With her strength and beauty—many people rank Kathleen Turner among the most stunning actors in Hollywood—Kathleen Turner gained notoriety in the 1980s.
This tenacity has seen the actress through the numerous good and bad times she has encountered throughout the years.
Kathleen Turner was reared in a home with four other children despite having a difficult upbringing. She and her siblings were raised in both Venezuela and London.
She experienced tragedy when, at a young age, her father passed tragically suddenly while mowing the lawn of their Hampstead house.
The foreign service expelled Kathleen and her family from the UK a month after his death.
Turner and her family moved to Springfield, Missouri, where they all continued to miss their father and their previous residence.
After relocating to New York to pursue an acting career as an adult, Tuner at last experienced calm.
Although she had some success on the stage, her big break came when she was cast as the femme fatale in the 1981 film “Body Heat.”
Turner was granted the opportunity to co-star with Michael Douglas in the renowned “Romancing the Stone” three years after sharing a screen with William Hurt.
At the time of filming, Douglas was going through a difficult divorce from his wife Diandra, and he started to have feelings for Turner.
“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,” Kathleen said.
In 1984, she wed Jay Weiss, the real estate developer from the movie. Soon after, the two became parents to their only daughter. The date of Rachel Ann Weiss’ birth is October 14, 1987.
Unfortunately, when they began to raise their daughter, the couple’s relationship started to break down.
“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,’” Kathleen explained.
Their marital issues reached a breaking point when Turner played Martha in the Broadway revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in 2005.
Acting in eight performances a week caused Turner to become exceedingly busy, and it seemed Weiss didn’t want to spend any time with her when she was at home.
Turner received a Tony nomination for her performance as Martha during that period, and the two split peacefully.
In 1987, the actress received an Oscar nomination for her performance in “Peggy Sue Got Married.” In the 1980s, she continued to make movies and appeared in a number of blockbusters, three of which starring Michael Douglas.
Kathleen, however, suffered a medical setback in the 1990s when her neck locked, preventing her from turning her head.
She also lost the ability to use her hands because of swelling in them.
“It was crippling,” Kathleen said. “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?”
Rheumatoid arthritis, which is defined by the swelling of the lining of our joints, turned out to be the cause of her unfortunate circumstances. Chronic pain brought on by this illness can be challenging to manage.
“When it was first diagnosed, I was terrified because they said I’d be in a wheelchair,” Kathleen explained. “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.”
As a pain reliever, Kathleen used booze and medications. Although they made it easier for her to work, her propensity for consuming vodka caused her to pass out during dress rehearsals for plays like the 2002 theatrical production of “The Graduate.”
After the episode ended, the actress genuinely entered rehab, where it was discovered that she was not an alcoholic.
She was instead instructed to just keep better note of when she took her prescriptions and any negative side effects.
The actress now practices yoga and pilates to help her manage her discomfort and stay flexible.
The celebrity started to truly concentrate on her theatrical profession while managing her pain better. As she grew older, she mostly went back to her roots, but she would occasionally still work in cinema and television.
In fact, she even appeared on stage in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” when she was in her forties.
“Because I knew that the better roles as I got older would be in theatre, which is absolutely true, so that was a little foresight on my part of which I am justly proud,” Kathleen said.
The actress has been able to devote more time to her passions by concentrating on the theater, including volunteering for Amnesty International and working for Planned Parenthood of America.
Turner has dedicated her life to supporting other women as a fervent feminist and has done so for the majority of her life. Send Yourself Roses, Gloria Feldt’s 2008 biography of the actress, accurately depicts her ideas.
“We are the first generation of women who are financially independent. Women are going back to work,” Kathleen said. “They’re reinventing themselves. I thought I could support that, even increase that. So it has got a lot of philosophy in it and a lot of my beliefs.”
What do you think of Kathleen Turner’s difficult but fruitful journey?
Please SHARE this article with Family and Friends!