Monday, February 8, 2010

On This Day in Idaho History, Feb 8

February 8, 1921: Movie star Lana (Julia Jean) Turner born in Wallace

Born Julia Jean Mildred Frances Turner in Wallace, Idaho, she was the daughter of John Virgil Turner, a miner from Tennessee, and Mildred Frances Cowan, a sixteen-year-old Alabama native.

Until her film career took off, she was known to family and friends as "Judy". Hard times eventually forced the family to re-locate to San Francisco, where her parents soon separated.

Turner's discovery at a Hollywood drug store is a show-business legend. As a sixteen-year-old student at Hollywood High School, Turner skipped a typing class and bought a Coke at the Top Hat Cafe where she was spotted by William Wilkerson, publisher of The Hollywood Reporter.  Wilkerson was attracted by her beauty and physique, and referred her to actor/comedian/talent agent Zeppo Marx.  Marx's agency immediately signed her to a contract.

And the rest, they say, is history.

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