Kathleen Turner is a Golden Globe-winning and Academy Award-nominated actress who is best known for her work in Body Heat, Romancing the Stone, Prizzi’s Honor, Peggy Sue Got Married, and The Virgin Suicides. She also got her start on a soap.
Along with her work on soaps and in films, Turner has also appeared on primetime television shows including The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Friends, and Californication. From where she was born and raised to her health struggles, here are five fast facts about the actress.
Who Is Kathleen Turner?
Turner was born on June 19 in Springfield, Missouri. Because her father worked in the Foreign Service, Turner grew up abroad and lived all over — from Canada and Cuba and over to London. She attended the American School in London, which is where she started acting. She then attended Missouri State University for two years, but she transferred to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Though she got her start in the theater, Turner made her television debut in the NBC soap, The Doctors, playing Nola Dancy Aldrich. She made her film debut just a few years later in Body Heat, a film in which she had a lookalike who was played by Kim Zimmer. Coincidentally, Zimmer had also replaced Turner in the role of Nola on the soap.
Despite having a very successful career, Turner faced a major setback when she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It began impacting her acting career and she saw a decline in the roles she was offered.
In fact, she had a very hard time walking and could not turn her head. Despite having a difficult decade, new drugs became available in the 2000s and her arthritis has been in remission since 2006.
Thanks to the new medications, Turner began acting more. In fact, she was cast on the very popular sitcom Friends as Chandler Bing’s gay father, who worked as a drag queen in Las Vegas.
Getting Personal With Kathleen Turner
Turner married Jay Weiss, a real estate entrepreneur in 1984 in New York City. The couple had one child together, daughter Rachel Ann, who was born on October 14, 1987. However, they split in 2006, and their divorce was finalized in December 2007.