Friday, April 5, 2013

Fun Facts About Lana Tuerner

Lana Turner was born Julia Jean Turner in Idaho, February 8, 1921. The first tragedy in her life occurred when her family was forced to move to San Francisco, where her parents separated and in December 1930, he father was killed after winning a game of craps. Due to her mother's health, they then moved to Los Angeles for a dryer climate, which is where Lana started her film career. She was first discovered when she was sixteen-years old when she skipped class to buy a coke at a drugstore, and at that point signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, after she was cast in They Won't Forget (1937). This movie got her the nickname "The Sweater Girl" due to the form fitting attire she wore. After graduating from Hollywood High School, she switched her contract to MGM Studios when the studio director for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer believed that she wouldn't amount to anything. After appearing in Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), the studio became convinced she would become the next Jean Harlow, a sex symbol in film.
Starting off as a glamour girl in the last 1930s and 40s, she quickly gain popularity and hit her peak during World War II, when she became a pin-up girl (a model whose mass-produced photographs see wide appeal as popular culture, similar to Marilyn Monroe). The 1940s were very good to Lana Turner,  and it was during this time that she made the switch from pin-up girl to serious actress with the movie The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). Her comment on this was:

"I finally got tired of making movies were all I did was walk across the screen and look pretty. I got a big chance to do some real acting in The Postman Always Rings Twice, and I'm not going to slip back if I can help it."

While she never game up her glamourous image, she did end up staring in movies that did not have her dolled-up, such as Green Dolphin Street (1947). She was commonly paired with actor Clark Gabel, and the two were named "the team that generates steam". She continued her success in the late 1940s, including staring across from Gene Kelly in her first technicolor movie, The Three Musketeers (1948). By 1948, Turner was MGM's biggest star and one of the ten best paid women in the United States.
However, the 1950s were not so kind to Turner. She ended up staring in several flops and due to the increase in the popularity of Television instead of movies, MGM did not renew her contract in 1956. However, Lana Turner was not knocked down for long, she got more attention when she stared in the 1957 film adaptation of Peyton Place, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, but did not win. However, when news of her daughter's killing of Stompanato (Lana's lover at the time) got out, her career was nearly fully derailed. Lana did continue acting in movies until 1966, with big hits like Imitation of Life (1959), Portrait in Black (1960), Bachelor in Paradise (1961) her final film with MGM, and Madame X (1966) her last leading role.
From 1969 through the 1980s she did some work in film, but none of it was as memorable as her work in films.
Turner was well known for her personal life and a few of her movies were said to have reflected it. She dated often and switched partners frequently, was married eight times to seven different men and had one child: Cheryl Crane. Cheryl was the daughter of her second/third marriage to Steve Crane, and wrote a book about her mother's life called Detour: A Hollywood Story. About her marriages, Turner was later quoted as saying:

"My goal was to have one husband and seven children, but it turned out to be the other way around."

As mentioned earlier, she had many relationships, many lovers, one of whom was Johnny Stopanato, who met Turner in 1957, not long after her fifth marriage fell apart. It turned out that Stopanato had connections to the gangster Mickey Cohen, and Turner tried to break things off when she discovered this, only to be forced into an abusive and unhappy relationship with Stopanato. In April 1958, the two had a violent argument at Turner's home in Beverly Hills, and Turner's daughter, fearing for her mother's safety grabbed a kitchen knife and proceeded to stab Stopanato, killing him. While this was later deemed to be an act of self-defense, it still took its toll on Lana's career.
Lana Turner was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1992, and proceeded to stop her long-time smoking habit, becoming cancer free a year later. However, in 1994 the cancer returned and she died June 29, 1995 at the age of 74 at her home in Los Angeles.

I hope that you guys enjoy this info! Happy Friday!!
Sara :)

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