There she is in yet another car, with another top leading man of the day. Well, how much did you know about Lana’s career?
Again, we ask: has Hollywood ever presented a more wonderfully serendipitous combination of “bad girl” and top-name movie star than our subject of this week’s Monday Quiz?
(Warning: a shameless plug.) We were inspired here by the 1971 biography Lana, co-authored by Joe and Edward Z. Epstein. To review our questions, just scroll down a bit to Monday’s blog.
Here we go with our answers:
1) Answer: b) False. Turner was a knockout from the get-go. By age 15, Lana (born in Idaho) found herself attending Hollywood High School. Schoolmate, actress Nanette Fabray, recalled that she was the most incredibly beautiful girl we had ever seen. Even the teachers stared at her…she had the bearing of a princess. We all knew she would be a movie star. Her beauty is borne out in her debut movie, Warner’s 1937 melodrama They Won Forget. Teenage Lana looks terrific, and her stroll down Main Street amply justifies her “sweater girl” monicker.
2) Answer: b) False. Turner was discovered not at Schwab’s but at Currie’s Ice Cream Parlor on the corner of Highland Ave. and Sunset Blvd. She was cutting a high school class, sipping a coke when she was introduced to man-about-Hollywood Billy Wilkerson (a founder of The Hollywood Reporter). He put her in touch with Zeppo Marx, who had retired from The Marx Brothers to become a talent agent. Lana soon found herself working as an extra in the 1937 version of A Star Is Born. Her journey had begun.
3) Answer: You’ll get credit if you answered a), c) or d). All are true. Both Lana and Ava Gardner certainly knew Frank Sinatra well. Both were married to bandleader Artie Shaw. And both were experienced drinkers in their time. Lana had a serious romance with Tyrone Power but Ava, who dated him early on, did not.
4) Answer: c) Lana was married eight times to seven different husbands. She married Stephen Crane, the father of daughter Cheryl, twice.
5) Answer: Peyton Place
6) Answer: c) Jean Harlow.
7) Answer: c) Fernando Lamas, who was certainly a lot better looking than Alfonso Bedoya.
8) Answer: c) Clark Gable. He and Lana costarred in 1954’s thriller Betrayed, in which Lana played one Carla van Oven, an allied spy for British intelligence in The Netherlands during World War II. The movie was contractually Gable’s last at MGM, ending his quarter century run at the studio. Lana was 33 at the time the picture was made, Gable was a tired-looking 53.
9) Answer: a) Lana’s look in short shorts in The Postman Always Rings Twice was dazzling, and set in motion a short shorts fashion trend among women nationally. For that alone, we are eternally in her debt. (Her costar in Postman, John Garfield, is pictured above.)
10) Answer: b) False. If anything, daughter Cheryl’s stabbing of Stompanato drew her closer to her mother, and vice versa. They remained close until Lana’s death in 1995.
And finally, we couldn’t have Lana Turner in all those automobiles without showing her in a car in one of her best performances in The Bad and the Beautiful.