KATHLEEN TURNER Biography - Actors and Actresses


Biography » actors and actresses » kathleen turner


Name: Mary Kathleen Turner                                                                 
Born: 19 June 1954 Springfield, Missouri                                                   
Mary Kathleen Turner (born June 19, 1954) is an Academy Award-nominated American           
actress. She came to fame during the 1980s, after roles in the Hollywood films             
Body Heat, Romancing the Stone and Prizzi's Honor.                                         
Turner was born in Springfield, Missouri, the daughter of Patsy (née Magee) and           
Allen Richard Turner, who was a U.S. Foreign Service officer and schoolteacher;             
he grew up in China (where Turner's great-grandfather worked as a Methodist                 
missionary) and, as a diplomat, had been imprisoned by the Japanese for four               
years during the Second World War. Because of her father's career, Turner lived             
in four foreign countries (Canada, Cuba, Venezuela, and the United Kingdom).               
Turner has two brothers and a sister. While attending high school in London, she           
was a gymnast and also took classes at the Central School of Speech and Drama.             
In her early years, Turner was interested in performing, despite her father's               
lack of encouragement: "My father was of missionary stock," she later explained,           
"so theater and acting were just one step up from being a streetwalker, you know?           
So when I was performing in school, he would drive my mom and sit in the car.               
She'd come out at intermissions and tell him, 'She's doing very well.'"                     
Turner graduated from the American School in London in 1972. Her father died of             
a coronary thrombosis the same year and the family moved back to the United                 
States. She attended Missouri State University at Springfield for two years (where         
a fellow classmate was John Goodman), then gained her Bachelor of Fine Arts                 
degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 1977. During this               
time, she acted in several productions directed by Steve Yeager.                           
In 1978, Turner made her acting debut in the television NBC daytime soap The               
Doctors as the second Nola Dancy Aldrich. She soon launched a successful film               
career, making her debut in 1981 as the ruthless Matty Walker in the neo-noir               
thriller Body Heat, which instantly shot her to movie stardom. Empire Magazine             
cited the film in 1995 when it named her one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in Film               
History. The New York Times wrote in 2005 that, propelled by her "jaw-dropping             
movie debut [in] Body Heat... she built a career on adventurousness and frank               
sexuality borne of robust physicality."                                                     
The brazen quality of Turner's screen roles was reflected in her public life as             
well. With her deep voice, Turner was often compared to a young Lauren Bacall.             
When the two met, Turner reportedly introduced herself by saying, "Hi, I'm the             
young you." In the Eighties, she boasted that "on a night when I feel really               
good about myself, I can walk into a room, and if a man doesn't look at me he's             
probably gay."                                                                             
On film, Turner rose to prominence as the star of Romancing the Stone with                 
Michael Douglas and Danny DeVito. Demanding film critic Pauline Kael wrote of               
her performance as the mild-mannered romance writer Joan Wilder, "Turner knows             
how to use her dimples amusingly and how to dance like a woman who didn’t know           
she could; her star performance is exhilarating." Romancing the Stone was a                 
surprise hit: she won a Golden Globe for her role in the film and it became one             
of the top-ten-grossing movies of 1984. Turner reteamed with Douglas and                   
DeVito the next year for a sequel, The Jewel of the Nile.                                   
After Jewel, Kathleen Turner starred in Prizzi's Honor with Jack Nicholson.                 
winning a second Golden Globe award, and in Peggy Sue Got Married with Nicolas             
Cage. For Peggy Sue, she received a 1987 Academy Award nomination for Best                 
Actress. In 1988's toon-noir Who Framed Roger Rabbit, she provided the voice of             
cartoon femme fatale Jessica Rabbit. Her uncredited, sultry performance was                 
acclaimed as "the kind of sexpot ball-breaker she was made for." She also                   
voiced the famous line, "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way."                             
Turner appears in the 1980s song "The Kiss of Kathleen Turner" by Austrian                 
techno-pop singer Falco. In 1989, Turner teamed up with Douglas and DeVito for a           
third time, in The War of the Roses. The New York Times praised the trio, saying           
that "Mr. Douglas and Ms. Turner have never been more comfortable a team....each           
of them is at his or her comic best when being as awful as both are required to             
be here. [Kathleen Turner is] evilly enchanting." In that film, Turner played               
a former gymnast, and, as in other roles, she did many of her own stunts. (In               
fact, she broke her nose filming 1991's V.I. Warshawski.)                                   
Turner remained a film star until the early nineties when rheumatoid arthritis             
began to seriously restrict her activities. She was diagnosed in 1992, after               
suffering unexplained symptoms of "unbearable" pain for about a year. By the               
time she was diagnosed, she "could hardly turn her head or walk, and was told               
she would end up in a wheelchair."                                                         
As the disease worsened, her career began to slide and she appeared in                     
increasingly low-budget and obscure films including House of Cards, Serial Mom,             
A Simple Wish, The Real Blonde, and the critically scolded Baby Geniuses (1999).           
However, the same year as she starred in Geniuses, Turner also played a                     
supporting role in Sofia Coppola's acclaimed debut film The Virgin Suicides.               
Despite drug therapy to help her condition, the disease progressed for about               
eight years. Then, due to newly-available treatments, her arthritis went into               
remission. She was seen increasingly on television, including an episode of                 
Friends where she appeared as Chandler Bing's transexual father. She also                   
provided the voice of Malibu Stacy creator Stacy Lovell on the episode "Lisa vs.           
Malibu Stacy" on The Simpsons. She also had a role as a defense attorney on Law             
& Order.                                                                                   
In 2006, Turner performed a cameo in FX's acclaimed Nip/Tuck, playing a phone               
sex operator in need of laryngeal surgery. In the same year, she played the                 
voice of Constance in the animated film Monster House. She has also recently               
been doing radio commercial voice-overs for Lay's potato chips.                             
In recent years, Turner has found renewed success on the stage. After Nineties             
roles in Broadway productions of Indiscretions and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (for               
which she earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress), Turner moved to                 
London to star in a new role.