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Kathleen Turner

Real name: Mary Kathleen Turner
Birthdate: June 19, 1954
Status: Married
Partner: Jay Weiss

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Turner was born in Springfield, Missouri, the daughter of Patsy Magee and Allen Richard Turner, who was a U.S. Foreign Service officer and schoolteacher; he grew up in China (where Turner's great-grandfather worked as a Methodist missionary) and, as a diplomat, had been imprisoned by the Japanese for four years during the Second World War. Because of her father's career, Turner lived in four foreign countries (Canada, Cuba, Venezuela, and the United Kingdom. Turner has two brothers and a sister. While attending high school in London, she was a gymnast and also took classes at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Turner graduated from the American School in London in 1972. Her father died of a coronary thrombosis the same year and the family moved back to the United States. She attended Missouri State University at Springfield for two years (where a fellow classmate was John Goodman), then gained her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 1977. During this time, she acted in several productions directed by Steve Yeager.

Turner soon launched a successful film career, making her debut in 1981 as the ruthless Matty Walker in the neo-noir thriller Body Heat, which many consider one of the sexiest films ever. Empire Magazine cited the film in 1995 when it named her one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in Film History. The New York Times wrote in 2005 that, propelled by her "jaw-dropping movie debut Body Heat... she built a career on adventurousness and frank sexuality borne of robust physicality."

After Jewel, Kathleen Turner starred in Prizzi's Honor with Jack Nicholson. winning a second Golden Globe award, and in Peggy Sue Got Married with Nicolas Cage. For Peggy Sue, she received a 1987 Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. In 1988's toon-noir Who Framed Roger Rabbit, she provided the voice of cartoon femme fatale Jessica Rabbit. Her uncredited, sultry performance was acclaimed as "the kind of sexpot ball-breaker she was made for." She also voiced the famous line, "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way."

Despite drug therapy to help her condition, the disease progressed for about eight years. Then, due to newly-available treatments, her arthritis went into remission. She was seen increasingly on television, including an episode of Friends where she appeared as Chandler Bing's transvestite father. She also provided the voice of Malibu Stacy creator on the episode "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy" on The Simpsons. She also had a role as a defense attorney on Law & Order.

Turner lived with agent David Guc from 1977 to 1982. She married a millionaire New York real-estate mogul named Jay Weiss in 1984, and their daughter, Rachel Ann Weiss was born October 14, 1987. Turner was born into a Methodist family and has said that she has "taken on a certain amount of Jewish tradition and identity" since marrying her husband and raising their daughter in the Jewish religion. In 2006, Turner announced that she and Weiss were planning a trial separation.

Turner serves on the board of People for the American Way, is chairperson for Planned Parenthood of America, and supports Amnesty International, Childhelp USA, and Citymeals-on-Wheels. She was one of John Kerry's first celebrity endorsements and reportedly invited him to come see her as Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. She has been a frequent donor to the Democratic Party. She has also worked to raise public awareness of RA.


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