Have you ever thought about how weirdly transient celebrity can be? In many cases, you don’t have any idea of who someone is before they become famous with a few high-profile roles. Pretty soon, they’re a household name…but that doesn’t keep them from disappearing just as quickly as they appeared in the first place.
This is basically the life that Kathleen Turner led: a surprise pivot into acting, early awards and buzz, and then a later career where she has mostly stepped back from traditional Hollywood roles. What brought her to this point, and what has she been up to lately? Keep reading to find out!
Acting brought the stability her childhood lacked
While there are plenty of famous actors who come from a wealthy and privileged background, that doesn’t exactly describe Kathleen Turner. She grew up with four siblings and faced an unthinkable tragedy at a young age when her father suddenly died while mowing the lawn.
Things went from bad to worse at this point when the foreign service kicked Turner’s family out of the UK one month after her dad died. The family ended up moving to Springfield, Missouri, but it was difficult to truly move on because she was still in mourning. Years later, she would move to New York to pursue her dreams of becoming an actor, and this finally provided some of the stability she had been looking for.
Major breakout roles
Kathleen Turner turned out to be a very talented actor. Still, most people would never have known that if she didn’t have major luck with some breakout roles throughout the ‘80s.
Her biggest breakout role was Body Heat, and she played the sexy femme fatale that helped drive that film. Years later, she would first appear onscreen with Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone. Neither of them had any idea at the time, but they would star in several more films together throughout the decades.
A bit unlucky in love
In her various onscreen roles, Kathleen Turner’s characters often found the fulfilling relationships they were looking for. Unfortunately, when the cameras weren’t rolling, this famous actor ended up more than a bit unlucky in love.
She married Romancing the Stone property developer Jay Weiss in 1984, and the two of them had a daughter together. Eventually, though, the busy schedule and high pressure of being married to a successful actor wore on Weiss, and the two of them finalized their divorce in 2007. Turner would never marry again after this, though some might say that she’s married to her work!
Well-deserved awards and nominations
Kathleen Turner has received many awards and nominations in her time. This includes nominations related to her stage work: for example, she played Martha in the Broadway revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and she received a Tony nomination for the power of her performance.
When it comes to her film career, though, Turner has received two Golden Globes, including one for her amazing performance in Romancing the Stone. And in 1987, she was nominated for an Academy Award thanks to her performance in Peggy Sue Got Married. All of this adds up to one more reason she doesn’t have to worry about cutting back on screen roles as she gets older: in every way that counts, Kathleen Turner has more than proven herself as an actor!
A major medical scare
We don’t always stop to think about the many ways (big and small) some of our favorite actors are just like us. For example, Kathleen Turner may be one of the richest and most famous people on the entire planet. But in the late ‘90s, she received the kind of health scare that average people receive every single day.
When her neck suddenly locked up, she had no idea what was going on. At the time, she was intensely afraid of the idea that she might be confined to a wheelchair and that this would limit (or possibly end) her acting career. Ultimately, it turned out that she was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, and while it wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be, the star turned to some unhealthy habits to manage her pain.
A surprising diagnosis and the secret to a healthier life
While she had better reasons than most, Kathleen Turner eventually turned to booze and medications as a source of pain relief. This helped provide relief and improve mobility, but it also led to embarrassing incidents like her passing out during dress rehearsals.
Turner eventually checked into rehab where she got a very surprising diagnosis: she wasn’t an alcoholic…she was just someone who needed healthier methods of pain relief and to take better note of her different medicine side effects. These days, Turner enjoys acting in stage shows rather than TV or film, and she has a very healthy regimen of yoga and pilates to keep her active and pain-free throughout the day.