"A successful man is one who make more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man." - Lana Turner
Lana Turner was born Julia Jean Turner on February 8, 1921, in Wallace, Idaho. Her family moved to California when she was a child. In 1930 her father was murdered after a card game. Her mother struggled to support them and Lana spent some time in foster homes. When Lana was fifteen an agent approached her and asked if she wanted to be an actress. The story that Lana was discovered at Schwabb's drugstore would become Hollywood legend but she was actually discovered at The Top Hat cafe. In 1937 she made her film debut in the drama They Won't Forget. She was offered a contract with MGM the following year. Her hair was dyed blonde and she was dubbed "The Sweater Girl". Lana married bandleader Artie Shaw in February 1940. She left him five months later. Shortly after Lana discovered that she was pregnant and had an abortion.
Lana costarred with Judy Garland in Ziegfeld Girl and with Clark Gable in Honky Tonk. In 1942 she married restaurant owner Stephen Crane. The marriage ended soon after their daughter, Cheryl, was born in 1943. Lana's many boyfriends included Turhan Bey, Fernando Lamas, John Hodiak, and Robert Taylor. She fell madly in love with Tyrone Power but he broke her heart by marrying another woman. In 1946 Lana played a seductive wife in The Postman Always Rings Twice. The movie was a huge hit and turned her into a superstar. Lana married millionaire Henry "Bob" Topping in 1948. She got pregnant but the baby was stillborn. Bob was an alcoholic and she left him in 1951. She became depressed and tried to kill herself by slashing her wrists. Lana married actor Lex Barker in 1953. The marriage ended when she discovered he was molesting Cheryl.
She received an Oscar nomination for her performance in the 1957 film Peyton Place. In 1958 she was involved in one of the biggest scandals in Hollywood history. On April 4 Cheryl killed Lana's boyfriend, gangster Johnny Stompanato. Lana testified on Cheryl's behalf and it was ruled a justifiable homicide. Many believe that it was really Lana who killed Johnny. In 1960 she married real estate mogul Fred May. They divorced two years later. She married actor Robert Eaton in 1965 but the marriage lasted only four years. Her seventh marriage, to hypnotist Robert Dante, also ended in divorce. In 1983 Lana published her autobiography "Lana: The Lady, The Legend, The Truth" and joined the cast of the television show Falcon Crest. In her later years she had a drinking problem and became reclusive. Lana claimed she was celibate for the last twenty years of her life. She died on June 29, 1995, from throat cancer. Lana was cremated and her ashes were given to Cheryl.
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)