Lana Turner Online: MGM Presents Lana Turner- 1948

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Source:Lana Turner Online– Hollywood Babydoll Lana Turner

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.

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Source:History For Sale– Hollywood Babydoll Lana Turner

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.

Lana Turner Online: MGM Presents Lana Turner- 1948

Brandon Behle: KMIR-TV- Inside a Hollywood Scandal: The Cheryl Crane-Lana Turner Story

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Source:Brandon Behle– Cheryl Crane on trial? 

Source:The Daily Review

If you’re familiar with the movie Where Love Has Gone with Susan Hayward and Mike Connors and many other great actors and actresses, you’re probably familiar with the Cheryl Crane-Johnny Stompanato story as well. Because Where Love Has Gone is based off the Crane-Stompanato story ( at least unofficially ) and is about a rough relationship between the Hayward character and her boyfriend with her daughter being present with it getting violent and the daughter believing she needs to step in to save her mother and herself and sees a gun and shoots and kills the boyfriend. The difference being in the Hollywood movie that case goes to trial and the girl ends up in a home for juveniles. The Crane-Stompanato case, never even goes to trial.

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Source:Los Angeles Times– Lana Turner, testifying?

Lana Turner, as adorable as she was with always looking like she could still be a little girl in and outside of her movies, wasn’t as sweet and innocent in real-life as she appeared on screen. She lived the life not only of a wild child, but a soap opera character who always needed danger and drama in her life for her life to seem exciting enough for her. Which certainly explains why she was married seven times. Which might be more marriages than your typical soap character and would rival all of the marriages at least in numbers that another Hollywood Goddess and Babydoll Elizabeth Taylor had. Lana, was not only a Hollywood actress, but a real-life soap opera character no naturally she would be physically and personally involved with a Italian gangster like Johnny Stompanato or any other gangster.

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Source:Alchetron– Lana Turner and her daughter Cheryl Crane 

Just because of the life that Lana lived and who Johnny Stompanato was in real-life, that Lana’s daughter Cheryl was just 14-15 at this point in 1958 and there is no evidence that the shooting was planned, I would have to assume that this was justifiable homicide and that Cheryl was simply trying to protect herself and her mother from an abusive gangster. The only detail that doesn’t make a lot of sense and isn’t very believable and looks more like a scene from a Hollywood soap opera or movie or soap movie like Where Love Has Gone is that you have a 14-15 year old girl who knows how to use a gun and acts immediately and uses it to shoot Stompantao who presumably at least was getting too physical with Lana. But every other detail about this case falls into place.

Brandon Behle: KMIR-TV- Inside a Hollywood Scandal: The Lana Turner-Cheryl Crane Story

Alan Eichler: Good Morning America- David Hartman Interviewing Lana Turner: 1983 TV Interview

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Source: Lana Turner

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

This might sound harsh but I believe Lana Turner’s life represents a Hollywood character and actress who struggled to get out of character when she was off stage. Actresses and actors when they make it in Hollywood and even become popular to the point where everyone interested in movies and TV knows who they are pick up an image. And believe they have to live up to that image to keep their popularity and stay hot in the business. Even if that image is not positive.

Like with Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield being known as blond bimbos and living up to that on and off camera. Even though in real life where actually pretty intelligent. Or James Dean being known as a teen rebel who is always taking on society and never quite settles down personally and is always fighting.

I believe in Lana Turner’s case she picked up the image as a soap actress character on some show where she has all the money any person could have and could have any man at anytime and ends up with every man and even marrying every man. Has kids with every man she gets involved with. (At least practically) Sounds like at least two female characters on General Hospital and if you’re familiar with the show and are a fan, you probably know who I’m talking about.

Lana Turner was perfect for soap operas because she was perfect for dramatic comedy. Both in her personal life as far as how she lived both intentionally and unintentionally, but she was also a great actress and a very funny woman as well. Which made her perfect for dramatic comedy which is what most good soap operas are like General Hospital, Dallas, Melrose Place, to use as examples, Days of Our Lives. To me at least Lana Turner’s life was the story of a great soap opera. A lot of ups and downs, falls, and dramatic comebacks and she was one of the best soap actresses, as well as characters that we’ve ever had.

