Saturday, December 08, 2007

Another Hollywood leading lady tribute... this time Lana Turner.

Famously discovered as a 16 year-old sipping a Coke in a drugstore she worked her way up from small eye-candy roles at MGM to become a popular leading lady during the 40s and 50s. While never a great actress she was effective in roles that hinted at a darkness under her blonde exterior, notably as the insecure actress in "The Bad & The Beautiful", the scheming 'Milady' in "The Three Musketeers" and, in her greatest role, as 'Cora' who inspires lover John Garfield to murder her husband in the classic Film Noir "The Postman Always Rings Twice". The sexual tension between Turner & Garfield still sizzles and easily puts out the damp squib that was the 1980s remake with Nicholson & Lange.

However her screen career had to compete with a private life which was not so private. Eight marriages to seven men and a starring role in one of the biggest Hollywood murder cases of the 1950s. In April 1957 Turner started a relationship with Johnny Stompanato, a smalltime gangster, which quickly turned into an abusive one. A year later while he was attacking Turner in her home one night, her 14 year-old daughter Cheryl stabbed and killed him. The media had a field day with the lurid details and Lana's hysteria in the witness box in the Coroner's Court. A verdict of Justifiable Homicide was passed. Lana's next film was IMITATION OF LIFE in which she played an actress unaware her teenage daughter has a crush on her lover. You guessed.... it was a box office smash, which not only helped her career but her bank account too as she had accepted a Box Office percentage in lieu of a salary.

1 comment:

Owen said...

I like come-hither Lana.