Lana Turner has denied acting ability “Sweater Girl” image MGM thrust on him, and even many of his directors admitted that they knew he was capable of greatness (see The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)). Unfortunately, his personal life sometimes overshadowed her professional achievements. Without a doubt, her life is a threat to a public career.
She also fought alcoholism. In yet another scandal, his daughter with Crane, Cheryl Crane, stabbed fatal girlfriend Lana, gangster Johnny Stompanato, in 1958 It was a case that would have rivaled the O.J. Simpson murder case.
Cheryl was of the murder charge, with the jury finding that she had been protecting her mother from Stompanato, who was savagely beating her and ruled it justifiable homicide. These and other incidents interfered with Lana’s career, but she persevered. The release of Imitation of Life (1959), a remake of a 1934 film (Imitation of Life (1934)), was Lana’s comeback vehicle.
There is some discrepancy as to whether her birth date is February 8, 1920, or 1921. Lana herself said in her autobiography that she was out one year younger (1921) than the records showed, but then this was a time where women, especially actresses, tended to a bit about their age.
Most sources agree that 1920 is the correct year of birth. She wasn’t found at a drug store counter like some would have you believe, but that legend persists. She pounded the pavement as other would-be actors and actresses have done, are doing, and will continue to do in search of movie roles.
By the 1960s, however, fewer roles were coming her way with the rise of new and younger stars. By the next decade, the roles were coming in at a trickle. Her final film work in the acclaimed TV series Falcon Crest (1981) in which she played Jacqueline Perrault from 1982-1983.
After all those years as a sex symbol, nothing had changed—Lana was still as beautiful as ever. She died on June 25, 1995, in Culver City, California, after a long fight with cancer. She was 75 years old.