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Lana Turner

Lana Turner

American actress

Lana Turner (/ˈlɑːnə/ LAH-nə;[a] born Julia Jean Turner; February 8, 1921 – June 29, 1995) was an American actress. Over the course of her nearly 50-year career, she achieved fame as both a pin-up model and a film actress, as well as for her highly publicized personal life. In the mid-1940s, she was one of the highest-paid actresses in the United States, and one of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's (MGM) biggest stars, with her films earning more than $50 million for the studio during her 18-year contract with them. Turner is frequently cited as a popular culture icon of Hollywood glamour and a screen legend of classical Hollywood cinema.

Born to working-class parents in northern Idaho, Turner spent her childhood there before her family relocated to San Francisco. In 1936, when Turner was 15, she was discovered while purchasing a soda at the Top Hat Malt Shop in Hollywood. At 16, she was signed to a personal contract by Warner Bros. director Mervyn LeRoy, who took her with him when he transferred to MGM in 1938. She soon attracted attention by playing the role of a murder victim in her film debut, LeRoy's They Won't Forget (1937), and she later moved into supporting roles, often appearing as an ingénue.

During the early 1940s, Turner established herself as a leading lady and one of MGM's top stars, appearing in such films as the film noir Johnny Eager (1941); the musical Ziegfeld Girl (1941); the horror film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941); and the romantic war drama Somewhere I'll Find You (1942), one of several films in which she starred opposite Clark Gable. Turner's reputation as a glamorous femme fatale was enhanced by her critically acclaimed performance in the noir The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), a role which established her as a serious dramatic actress. Her popularity continued through the 1950s in dramas such as The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and Peyton Place (1957), the latter for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Intense media scrutiny surrounded the actress in 1958 when her teenage daughter Cheryl Crane stabbed Turner's lover at the time Johnny Stompanato to death in their home during a domestic struggle. Her next film, Imitation of Life (1959), proved to be one of the greatest commercial successes of her career, and her starring role in Madame X (1966) earned her a David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress. Turner spent most of the 1970s in semi-retirement, making her final film appearance in 1980. In 1982, she accepted a much-publicized and lucrative recurring guest role in the television series Falcon Crest, which afforded the series notably high ratings. In 1992, Turner was diagnosed with throat cancer and died of the disease three years later at age 74.

Timeline

June 1995
Turner dies of throat cancer in Los Angeles at the age of 75.
1985
The film she shot in 1978, Witches’ Brew, is released.
1983
Lana publishes an autobiography, Lana: The Lady, The Legend, The Truth.
1982
Begins appearing on the tv show, Falcon Crest.
October 25, 1981
The National Film Society presents Lana with an Artistry in Cinema award
1978
Lana shoots Witches’ Brew, a remake of the 1944 horror film Weird Woman.
1962
Lana and Fred May divorce.
1960
Lana marries Fred May.
1958
Lana is nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Peyton Place.
1958
Her daughter Cheryl murders Lana’s boyfriend, gangster Johnny Stompanato. It is ruled a justifiable homicide.

Patents

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Lana Turner Biography

Web

March 28, 2020

Lana Turner, Joan Rivers--1982 TV Interview

Web

December 20, 2015

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