Lana Turner had a voice that was like that of a child pouting when a new toy is taken away . It had a breathless quality and made her appear at once vulnerable and just a little needy. First discovered at drinking a coke at Schwabs milkbar her rise to fame was , nothing short , of miraculous. She was a beautiful child/woman who brought out the protective side in men. In her first film ‘They Won’t Forget’ Turner wore a sweater. She actually looked so great in the sweater which emphasised her curves that she became known throughout America as ‘The Sweater Girl. She went on to make some truly great films. Notably Ziegfeld Girls, Johnny Eager and ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ Until ‘Postman’ Turner had mostly played pretty girl roles and relished the chance to play the conniving temptress who would stop short at nothing to become rich.
In‘The Three Musketeers’ she was positively evil.
Her life often reflected her film roles though and the men she picked were often volatile and abusive. She married eight times. That’s once more than Elisabeth Taylor. Lana’s men included Arty Shaw, Lex Barker ( Of Tarzan fame ) and mafia front man Johnny Stompanato. She was, by her own admission, an alcholic who suffered bouts of depression and maybe it was the danger that kept her enthralled long enough to forget her miseries. Her father had been murdered in an alley many years before she became famous after winning some money at cards. In ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ she and Garfield plan the murder of her character’s husband who likewise has won some money. In ‘Johnny Eager’ with Robert Taylor she is attracted to a mob frontman who is murdered. Turner’s gangster boyfriend, Stompanato , was murdered by her own daughter.In the film ‘Peyton Place’ she has a daughter faced with a similar dilemma. Only it’s more about the crimes of racism than plain old domestic abuse. Like many stars of the 1940s she was cast with Clark Gable for a few movies. These included ‘Honkey Tonk’ and ‘Green Dolphin Street’ They really steamed up the screen just as her predecessor Jean Harlow had done with the same leading man. Harlow had died only six months before Turner was discovered. Unlike Harlow, though ,Turner lived a relatively long life and died at the age of 74 from throat cancer.
Loved Lana in the 1940s.