Julia Jean Turner was born in Idaho in 1921. She relocated with her parents to San Francisco in early childhood. Aged 15, she was discovered at a soda shop and signed a year later to a contract by Hollywood director Mervyn LeRoy. She made her film debut in 1937.
Lana went on to become one of Hollywood’s premier leading ladies in the 1940s. Her growing reputation as a femme fatale was burnished by her classic role in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946).
Beyond Lana’s continued screen popularity in the 1950s, and the press coverage of her personal life (which ultimately included eight marriages), she was subjected to even greater media scrutiny when her lover Johnny Stompanato was stabbed to death in 1958. The following year she had one of the biggest hits of her film career, Imitation of Life.
Lana accepted fewer roles from the late 1960s onwards, but she was notably popular as a recurring guest character in 1980s soap opera Falcon Crest. She died in California, after a long illness, in 1995.