Julia Jean Mildred Frances Turner or Lana Turn was born February 8, 1921 in Wallace Idaho. As she was sitting at a Hollywood caf? (Top Hat Caf?) drinking soda she was "discovered." Lana signed with MGA and quickly became a film actress and sex symbol. Zeppo Marx sent Lana to director Mervyn LeRoy who cast Lana (she was only 15) in They Won't Forget in 1937. She appeared in a form fitting skirt and sweater.
Lana became known as the Sweater Girl and her pinup posters where posted by GIs around the world during WWII. She appeared in The Great Garrick in 1937, The Adventures of Marco Polo in 1938, Love Finds Andy Hardy in 1939 and These Glamour Girls in 1939. In 1941 Lana earned acclaim for her acting in Ziegfield Girls. She starred with Clark Gable in Honkey Tonk and Somewhere I'll Find You. She was a co-starred with Spencer Tracy in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1941.
The end of WWII ended the Sweater Girl moniker and she gave one of her best performances in The Postman Always Rings Twice in 1946. She was also awesome in The Bad and the Beautiful in 1952 and the Three Musketeers in 1948. Lana received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in Peyton Place.
Her personal life was not so successful. Her first marriage to Artie Shaw lasted only six months. She next married Stephen Crane in 1942. She gave birth to a daughter but divorced Crane in 1944. Lana married Bob Topping in 1948 but they divorced in 1951. Her fourth husband Lex Barker sexually abused Lana's daughter and they divorced. She then married Fred May, Robert Eaton and Ronald Dante. In spite of her personal life Lana made her biggest hit in 1959 with Imitation of Life and her next success was Madam X in 1966. She played on television's Falcon Crest, published her autobiography Lana: The Lady, The Legend, The Truth in 1982 and retired from acting in 1983.
Lana died at the age of 75 in Century City, California on June 29, 1995. Her daughter Cheryl was at her side.
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