Friday, February 15, 2008


Last night I went to see Kathleen Turner speaking with Gloria Feldt at the 92nd Street Y. They’re out promoting Turner’s new autobiography, “Send Yourself Roses,” which sounds pretty interesting. It’s not only about her acting career but also her more recent battles with both rheumatoid arthritis and the bottle.

Turner is funny, even a bit of a ham -- which I suppose should be expected from a famous actress. She’s a hoot, making dry quips in that husky, slightly slurred, vaguely European diction of hers. (Her father was in the foreign service, and she grew up all over the world -- her speech seems vaguely flavored with this Internationalism.)

She talked about a lot of stuff -- her father’s disapproval of her acting career and his sudden death when she was 17; being nude in front of strangers and under heavy camera equipment during the filming of “Body Heat,” which put her on the map in Hollywood; the pain she began feeling during the filming of “Serial Mom” that got so bad she thought she was dying, and eventually was diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis.

I’ve liked Kathleen Turner ever since I saw “Body Heat” in the mid-80s, and I’ve seen her twice on stage -- in London in “The Graduate” and on Broadway in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Now that I think about it, though, I haven’t seen any of her films in quite a while. I think it’s time to add “Body Heat” and “Serial Mom,” at least, to the top of my Netflix queue.

At the end of their talk, I went down the hall past the stage door to find the bathroom -- and Turner stepped right out in front of me! (She seemed very TALL!) I smiled, she smiled, and then she set out to meet the crowd waiting to buy her book. I didn’t try to talk to her. But I think our arms touched as she passed me.

(Photo: Doors in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Feb. 2008)


  1. You literally rubbed shoulders with her! How cool.

    The film she made with Michael Douglas, Romancing the Stone, is another very good one. Some folks loved When Peggy Sue got married, but it's not one of my favs.

    Did you read that Nicolas Cage is suing her over something she said about him when they filled Peggy Sue?

  2. I really like Ms. Turner.

  3. Reya: No! I have to catch up on the celeb gossip, I guess! :)

  4. turner has been a long time fave...she was the only shining light in the horrible adaptation of paretsky's v.i warshawski.

    she definitely was hot in body heat and as the voice of jessica rabbit!!

    sorry to read about her health challenges...ra can really take a toll.

    off to see if she's done anything lately - of course writing a book is a BIG THING!

  5. Well, for one thing, she's directing "Crimes of the Heart" on Broadway...and apparently she teaches at NYU. (How cool would it be to have Kathleen Turner as your professor??)

  6. I have had several Kathleen interactions besides seeing her on Broadway (add Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to the two you mentioned). She was in the audience when I saw Valley of the Dolls off broadway and again when I saw The Glass Menagerie with Jessica Lange. She was a member of the health club I worked at - I actually still work there part time - and she was larger than life. She was not one to lay low but was rather at ease with her celebrity and the attention it brought.

    I think her book will probably be a good read. And she really was something in Body Heat. Woof!

  7. I like Kathleen Turner --she is a good actress.

  8. she was great in the Man with 2 Brains, i've liked her ever since seeing that.

    (and Romancing the Stone - M Douglas notwithstanding...)

  9. Turner is a strong adventurous woman--or at least that's how I have always seen her. I look forward to looking at her memoir.