Lana Turner FBI Files
95 pages of FBI Files related to Lana Turner, archived on CD-ROM.
Julia Jean Turner, better known as Lana Turner, was born on February 8, 1921 in Wallace, Idaho. Turner's mother, Mildred Frances Cowan, married Lana's father John Virgil Turner, when Mildred was 15-years-old. Her father was a clerk and a gambler. He was murdered during Lana Turner's early childhood. It is a Hollywood legend that Lana Turner was discovered while at the lunch counter of Schwab's Drugstore on Sunset Boulevard. Her official biography says she was discovered at the age of 15, across the street from Hollywood High School, where she was a student, at the Top Hat Cafe, on Hollywood Blvd. Turner became known as the "Sweater Girl," after an appearance in the 1937 film "They Won't Forget." Turner was a popular pinup for American GIs during World War II. Turner appeared in films such as Topper (1937), Ziegfeld Girl (1941), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), The Three Musketeers (1948), The Bad and the Beautiful (1953), Peyton Place (1957), and Imitation of Life (1959).
Turner was married eight times to seven different men. Turner dated band leader Artie Shaw, who she married in 1940, Lex Barker, who she married in 1953, Tyrone Power, Howard Hughes and Johnny Stompanato. Johnny Stompanato was a mobster who ran with Mickey Cohen.
In 1958, Turner was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress for her role in "Peyton Place." On April 4, 1958, Lana Turner had a fight in her bedroom with Stompanato. Turner's 14 year old daughter, Cheryl Crane, used a kitchen knife to stab Stompanato to death. Cheryl Crane said she feared that Stompanato was going to harm her mother, so she stabbed him with an eight inch carving knife. The coroner's jury found the stabbing to be justifiable homicide. Santa Monica, California's juvenile court ordered Cheryl to a school for wayward girls. In the 1980's, Turner had a recurring role, appearing on the television series "Falcon Crest." Lana Turner died from throat cancer in 1995, at the age of 74.
Files date from 1945 to 1960, and contain approximately 60 discernable pages. Highlights among the material include: The FBI files indicate that in 1945, Lana Turner was the victim of an extortion attempt. The files gives information about threatening letters sent to Turner, which a memo reports, caused Turner to obtain a gun for protection. A memo reports that in 1945, Lana Turner was turned away from the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York because of her association with a black musician. The memo reports that her studio, MGM, was considering canceling her contract over the matter. Examples of the press coverage given to the incident involving Turner, Cheryl Crane, and Johnny Stompanato, which resulted in his death. An account of Mickey Cohen's behavior and words spoken after the death of Stompanato. Information concerning the background of Johnny Stompanato. Attempts by broadcaster and columnist Walter Winchell to give to the FBI, letters Lana Turner sent to Johnny Stompanato. Mickey Cohen's involvement in getting the letters into the hands of the press.
The disc contains a text transcript of all recognizable text embedded into the graphic image of each page of each document, creating a searchable finding aid. Text searches can be done across all files on the disc.