Our final Bombshell of the Month for this year is the wonderful, beautiful and exciting, Lana Turner. Lana’s life was more interesting than any movie. Her discovery at the age of 16 at a Hollywood drug store is a show-business legend. A student at Hollywood High School, Lana skipped a typing class and bought a Coke at the Top Hat Cafe located on the southeast corner of Sunset Boulevard and McCadden Place, where she was spotted by William R. Wilkerson, publisher of The Hollywood Reporter. Wilkerson was attracted by her beauty and physique, and referred her to the actor/comedian/talent agent Zeppo Marx. Marx’s agency immediately signed her on and introduced her to film director Mervyn LeRoy, who cast her in her first film, They Won’t Forget (1937).
Lana earned the nickname ‘The Sweater Girl’ from her form-fitting attire in a scene in They Won’t Forget. According to her daughter, this was a nickname Lana detested throughout her entire career.In late 1937, she signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for $100 a week, and graduated from high school in between takes.
In the early 1940s she established herself as a leading actress in 1941 movies, Johnny Eager and Ziegfeld Girl and 1942’s Somewhere I’ll Find You. And her reputation as a glamorous femme fatale was enhanced by her performance in the film noir, The Postman Always Rings Twice in 1946.
Her popularity continued through the 1950s, in such films as 1952’s The Bad and the Beautiful and Peyton Place in 1957, for which she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress.
However, when people think of Lana, they often think first of the events in 1958 when her daughter Cheryl Crane stabbed Turner’s lover Johnny Stompanato to death. A coroner’s inquest brought considerable media attention to Turner and concluded that Crane had acted in self defense. Lana seemed to take strength from this and her next film in 1959, Imitation of Life , proved to be one of the greatest successes of her career. But it was short-lived. By now she was nearly 40, and in the 1960s her roles were fewer. But she gained recognition near the end of her career with a recurring guest role in the television series Falcon Crest in the early 1980s. She died from throat cancer in 1995, aged 74.
Lana Turner was married eight times to seven different husbands – she was married twice to Joseph Crane, the father of her daughter Cheryl.
Gorgeous, feisty, and talented, Turner was a beautiful bombshell we’re happy to learn how to emulate. We’ll bring you more info on Lana over the next month, how to Get Her Look, her Style Hits and more.