Kathleen Turner

Biography of Kathleen Turner

Mary Kathleen Turner (born June 19, 1954) is an American actress. She came to fame during the 1980s, after roles in the Hollywood films Body Heat, Peggy Sue Got Married, Romancing the Stone, The War of the Roses, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Serial Mom and Prizzi's Honor. More recently, she guest starred on the third season of Showtime's Californication as Sue Collini, the jaded, sex-crazed owner of a public relations company.

Turner was born in Springfield, Missouri, the daughter of Patsy (née Magee) and Allen Richard Turner, a U.S. Foreign Service officer who grew up in China[citation needed] (where Turner's great-grandfather had been a Methodist Christian missionary). Her father, a diplomat, had been imprisoned by the Japanese Empire for four years during World War II. As a girl, Turner lived in Canada, Venezuela, and England, and she was living in Cuba at the time that Fidel Castro took over the government. When the United States soon after broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba, it forced the staff members of the American embassy in Havana to leave the country. Turner has two brothers and one sister. While attending high school in England, she was a gymnast, and she also took classes at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

In her early years, Turner was interested in performing. Her father did not encourage her: "My father was of missionary stock," she later explained, "so theater and acting were just one step up from being a streetwalker, you know? So when I was performing in school, he would drive my mom [there] and sit in the car. She'd come out at intermissions and tell him, 'She's doing very well.'"

Kathleen graduated from the American School in London in 1972. Her father died of a coronary thrombosis during that same year, and then the family moved back to the United States. Kathleen attended Missouri State University (then Southwest Missouri State) in Springfield for two years (where a classmate was John Goodman), then earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in 1977. During that period, Turner acted in several productions directed by the film and stage director Steve Yeager.

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