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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Alison Martino: E’s Mysteries and Scandals- The Life of Lana Turner

Source: Alison Martino- Lana Turner-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Post Plus

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 women that Lana played in real-life. A talented, but tiny hot baby-face adorable women, 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 women she plays there is very similar to the women 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 her 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 women 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.
Alison Martino: Mysteries and Scandals Lana Turner