This portrait of actress Gene Tierney is perhaps one of the most recognizable props in the history of film. It was created for the 1944 film Laura, and it actually plays a fairly important role in the film itself. Originally a painting of Tierney was created by the wife of the film’s director, Mamoilain. After a few weeks he was replaced with Otto Preminger, who did not feel the painting lived up to the mystery and allure that it required for the film. In order to fix the problem, Tierney was photographed by Frank Polony. The final chosen photo was enlarged and brushed over to give it the look of a painting.
The portrait and frame were reused again in the 1951 film On the Riviera. In 1954 the photo resurfaced again in Woman’s World, though it appears to be a smaller print from the photo shoot rather than the enlarged “painting” created for Laura.