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Lana Turner

Lana Turner

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The Three Musketeers DVD To the cry of "all for one and one for all" comes a version of the Dumas classic... more info $5.99was $19.98 Buy Now

Portrait In Black / Madame X (Double... Portrait In BlackLana Turner and Anthony Quinn star as an adulterous couple who... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

The Prodigal DVD The Biblical parable of the prodigal son inspires this sprawling Bible epic,... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Ziegfeld Girl DVD Nobody knew how to create a spectacular show-stopping number better than Busby... more info $5.99was $19.98 Buy Now

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)... John Garfield and Lana Turner give the performances of a lifetime in "The... more info $5.99was $19.98 Buy Now

The Sea Chase DVD American hero John Wayne plays a German in "The Sea Chase" (1955), a suspenseful... more info $5.99was $12.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Julia Jean Mildred Frances Turner Died: June 29, 1995
Born: February 8, 1920 Cause of Death: throat cancer
Birth Place: Wallace, Idaho, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In her reign as a movie goddess of the 1940s and early 1950s, Lana Turner came to crystallize the opulent heights to which show business could usher a small-town girl, as well as its darkest, most tragic and narcissistic depths. In her years as a top box office draw, she and longtime studio MGM forged her statuesque form into any number of pop cultural effigies: the stuff of both starry-eyed legend and tabloid-feeding frenzies; of coquettish sensuality to the G.I.'s of World War II; and later of smoldering elegance, a bedazzling glamour girl and the archetypal, scheming femme fatale. Her apocryphal "discovery" at Schwab's Drug Store made her a textbook example of sun-drenched Hollywood dream-making, even as she would become a queen of the darkling plane of film noir as a sultry human pressure cooker erupting with lust and malice in her most fondly recalled film, "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1946). But more visceral, real-life noir would shadow her through a rollercoaster journey of ill-considered and scandalous marriages and relationships, a legacy most ignominiously highlighted by a violent mobster bleeding to death in her home, leading to a tearful testimony in court that the press would...

In her reign as a movie goddess of the 1940s and early 1950s, Lana Turner came to crystallize the opulent heights to which show business could usher a small-town girl, as well as its darkest, most tragic and narcissistic depths. In her years as a top box office draw, she and longtime studio MGM forged her statuesque form into any number of pop cultural effigies: the stuff of both starry-eyed legend and tabloid-feeding frenzies; of coquettish sensuality to the G.I.'s of World War II; and later of smoldering elegance, a bedazzling glamour girl and the archetypal, scheming femme fatale. Her apocryphal "discovery" at Schwab's Drug Store made her a textbook example of sun-drenched Hollywood dream-making, even as she would become a queen of the darkling plane of film noir as a sultry human pressure cooker erupting with lust and malice in her most fondly recalled film, "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1946). But more visceral, real-life noir would shadow her through a rollercoaster journey of ill-considered and scandalous marriages and relationships, a legacy most ignominiously highlighted by a violent mobster bleeding to death in her home, leading to a tearful testimony in court that the press would snarkily call "her greatest performance."

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 That's Entertainment! III (1994) Song Performer
2.
 Witches' Brew (1978) Vivian Cross
3.
 Bittersweet Love (1976) Claire
4.
 Persecution (1974) Carrie Masters
5.
 The Big Cube (1969) Adriana Roman
6.
 Madame X (1966) Holly Parker
7.
 Love Has Many Faces (1965) Kit Jordan
8.
 Who's Got the Action? (1962) Melanie Flood
9.
 By Love Possessed (1961) Marjorie Penrose
10.
 Bachelor in Paradise (1961) Rosemary Howard
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1930:
After father's murder, lived with foster parents until reunited with mother and moved to California
1936:
Reportedly "discovered" by "Hollywood Reporter" editor Billy Wilkerson in a drug store while she was playing hooky from school (January)
1937:
Film debut (in a crowd scene), "A Star is Born"
1937:
Film acting debut, "They Won't Forget"
:
Packaged as "The Sweater Girl" in the late 1930s, she became a top WWII pinup
1938:
Began playing leading roles at MGM in a series of programmers
1941:
Confirmed as top star with her performance in "Ziegfeld Girl"
1941:
First film opposite Clark Gable, "Honky Tonk"
1946:
Starred in one of her most famous films, "The Postman Always Rings Twice"
1954:
Last of four films opposite Clark Gable, "Betrayed"
1956:
Left MGM after nearly twenty years; last film under contract, "Diane"
1957:
Career boosted by success of her first post-MGM film, "Peyton Place"; film also marked first in which she played the mother of a grown daughter; also marked the one time she received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress
1959:
Starred in biggest box office hit of her career, "Imitation of Life"
:
Stopped regularly appearing in films after 1962; thereafter would star in a film once every several years
1970:
Starred in TV series, "The Survivors"
1971:
Made stage debut in "Forty Carats"
1976:
Last film with top billing, "Bittersweet Love"
1978:
Last film, "Witches' Brew"
:
Played recurring role of Chase Gioberti's (Robert Foxworth) mother on a season of the primetime CBS soap, "Falcon Crest", in the early 1980s
1994:
Rumors that she had died circulated late in the year
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Hollywood High School: Los Angeles , California -
Convent of Immaculate Conception: Hollywood , California -

Notes

A classic example of how Lana Turner's life is equated with her screen image: "Look, let's not get mixed up about the real Lana Turner. The real Lana Turner is Lana Turner. She was always a movie star and loved it. Her personal life and her movie star life are one." --Adela Rogers St. Johns ("The MGM Stock Company").

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Artie Shaw. Bandleader, composer. First husband; married in February 8, 1940; divorced in 1941.
husband:
Stephen Crane. Actor, restaurateur. Married twice; first married in 1942; annulled when it turned out Crane was still legally married to his previous wife; in the meantime, though, Lana Turner was pregnant with their child; married again after Crane's divorce from previous wife was final; father of Cheryl Crane; divorced.
companion:
Fernando Lamas. Actor.
husband:
Bob Topping. Sportsman, entrepreneur. Third husband; married in 1948; divorced in 1952.
husband:
Lex Barker. Actor. Fourth husband, married in 1953; divorced in 1957; marriage reportedly ended when Turner discovered he had been sexually abusing 10-year-old Cheryl; Barker continued to deny claims to his death in 1973.
companion:
Tyrone Power. Actor. In her autobiography Turner claimed he was the great love of her life.
companion:
Johnny Stompanato. Gangster. Born c. 1925, stabbed to death by Turner's daughter Cheryl Crane on Good Friday, April 1958.
husband:
Fred May. Businessman, rancher. Fifth husband; married on November 27, 1960; divorced.
husband:
Robert P Eaton. Businessman. Sixth husband; divorced.
husband:
Ronald Dante. Nightclub hypnotist. Seventh husband; divorced.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Virgil Turner. Mine worker. Robbed and murdered in 1930.
mother:
Mildred Turner. Beautician.
daughter:
Cheryl Crane. Real estate agent. Born in 1943; father, Stephen Crane; stabbed mother's boyfriend Johnny Stompanato to death with a kitchen knife in April 1958; testified in court that Stompanato was threatening Turner and that she feared for her mother's life; was acquitted on the grounds of justifiable homicide and self-defense; became a ward of the state, spent most of her adolescence in reform school while parents fought for her custody; Turner won when Crane turned 18; wrote autobiography, "Detour: A Hollywood Story" (1988); survived her mother.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Lana: The Lady, The Legend, The Truth"
"Lana Turner" Pyramid Books

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