Kathleen Turner
Birth Date:
June 19, 1954
Birth Place:
Springfield, Missouri, USA
Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri
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Romancing the Stone


“A woman my age is not supposed to be attractive or sexually appealing. I just get kinda tired of that.” Kathleen Turner

American talented actress Kathleen Turner gained the spotlight for her role as a novelist in Romancing the Stone (1984), wherein she took home a Golden Globe award and a Los Angeles Film Association award. Her film Crimes of Passion (1984) won her a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award and a Sant Jordi Award. She collected another Golden Globe for her performance in Prizzi’s Honor (1985), while in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), she netted a National Board of Review award. Her recent and upcoming film credits include Virgin Suicides (1999), Without Love (2004), and Monster House (2006, voice of Constance). On the small screen, the sister-in-law of fashion designer Donna Karan is also known for playing roles in such series as “King of the Hill” (2000), “Friends” (2001) and “Law & Order” (2006). As an accomplished stage actress, the BAFTA and Oscar nominee earned Tony nominations for her fine performances in plays like “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1990) and “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (2005).

The voice of Jessica Rabbit in the famous animated movie series of Roger Rabbit and a jury member of the 2004 Cannes Film Festival also nabbed several other awards, such as the Woman of the Year Award from Hasty Pudding Theatricals (1989), a Special Theatre World Award (1990), and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Savannah Film Festival (2004).

Off screen, 5’10 inch tall Kathleen Turner, whose trademark is her husky voice, was named one of Empire magazine’s “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History” (1995). In the late 90s, Turner, who is fluent in Spanish, reportedly underwent a medical check in Waverly, Pennsylvania, for alcohol abuse. As for her romantic life, the former accomplished gymnast is known to have had a relationship with David Guc, an agent, before marrying realtor Jay Weiss.

Young Lauren Bacall

Childhood and Family:

On June 19, 1954, Mary Kathleen Turner was born in Springfield, Missouri, to a diplomat father, Richard Turner, who was imprisoned four years by the Japanese in World War II. As an ambassador’s daughter, Kathleen grew up in many countries like Canada, Cuba, Venezuela, and England before finally moving back with her family to Springfield in 1973, after her father’s death.
Kathleen had been passionate about acting since an early age, and while in London, she studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She later attended Southwest Missouri State University for two years and then transferred to the University of Maryland. Relocating to New York for her acting career, Kathleen was soon hailed as the young Lauren Bacall for her voice.

In 1984, Kathleen married realtor Jay Weiss. The couple has a daughter named Rachel Ann Weiss (born in 1988) who is also an actress.

Body Heat


Kathleen Turner’s journey in acting began when she took a part in a Broadway production of “Mr. T” (1977). She continued with the play “Gemini” (1978). She moved to TV and played Nola Dancy Aldrich in the soap opera “The Doctors” (1978-1979) before finally starring as Matty Walker in her successful film Body Heat (1981). Her sexy role granted her a nomination at the 1982 Golden Globes for New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture as well as the 1983 BAFTA Award for Outstanding Newcomer.

After playing Doloris Benedict, opposite Steve Martin, in The Man with Two Brains (1983), Turner starred in Romancing the Stone (1984), alongside Michael Douglas. Her portrayal of romance novelist Joan Wilder handed her a Los Angeles Film Critics Association for Best Actress and a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. Turner’s following role, Joanna Crane, in Crimes of Passion (1984) won her the 1984 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Actress Award, and in 1986, a Sant Jordi for Best Foreign Actress.

Subsequently, Turner starred opposite Jack Nicholson in the black comedy Prizzi’s Honor (1985), as Irene Walker. The John Huston story of a hired murderous couple garnered another Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical. After reprising her role as Joan Wilder in the sequel of Romancing the Stone, The Jewel of the Nile (1985), she carried her luck to Francis Ford Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married (1986). Turner’s performance as Peggy Sue Kelcher gathered a 1986 National Board of Review for Best Actress. She was also nominated for a 1987 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role and 1987 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for the film.

Taking another leading role in Giulia e Giulia (1987), as Julia, Turner amazed the public by lending her voice to Jessica Rabbit, a character in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), and later in its sequels: Tummy Trouble (1989), Rollercoaster Rabbit (1990), Trail Mix-Up (1993), and The Best of Roger Rabbit (1996). She next took the main role in V.I. Warshawski (1991) as Victoria 'V.I.' Warshawski, ensued by House of Cards (1993).

On the small screen, Turner provided her voice for Stacy Lavelle in an episode of “The Simpsons” (1994), made her directing debut in a segment of Showtime’s Directed By, “Leslie's Folly” (1994). She next played Fanny Connelyn in her self-produced TV movie, Friends at Last (1995), and was seen as an anchorwoman in the made-for-TV movie Legalese. Switching to the silver screen, Turner performed in Sofia Coppola’s first production, the Virgin Suicides (1999), as Mrs. Lisbon. She then lent her voice in several episodes of the TV series “King of the Hill” (2000), as Miss Liz Strickland, before guest starring as Helena Handbasket, Chandler’s mother, in the well-known series “Friends” (2001).

In between her screen appearances, Turner also performed on stage. Undertaking a role in the production of “Camille” (1987), she then acted as Maggie in Broadway’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1990), for which she received a Tony nomination for Best Actress. In 1997, Turner performed on the London stage in “Our Betters” and “Tallulah,” which was followed with the role of Mrs. Robinson in the revival of “The Graduate” (2000).

After disappearing for a while, Turner made her way back in 2004 by taking a role in the wide-screen movie Without Love (2004). She also returned to stage by performing as Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (2005), in which she earned another Tony nomination. Recently, she appeared in an episode of the TV series “Law & Order” (2006) and is set to do the voice-over of Constance in the forthcoming animated movie Monster House (2006). Gil Kenan’s story of a monster in the form of a house also features Maggie Gyllenhaal (as Zee), Steve Buscemi (as Nebbercracker) and Jason Lee (as Bones).


  • Savannah Film Festival: Lifetime Achievement Award, 2004
  • Special Theatre World Award, 1990
  • Hasty Pudding Theatricals: Woman of the Year, 1989
  • National Board of Review: Best Actress, Peggy Sue Got Married, 1986
  • Sant Jordi: Best Foreign Actress, Crimes of Passion, 1986
  • Golden Globe: Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical), Prizzi’s Honor, 1985
  • Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Actress, Crimes of Passion, 1984
  • Golden Globe: Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical), Romancing the Stone, 1984
  • Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Actress, Romancing the Stone, 1984
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