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On this Day in Movie History, June 29, 1995: Lana Turner Dies

It was on this day, June 29, 1995, American actress Lana Turner died. 74 years of age, always a heavy smoker until her death, Tuner died of complications from throat cancer diagnosed in 1992. She died at home in Century City, Los Angeles, California.

Discovered and signed to a film contract by MGM at the age of sixteen, Turner first attracted attention in They Won’t Forget (1937). She played featured roles, often as the ingenue, in such films as Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938). During the early 1940s she established herself as a leading actress in such films as Johnny Eager (1941), Ziegfeld Girl (1941) and Somewhere I’ll Find You (1942).

She was also known as one of the first Hollywood scream queens thanks to her role in the 1941 horror film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and her reputation as a glamorous femme fatale was enhanced by her performance in the film noir The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946).

Her popularity continued through the 1950s, in such films as The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and Peyton Place (1957), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress

Turner was well known inside Hollywood circles for dating often, changing partners often, and for never shying away from the topic of how many lovers she had in her lifetime.

Turner habitually married, marrying eight times to seven different husbands She was quoted as having said, “My goal was to have one husband and seven children, but it turned out to be the other way around.”

In 1958, 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. Turner’s next film, Imitation of Life (1959), proved to be one of the greatest successes of her career, but from the early 1960s, her roles were fewer.

Turner spent most of the 1970s and early 1980s in semi-retirement, working only occasionally. In 1982 she accepted a much publicized and lucrative recurring guest role in the television series Falcon Crest. Turner made her next final film appearance in 1991.

For her contribution to the motion-picture industry, Turner has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6241 Hollywood Boulevard and will be remembered for her luminous beauty and her sheer star quality, later strengthened by developing considerable acting ability.

Also on this day, Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle (1933), Jayne Mansfield (1967), Bob Crane (1978), Rosemary Clooney (2002), and Katharine Hepburn (2003) died.

1901 – Nelson Eddy (actor, singer [w/Jeannette MacDonald]: Rose Marie, Naughty Marietta, Girl of the Golden West; died Mar 6, 1967)

1916 – Ruth Warrick (actress: Citizen Kane, All My Children; died Jan 15, 2005)

1919 – Slim Pickens (Louis Bert Lindley Jr.) (actor: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The Howling, The Apple Dumpling Gang, In Harm's Way, One-Eyed Jacks, The Outlaws, Hee Haw; Cowboy Hall of Famer; died Dec 8, 1983)

1925 – Cara Williams (Bernice Kamiat) (actress: The Defiant Ones, The Girl Next Door, Pete and Gladys)

1930 – Robert Evans (Robert J. Shapera) (actor: The Man of a Thousand Faces, The Best of Everything)

1944 – Gary Busey (actor: The Buddy Holly Story, Breaking Point, The Texas Wheelers, Warriors, Lethal Weapon, The Firm, Predator 2)

1947 – Richard Lewis (comedian, actor: Anything But Love, Daddy Dearest, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Wagon's East)

1948 – Fred Grandy (actor: The Love Boat; politician: U.S. congressman)

1957 – Maria Conchita Alonso (actress: Roosters, Texas, Predator 2, Vampire's Kiss, Colors, The Running Man, Extreme Prejudice, Blood Ties, Moscow on the Hudson, One of the Boys)

1961 – Sharon Lawrence (actress: NYPD Blue, The Prince of Motor City, Augusta, Gone, Lies & Alibis, I?, Nearing Grace, Little Black Book, Atomic Twister)

1962 – Amanda Donohoe (actress: The Substitute, Double Cross, L.A. Law)

1967 – Melora Hardin (actress: The North Avenue Irregulars, Iron Eagle, Big Man on Campus, Absolute Power)

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