Mysteries & Scandals: Lana Turner

Mysteries & Scandals_ Lana Turner

Source:IMDB– Hollywood Babydoll Lana Turner in Madame X (1966)

Source:The Daily Post

“What happened on that night in 1958 when Lana Turner’s mobster boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato was stabbed to death? Was she responsible or was it her teenage daughter, Cheryl Crane?

Edward Epstein (biographer), Jim Bacon (journalist), Willie Wilkerson (author), Del Armstrong (make-up artist), Cheryl Crane (daughter) and Glenn Rose (publicist) are interviewed about the career of Lana Turner.

Turner’s career is given a quick overview as we hear about how she was discovered and then we get into her most famous roles. However, if you’re a fan of the series then you know there has to be some sort of downfall and for Turner it was when her daughter murdered her gangster boyfriend. The interviews here are extremely good because they give plenty of details about the actual case and some of them were friends with Turner or were around when the events happened. We also get an interview with her daughter, which was entertaining. Fans of the series will certainly enjoy this…


“Lana Turner Mysteries & Scandals -Documentary”

Lana Turner Mysteries & Scandals -Documentary (1)

Source:Know The History– Lana Turner’s daughter Cheryl Crane.

From Know The History

“Lana Turner Mysteries & Scandals. This is an E! production.”

Billy Estabrook_ Lana Turner- Mysteries and Scandals (1)

Source:Billy Estrabrook– rom the Mysteries and Scandals documentary of Lana Turner.

From Billy Estrabrook

This I believe is the cover photo from E Entertainment’s Mysteries and Scandals documentary of Lana Turner from the 1990s. But the video that this photo is from is not currently available online.

Billy Estabrook_ Lana Turner- Mysteries and Scandals (1)

Source:Billy Estrabrook– Mysteries and Scandals of Hollywood Babydoll Lana Turner.

I saw the movie The Bad and Beautiful from 1952 with Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Barry Sullivan, Walter Pidgeon and many others, a great cast. And in that movie Lana plays an actress who is very similar to the woman that Lana played in real-life. A talented, but tiny hot baby-face adorable woman, who is somewhat immature and never seems very happy, at least for long. Who seems to be addicted to scandal, who drinks too much and gets into trouble.

That is the Lana Turner that I’ve read and have heard about. The Bad and The Beautiful, could almost be a biography of Lana Tuner. At least her early career in Hollywood. Because the woman she plays there is very similar to the woman she was in real-life at the same time.

Lana seemed to be either addicted to danger and scandal in her life, or it just sticked to her like glue and she could never rip it off. Or perhaps he was addicted to Hollywood and the Hollywood life. Of living through tabloids and doing crazy things that get yourself in the tabloids and generate publicity about yourself. That leads to roles that clean up for to do them successfully.

Like Lana’s relationship with Italian gangster John Stompanato, who she must have known was with the Italian-American Mafia. This just goes to the crazy life aspect. (To almost paraphrase Paris Hilton) That a clean boyfriend and actor for Lana, would’ve been boring and perhaps anti-Hollywood to her. That Lana almost had to be in danger to be in happy in life.

Lana also knew that she had a daughter and how dangerous her and her daughter’s life was in being hooked up with a gangster. But that wasn’t enough for her not to get involved with him in the first place. How Stompanato died, I don’t think we’ll ever really know. Certainly not enough there to hold Lana for murder and Stompanato dying. I hate to say this, but it really wasn’t any bad news for anyone outside of his family, his real family that is.

But again Lana playing a Hollywood movie role, but her in real-life. With the only question being how did Stompanato die. Was is in self-defense or did Lana, or her daughter Cheryl murder him.

And this is all before you get to what really was a great career for Lana Turner. Imagine Marilyn Monroe, but someone who lived more than twice as long. A smaller even cuter Marilyn Monroe in Lana Turner, who managed to grow up in time to have what really was a great life and career. Where you’re talking about not just one of the best actress’s of her generation, but all-time. The same class as Rita Hayworth, Susan Hayward, Ava Turner, Lauren Bacall and many other great actress’s. In movies like The Bad and The Beautiful, Peyton Place, Madame X, Another Time Another Place, The Big Cube, Love Has Many Faces and I really could go on. But in interest of my own time I won’t.

The Johnny Stompanato relationship, is classic Lana Turner. She’s this hot baby-faced little cutie, who gets involved with an Italian gangster like Stompanato. Where just the fact that Lana is a woman and men shouldn’t attack women anyway and then add that he’s so much larger than this little cutie who at times at least could still come off as a little girl and all of these things means nothing to Stompanato. Who could probably kill people for giving them bad looks.

And Lana who was at time crazy as far as how she lived and perhaps wild would be more accurate, had to know Stompanato’s background going in. That he was clearly a dangerous man who had a temper. But again a relationship with a good man who stays out of trouble, would have been boring for Lana.

As far as what happened to Johnny Stompanato, which is what this show I guess is ultimately about, even though I’m more interested in Lana’s life and career. Lana or Cheryl, killed Stompanato, I don’t see how you can call this murder. Stompanato, was a mobster with a temper, who had a history of abusing Lana. And went too far one night with Lana’s daughter being there and either Lana or Cheryl, had the ability to defend themselves and back Stompanato off. And that’s exactly what did. Don’t believe either of them intentionally killed Stompanato. But in a lot of Stompanato cases the defender is simply just trying to back the attacker off. And perhaps shoots the person o hits them too hard. And the attacker dies as a result. And I believe that is what happened in this case.

About Rik Schneider

Blogger/writer on a lot of different subjects.
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