There are several stories about Lana Turner and Van Johnson‘s one night stand.
One is that when MGM boss Louis B.Mayer heard early rumors of Johnson’s supposed homosexuality, he decided to find out for himself once and for all. He promptly assigned an actress to sexually “test” the actor. Who better than Lana Turner for this delicate mission?
Besides logging one of the more complicated marital records in Hollywood history (eight marriages to seven husbands), Turner was something of a sexual dynamo on the loose during and in between unions.
Is there a major male star of the Forties she didn’t sleep with?
She was also dutiful studio employee with a burgeoning career to consider. Lana submitted to Mayer’s dictate, and seduced Johnson.
The more likely version (told to Joe by a trusted MGM employee) is that all the girls on the lot were hot for Van, and since he was showing no interest in any of them the rumors abounded.
Lana said, “leave it to me girls, I’ll find out.”
Whichever tale is true, she did seduce Johnson, but her report on the activity wasn’t conclusive: Said Lana: He did it but he didn’t like it.