divorce. Some years later and after a series of breakdowns, she was diagnosed with manic depression–today known as bipolar disorder.
Daria was, incidentally, a beautiful child. Her bone structure was exquisite, her coloring lovely. Before she was born, Gene spent a good deal of time wondering about a name that would form a happy combination with "Cassini." Gene was positive that she was going to have a son, but, in order to be prepared, she cast about for a few feminine names. "Toni" was her choice for several months. She told friends, "If the baby should be a girl, and not particularly a good-looking person, I think that 'Toni Cassini' would still give her something to live up to—it's got charm." Upon hearing this, Gene's sister-in-law said, "If I ever have a daughter, I think I should like to call her 'Daria' after Oleg's great-grandmother. Isn't it a lovely name—the feminine of the olden Persian name, 'Darius.'"
Of Daria's Lifetime:
...One afternoon recently, Oleg and Gene decided to run down to the market to do a bit of last minute shopping: Oleg had been using the car only that morning and had placed the keys, he said positively, right there—on that table.
Yet they were gone. Miss Daria Cassini, aged two-and-one-half, was meandering around the room, humming and looking as innocent as possible. "Darling," said her mother suspiciously, "have you seen the keys?" "Keys?" repeated Daria, her great eyes big with wonder. "Keys?" She searched the house. Slowly she gravitated to the kitchen.
That gave Oleg an idea. Lifting the coffee pot, he shook it as Daria burst into delighted laughter. There were the keys! Life in the Cassini household is full of gaiety and laughter.
"I'm pregnant and you're not," laughed Gene, "so I'm stealing that name this instant—if I have a daughter." Having started life with a unique name Miss Daria also possesses an imaginative bit of jewelry. In the hospital where Daria was born, each infant was marked by a plastic bracelet on which its surname was set. Recently, Gene had this "Cassini" marker set in a larger gold band which can be extended from time to time as Daria's wrist grows. Gene brought Daria a set of phosphorescent pictures from New York. You've probably seen them, shedding their soft light in the darkness. These were hung in Daria's room and that night, theoretically after Daria had been asleep for an hour, Gene tiptoed into the nursery to find Miss Daria's eyes were wide and her manner was alert. "Darling, why aren't you asleep?" said Gene. "Why are you staying awake?" "To see," explained Daria, nodding toward the pictures.
Daria spent most of her life at the ELWYN, an institution for specially disabled in Vineland, NJ.
Daria played a small part in the movie "Bagnomaria" 1999.
Obituary, written by her sister, Christina "Tina" Cassini:
My loving sister Daria Cassini ended her journey on September 11, 2010 just prior to her 67th birthday, October 15th. She will always be remembered in the thoughts and prayers of our mother's and father's families (Gene Tierney Lee and Oleg Cassini) and in the hearts of my four children and six grandchildren and those who cared for her. A strictly intimate service will be held at a later date in Houston, Texas. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to ELWYN, 1667 East Landis Avenue, Vineland, NJ 08361 2942 so that other children and adults with challenges can be helped. Tina Cassini
She was interred on December 15, 2010.
Given her many health problems, it is nothing short of miraculous that she lived that long, an obvious testament to the care she was given throughout her life.
Oleg Cassini (1913 - 2006)
Gene Tierney (1920 - 1991)
Plot: Section E-1, Lot Number 040.5
Created by: R.C.
Record added: Mar 02, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 106085919