Lana Turner: The Untold Story (Paperback)
Lana Turner, born Julia Jean Turner on February 8th, 1921, at Providence Hospital, in Wallace, Idaho, U.S., was an actress who worked in the movies, TV, theatre and radio. Over the course of her nearly 50-year career, Turner became famous as both a pin-up model and a dramatic actress, as well as for her highly publicized personal life. During the mid-'40s, she was one of the highest-paid women in the US, and one of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's (MGM) biggest stars, with her films making the studio over $50 million during her 18-year contract with them. Lana is often cited as an icon of Hollywood glamour in popular culture. The daughter of working-class parents in northern Idaho, Turner spent her early life there before her family moved to San Francisco. Julia was 15 years old when she was discovered while buying a soft drink at the Top Hat Malt Shop in Hollywood. At the age of 16, she was signed to a personal contract by Warner Bros. director Mervyn LeRoy, who took her with him when he moved to MGM in 1938. Turner attracted attention when playing the role of a murder victim in her first film, LeRoy's They Won't Forget (1937), later being cast in featured roles, often appearing as an ing nue. Lana established herself as a leading actress and one of MGM's top performers during the early '40s, appearing in pictures including the film noir Johnny Eager (1941); the musical Ziegfeld Girl (1941); the horror movie Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) then the romantic war drama Somewhere I'll Find You (1942), one of several pictures in which she starred opposite Clark Gable. Turner's reputation as a glamorous femme fatale was enhanced by her critically praised performance in the film noir The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), which established her as a serious dramatic actress. Her popularity was maintained in the '50s in dramas including The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and Peyton Place (1957), Lana being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for the latter. Media controversy surrounded Turner during 1958, when her 14-year-old daughter Cheryl Crane stabbed Lana's lover Johnny Stompanato to death in their home during a domestic struggle. Turner's next movie, Imitation of Life (1959), was one of the biggest box office hits of her career, with her final starring role in Madame X (1966) leading to her receiving a David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress.