Kathleen Turner is an American actress who rose to fame in the 1980s with her roles in Body Heat, The Man With Two Brains, Crimes of Passion, Romancing the Stone, and Prizzi’s Honor.
Her other notable projects include The Estate, The Jewel of the Nile, Peggy Sue Got Married, and Undercover Blues.
Throughout her career, Turner won several accolades, including two Golden Globe Awards and nominations for an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and Two Tony Awards.
The actress has gone through many ups and downs in her life right from her childhood. She was still a child when her father tragically passed away while mowing the lawn of their Hampstead home.
Almost a month after his passing, Kathleen’s family was kicked out of the UK by the Foreign Service, and they moved to Springfield, Missouri. The whole incident deeply impacted her whole family, who was still grieving the loss of her father.
“I’d felt protected until then, and suddenly there was nobody to protect me,” she told Daily Mail.
After deciding to make a career in Hollywood, Kathleen moved to New York to pursue acting and started doing theatre. In 1981, she landed her breakthrough role in Body Heat, where her fame continued.
In 1984, Turner appeared in Romancing the Stone opposite Michael Douglas who was going through a separation from his wife, Diandra.
During the filming of their movie, the costars developed huge crushes on one another.
“We were in the process of falling in love – fervent, longing looks and heavy flirtation. Then Diandra came down and reminded me he was still married,” she told Daily Mail.
According to the publication, “She and Douglas remained friends, but fell out over the sequel, The Jewel Of The Nile. She hated the script so much – the producers, including Douglas, changed screenwriters without telling her – that she threatened to pull out, earning her a $25 million breach of contract suit.”
The same year, Turner married a property developer, Jay Weiss, and the two welcomed their daughter Rachel Ann Weiss in 1987.
The marriage lasted for nearly 23 years, and the couple divorced in 2007.
“I’d make the movie companies give me long weekends or provide extra tickets so my daughter and husband could come to me. But there was a sense in the marriage the effort was all on his side, which made me feel guilty. It was one of the reasons it ended. I started to feel very oppressed. I thought, ‘Hang on a minute, you’ve done very well out of being married to me also,’” she told Daily Mail.
In the 1990s, Kathleen went through a medical setback when her hands became so swollen that she could not use them to do anything, and her neck locked, making her unable to turn her head.
“It was crippling,” Kathleen told The Guardian in an interview. “You stop taking things for granted when you lose them, even temporarily. What I took for granted – my athleticism, my ability to throw myself around, and just be able to move however I wanted to. When I lost that, that was a real crisis of self: who am I if I cannot do this?”
Eventually, Turner was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis – an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the affected parts of the body, especially joins, and results in chronic pain.“When it was first diagnosed, I was terrified because they said I’d be in a wheelchair,” she told Daily Mail. “
I thought, ‘If I can’t move, I can’t act.’ Acting isn’t just what I want to do. I was born to do it. It’s at every point of my living. The idea of not being able to do it was the most frightening part – that and the constant pain.
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Sources: Daily Mail – The Guardian