Born and raised in the kind of home she grew up in, many would have told themselves that it wasn’t going to happen and probably give up on life. But Kathleen Turner, despite the lack of support and encouragement from her family, went ahead and did what most persons in her condition wouldn’t have done. Today, the stage, voice, and film actress and director has been nominated for so many awards most of which she won, making her one of the most sought-after actresses of her time.
Kathleen Turner – Bio, Childhood
Kathleen Turner was born Mary Kathleen Turner on June 19, 1954, in Springfield, Missouri. Her father, Allen Richard Turner was a US Foreign Service Officer, and her mother is Patsy Magee Turner. She has three siblings; two brothers and a sister. Her interest in performing started while she was still growing up, but it wasn’t easy for her as her family wasn’t supportive.
She was raised in a very conservative strict Christian home and her parents weren’t in support of her passion, especially her father who saw anyone involved in acting or anything related to it as close to being a ‘streetwalker’. In 1972, she graduated from The American School in London; she also lost her father to coronary thrombosis that same year after which the family went back to the US.
Turner was at Missouri State University for two years, before switching to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County to study Theatre Arts and in the year 1997, she came out with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art. That was when her career started as she worked with Steve Yeager in most of his productions.
Career and Life Achievements
Kathleen Turner has earned lots of achievements to her name and surprisingly, it didn’t take her as much time as many would have expected. Her success story in the movie industry started as far back as 1981 in her first real movie Body Heat, where she got the lead role. The movie got her nominations for BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer and Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year-Actress.
This movie also gained her much recognition in the industry that paved way for her to get more roles. She was named one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in Film History by Empire Magazine in 1995 for her role in Body Heat. After this movie, she became the most sought after actress in the 80s and 90s. Romancing the Stone was another movie that earned her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, Los Angeles Films Critics Association Award for Best Actress and a second place in National Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Actress
She featured in Crimes of Passion (1984) which won her the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress, and also a Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actress. Kathleen Turner still starred in so many other films and lots of them continued to win her awards; her role as Irene Walker in Prizzi’s Honour (1985) won her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for the second time, and again, the Sant Jordi Award. Her success in the movie industry continued as she got lots of award nominations for her roles and won most of them. Her other movies include; Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Julia and Julia (1987), The War of the Roses (1989), and so many others.
During the early 90s, Kathleen Turner took an involuntary break from acting when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. It was a big blow to the actress who has wanted nothing more than to act. Her recovery period would see her stay on a drug therapy while being confined to a wheelchair. She was eventually healed after many years and her arthritis went into remission. Upon her recovery, she began to champion awareness for rheumatoid arthritis. She was also able to continue with her acting career and as a voice actress in animated series like; Monster House, Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988, and others.
Kathleen Turner has had several love stories with men in her line of work and beyond. She dated David Guc from 1977 to 1982. Kathleen also admitted to having a crush on Michael Douglas, her co-actor in the 1984 movie Romancing the Stone. She claims that since she was single at the time and the actor had just separated from his wife, she felt it was a perfect setup for a love story.
However, that was not to be as Michael’s wife, Diandra Douglas reminded her that they were still married and told her to back off her husband as she has intentions of making the marriage work. She would then go ahead to remain friends with the actor, who could be described as ‘the one that got away’.
In 1984, she got married to Jay Weiss, a real estate entrepreneur. He was Jewish and so, Kathleen embraced some part of the Jewish religion and lifestyle despite the fact she was born into a Methodist home. On October 14, 1987, they gave birth to Rachael Ann Weiss, their daughter and only child who was also raised according to the provisions of Judaism. She made an announcement in 2006 that she and her husband were planning on separating and in December 2007, they finally divorced. Although it wasn’t easy on her, she said it was the right thing to do and they are still best of friends