Alan Eichler: Good Morning America- David Hartman Interviewing Lana Turner: 1983 TV Interview

Alan Eichler: Hour Magazine- Gary Collins Interviewing Lana Turner: 1982 TV Interview

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Source: Alan Eichler- Lana Turner 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

There’s a reason why America has a 50 percent divorce rate. That reason is called Hollywood and broader Los Angeles and the LA area where probably 7-8 out of 10 marriages don’t last. Entertainers in Hollywood tend to look at marriage as business opportunities. “If I marry that person, I’ll be seen with that person which will lead to other opportunities, plus it will help my image.” Especially if they have a reputation as a playboy or playgirl who goes from romance to romance and not seeming very serious about anyone that they get involved with.

The best soap operas in Hollywood don’t come from the studios, at least as far as the shows that come from there. They come from real-life in Hollywood and the personal lives that a lot of actresses and actors live. Some if not a lot or perhaps most great comedians in Hollywood, aren’t actually standup comedians. But very funny people who are supposed to be serious actors and actresses, but who live very amusing personal lives. Who live crazy lives and do crazy things. Burt Reynolds is a great example of that, but only one example. Ava Gardner with her famous outbursts and temper tantrums, would be another great example of that.

Lana Turner’s last big role in Hollywood was on the 1980s hit prime time soap opera Falcon Crest. She was perfect for soaps not just because of her ability as an actress and she’s certainly one of the best ever, but also because she lived the life of a soap star and soap personality. She was married a total of nine times and married to one man (Steve Crane) twice. She was the girlfriend of Italian mobster Johnny Stompanato who her daughter Cheryl shot and killed at their home in self-defense. That would be a pretty good episode of General Hospital right there.

Lana Turner lived the real-life of a soap opera character which is why I at least believe she was perfect for soaps like Falcon Crest and could probably could have done other shows as well. Like Dynasty or Dallas, because she had the great dramatic appeal and comedic wit and timing that you need to be a great soap actress. But also because she lived the life of a great soap character. Lana Turner sort of lived the life of Jayne Mansfield, but lived well into seventies and manage to get her wildness and drinking under control to allow for her to live a long life. And Hollywood and the public are in debt to her for that.

Alan Eichler: Hour Magazine- Gary Collins Interviewing Lana Turner: 1982 TV Interview

 

Alan Eichler: Robert Osborne Interviewing Lana Turner- 1982 TV Interview

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Source: Alan Eichler- Bob & Lana

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Just to be a little personal when you’re talking about cute Hollywood blondes, Lana Turner is at the top of the list. Even in her late forties and fifties she was still as cute as a little girl and not just because she was really short. Love Has Many Faces from 1964 I believe is Lana’s best movie and one of the best soap operas of all-time (at least in my opinion) Lana worked with the gorgeous baby-face adorable Stefanie Powers in that movie. And Stefanie is maybe 20 at that point and as cute as can be and Lana is in her early forties and Lana is the cutest women in that movie. That movie also had a beautiful adorable brunette in Ruth Roman in it. Peyton Place from the 1950s, she’s cuter than her daughter in that movie.

Lana Turner was always an adorable gorgeous baby blonde with a keen honest intelligence and quick wit. Which made her perfect for soap movies in the 50s and 60s like The Big Cube in 1969 which is more of a cult favorite than anything else, but still a very entertaining and funny movie. And made her perfect for TV soaps like Falcon Crest in the 1980s. The Bad and The Beautiful where she plays a brand new soon to be the next hot star in Hollywood and she works with Kirk Douglas, Barry Sullivan and Dick Powell in that movie. She was like a little girl in that movie as far as physical stature but that little baby face and how she spoke and came off in that movie. The Bad and The Beautiful is the prefect title for that movie. Because there were no angels in that movie. But ordinary people simply trying to survive working for a selfish producer who was user of talent.

If you were going to put together a list of the top 5-10 Hollywood actresses of all-time I believe Lana Turner would have to be on it. Of course it would also have to have The Love Goddess Rita Hayworth on it. Slim Lauren Bacall would have to be on it. Elizabeth Taylor would have to be on it. Ava Gardner would have to be on it and if you left Ava off she might sue you for that. Susan Hayward would have to be on it. I believe Lauren Bacall is the best perhaps Liz Taylor is just right behind her.

But Lana Turner is in that group as well because she was so convincing and a great dramatic comedic actress who combined great dramatic affect with quick wit as well. And self-deprecating humor as well and not afraid to make fun of herself. Maybe that had something to do with the alcohol or maybe just because she was so honest. But I believe the best actresses and actors are the most honest which allows for them to be the most convincing because they look like they’re playing themselves. Which is why Lana Turner is so high up the Hollywood best ever list.

Alan Eichler: Robert Osborne Interviewing Lana Turner- 1982 TV Interview