Lana Turner (LAH-nə; born Julia Jean Turner) was an American actress and model. Over the course of her nearly 50-year career, she achieved fame as both a movie star and pin-up model, as well as for her highly publicized personal life. In the 1940s, Turner was one of the highest-paid actresses in the United States, and one of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's (MGM) biggest stars, with her films earning more than $50 million for the studio during her 18-year contract with them. She is frequently cited as a popular culture icon of Hollywood glamour and a screen legend of classic Hollywood cinema.Born to working-class parents in northern Idaho, Turner spent her childhood there until her family relocated to San Francisco, California. In 1936, at age 15, she was discovered while purchasing a soda at the Top Hat Malt Shop in Hollywood, Los Angeles. She was signed to a personal contract by Warner Bros. director Mervyn LeRoy, who took her with him when he transferred to MGM in 1938. She soon attracted attention by portraying the role of a murder victim in her film debut, They Won't Forget (1937), and she later moved into supporting roles, often appearing as an ingénue. During the early 1940s, Turner established herself as a Hollywood leading lady and became one of MGM's top stars, appearing in many successful films including Johnny Eager (1941), Ziegfeld Girl (1941), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) and Somewhere I'll Find You (1942), one of several films in which she starred opposite Clark Gable. Her reputation as a glamorous vamp was enhanced by her critically acclaimed performance in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), a role which established Turner as a serious dramatic actress. Her popularity continued through the 1950s in films such as The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and Peyton Place (1957), the latter for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Intense media scrutiny surrounded Turner's life in 1958 when her teenage daughter Cheryl Crane stabbed Turner's lover Johnny Stompanato to death in their Beverly Hills home after a domestic altercation. Her next film, Imitation of Life (1959), proved to be one of her greatest commercial successes, and her performance in Madame X (1966) earned her a David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress. Turner spent most of the 1970s in semi-retirement, making her final screen appearance in 1980. In 1982, she accepted a much-publicized and lucrative recurring guest role in the TV series, Falcon Crest, which afforded the series notably high ratings. Turner was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1992 and died of the disease three years later.
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