Lana Turner (February 8, 1921 – June 29, 1995) was an American actress who became a symbol of Hollywood glamour and a popular sex symbol during the 1940s and 1950s. Known for her beauty as well as her acting ability, Turner's career spanned four decades, and she appeared in over 50 films.
Born Julia Jean Turner in Wallace, Idaho, she was discovered at the age of 16 by a magazine editor while skipping school at the Top Hat Café in Hollywood. This encounter led to her first film role in "They Won't Forget" (1937), where she made a striking impression as a murder victim. Her sweater-clad appearance in the film earned her the nickname "The Sweater Girl."
Turner’s film career is marked by several standout performances in both box-office hits and critically acclaimed projects:
- "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1946): Portraying a femme fatale opposite John Garfield, this film noir adaptation of James M. Cain's novel is considered one of her signature roles.
- "Peyton Place" (1957): Her performance in this film earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
- "Imitation of Life" (1959): Working with director Douglas Sirk, this film remains notable as one of her most successful commercial films and as a critical examination of race and class issues in America.
Throughout her career, Turner was known for her performances in melodramas, a genre in which she became a popular and famed artist of her time.
Turner's personal life often overshadowed her career, with eight marriages and numerous romantic liaisons making headlines. In particular, the stabbing death of her lover, Johnny Stompanato, by Turner's daughter Cheryl Crane in 1958, during a domestic dispute, became a major scandal and subject of tabloid fodder. The court ruled it a justifiable homicide and Crane was released.
Later Years and Death
In later years, Turner worked on television and theater, continuing to act into the 1980s. She struggled with alcoholism and faced financial difficulties due to extravagant spending and mismanagement of funds.
Lana Turner passed away on June 29, 1995, from throat cancer in Los Angeles, California. Despite her tumultuous personal life, she left behind a legacy as one of the silver screen's most memorable stars.
For those interested in a deeper dive into Turner's life and work, biographies such as "Lana: The Lady, the Legend, the Truth" by Lana Turner herself, and "Detour: A Hollywood Story" by her daughter Cheryl Crane offer personal perspectives. Additionally, many of Turner's films are available for viewing, demonstrating her range as an actress and her evolution within the film industry.
To learn more about her filmography and life details, resources such as the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) or Turner Classic Movies (TCM) would also provide comprehensive insights.