In June 1943, while pregnant with her first child, Gene Tierney contracted rubella during her only appearance at the Hollywood Canteen. Her daughter, Daria, was born prematurely in Washington, D.C., weighing only three pounds, two ounces and requiring a total blood transfusion. Because of Tierney’s illness, Daria was also deaf, partially blind with cataracts, and had severe mental retardation.
Tierney’s grief over Daria’s condition led to many years of depression and is believed to have triggered her bipolar disorder. Some time after Daria’s birth, Tierney learned from a fan who approached her for an autograph at a tennis party that the woman had sneaked out of quarantine while sick with rubella to meet Tierney at her only Hollywood Canteen appearance.
In her autobiography, Tierney related that after the woman had recounted her story, she just stared at her silently, then turned and walked away. She wrote, “After that I didn’t care whether ever again I was anyone’s favorite actress.”
Natalie Portman in Black Swan (2010)
Hedy Lamarr in Ecstasy (1933).