With her megawatt smile and porcelain skin, Lana Turner's look was interesting enough for her to get discovered while skipping class at a drugstore soda fountain. She signed her first film contract at the tender age of 16. Turner went on to film four flicks with heartthrob Clark Gable, and became one of the highest-paid women in the country at the time.
As she racked up roles for her resumé, Turner tried to shy away from "pretty" parts, longing for more substantive roles. "The Postman Always Rings Twice" helped her to be taken seriously, and "Peyton Place" got her nominated for an Academy Award in 1957. MGM, unhappy with this transition, decided not to renew her contract.
To burden Turner further, drama in her personal life amped up in 1958 when her daughter, Cheryl Crane, killed Turner's then-boyfriend, infamous mobster Johnny Stompanato, in an act of self-defense. Stompanato was notoriously abusive, and the homicide was ruled to be justifiable after Crane found him attacking her mother. From her hard knock upbringing to famous career scandals, her troubles often played out in the public eye. 1959's "Imitation of Life" closely mirrored Turner's complicated relationship with her young daughter, as did "Peyton Place."
Of course, a Hollywood veteran like Turner had the glamour to match. She earned the nickname "Sweater Girl" early in her career, but later on she was never without her '40s waves, tea-length skirts and furs. Still an inspiration today, Madonna mentions her in "Vogue," and Lana Del Rey's stage name is based off of Turner's.
Turner would have turned 92 on Friday (Feb.8). We pay tribute to "The Bad and the Beautiful" actress' style in the slideshow below.
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