Lana Turner's icy elegance and poise made her one of Hollywood's top box-office attractions in more than 50 films.
Although Miss Turner was known as a versatile and hard-working actress who made several films each year and who was once nominated for an Academy Award ("Peyton Place" in 1957), she gained equal notoriety because of her private life, which was marred by personal tragedy and seven unsuccessful marriages.
In her film successes, Miss Turner's roles ranged from the Hollywood star in "The Bad and the Beautiful" (1952) to the tragic chorine in "Ziegfeld Girl" (1941), from the self-sacrificing mother in "Madame X" (1966) to the two-timing housewife in "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1946) and the attractive widow in "Peyton Place" (1957).
She was dubbed the "Sweater Girl" after playing a small part in "They Won't Forget" (1937), in which she walked down the street in a tight skirt and sweater. Her "Sweater Girl" pictures became favorite pinups of GIs around the globe during World War II.
Miss Turner won critical acclaim for "Ziegfeld Girl" in 1941, a milestone in her career because it was the first time she was taken seriously in a role. After the movie, MGM, recognizing her as a serious actress, began casting her opposite three legendary Hollywood leading men: Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable and Robert Taylor.
She became one of Hollywood's most popular romantic heroines and MGM's most publicized star.
Her second marriage, to Stephan Crane III, produced Miss Turner's only child, Cheryl, who gained notoriety April 4, 1958, when she stabbed her mother's then-boyfriend, John Stompanato, in the abdomen with a 10-inch kitchen knife. Cheryl said she was trying to protect her mother after violent threats by Stompanato.
Cheryl, who was 14 at the time of the stabbing, told police that Stompanato had threatened to disfigure and kill mother and daughter that night because Miss Turner had tried to break off the relationship. A judge ruled the incident justifiable homicide.
Interestingly, the unpleasant publicity did not affect Miss Turner's career.
|1957||Best Actress||Peyton Place||Nomination|