Source:The Daily Review
When think of Hollywood Babydoll Lana Turner, ( which is exactly what she was ) I think of the Queen of the Hollywood Soap Stars. Meaning, her only real experience in soap operas, was being on Falcon Crest in the 1980s, but she lived the life of a soap opera character and star. What would be called today a reality star. She lived on the tabloids with all her different marriages and breakups, she dated an Italian gangster putting her personal as well as her daughter Cheryl Crane’s safety always at risk every time she was seen with Johnny Stompanato.
Her daughter goes on trial for murdering Johnny Stompanato in the 1950s, even though it’s pretty clear she shot him in self-defense at their home. Lana’s whole life looked like one gigantic publicly stunt, except that it was real-life reality TV and not what’s supposed to pass a reality TV today. It’s as if her life and career was written by the best team of Hollywood script writers in the history of the world. You would have had to live her life to ever even attempt to try to believe the real-life that Lana Turner actually lived. And that it wasn’t just the best written movie, soap opera, or reality TV show that was ever written.
And then before she gets Falcon Crest in 1982, she had already done at least three soap opera movies in the 1950s and 60s. The Bad and The Beautiful, from 1952 with Kirk Douglas, that looks at the lives of three up incoming Hollywood workers. An actress, writer, and director where’s there’s constant backstabbing and screwing over in that movie, mostly by the Kirk Douglas character. That movie looked like one of the best episodes of Melrose Place that was ever written. Peyton Place, that was both a TV soap opera and movie soap opera. Love Has Many Faces from 1964, where she plays a woman who falls in love with multiple gigolos in the movie, perhaps her best movie. Madame X from 1966, where the plays the wife of a diplomat where her mother in-law pays her to get out of town, because she doesn’t want her around her son anymore.
Lana Turner, is very interesting for another reason. She’s one of the most underrated, as well as overrated actresses ever. She’s not the best actress who has ever worked, but not the worst either and when she hear people talk about her you get the idea that she could be the best or worst depending who who you’re talking to. I believe she’s one of the best soap actresses who has ever lived and a great comedic actress as well. It’s a damn shame that she never worked with Alfred Hitchcock or Neil Simon, because she was a great dramatic comedy actress with great sense of drama and comedic timing.
The great soap operas tend to be funny and the great soap actors and actresses, also tend to very funny. Melrose Place, but General Hospital are great examples of that. I believe she was limited to do dramatic comedy and soaps, but is one of the actresses to ever work in those genres and should get the respect more respect for that.