'I had no trouble playing any kind of a role,' Gene Tierney writes. 'My problems began when I had to be myself.' In Hollywood's golden age, everyone knew the starring roles Miss Tierney played in her 36 films: the unwashed Ellie May in 'Tobacco Road,' the demure Martha in 'Heaven can Wait;' her appearances opposite Clark Gable, Tyrone Power, Rex Harrison, Humphrey Bogart, Henry Fonda, and, best remmebered of all, as the haunting -- murdered? --beauty of the portrait painting in 'Laura,' one of the most televised films ever. Her rollercoaster marriage to fashion designer Oleg Cassini and her globe-trotting affair with Prince Aly Khan were public property. Word of her dates with billionaire Howard huges and a lighthearted ex - naval officer named Jack Kennedy circulated over the years. But the inside story of her greatest, most heart-wrenching role -- herself -- has never been told until right now. Outwardly living every woman's fantasies, she became an emotional invalid. Her marriage collapsed. Her romances failed. Her father became a cruel disappointment. Her first daughter was born deaf, blind, hopelessly retarded, At the crest of her career, Gene Tierny attempted suicide, suffered a nervous breakdown, and spent the next seven years in and out of sanatoriums. With candor, humor, and sometimes with anger, but never with self-pity or self-indulgence, she tells of her meteoric career, her long, slow, uneven recovery from 'the black tunnel of mental illness'; the struggles with her doctors, her treatments, her escape from confinement, her depressions, her mad impulses, herself, always herself...and finally on to a happy remarriage and tranquillity.