Our Lady of the Husky Voice, Kathleen Turner, was the quintessential femme fatale of 1980s cinema, thanks in part to sultry turns in films of both the steamy noir melodrama and silly noir cartoon caper variety. Whether playing a freelance killer-for-hire or a part-time prostitute, this hardworking actress was a full-time sex symbol during her leading lady heyday.
Yet Turner, a former gymnast who performed many of her own stunts, slipped off the Hollywood A-list in the 1990s after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. (One highlight during this era being her turn as deranged, recycling-conscious suburban Baltimore housewife Beverly Sutphin in John Waters' 1994 black comedy, "Serial Mom.") Turner turned to alcohol as a form of self-medication during her battle with the crippling disease. Eventually, Turner's arthritis went into remission, and she cleaned up after a stint in rehab.
Turner, now 57, rarely acts in films these days but has picked up occasional TV work ("Californication," Nip/Tuck," the obligatory episode of "Law & Order") and appeared on stage as both Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and opposite Jason Biggs as Mrs. Robinson in the Broadway production of "The Graduate." An active supporter of Planned Parenthood and Amnesty International, the fiercely intelligent and outspoken Turner wrote candidly about her struggles with rheumatoid arthritis, alcoholism and aging not-so-gracefully in youth-obsessed Hollywood in the 2008 memoir, "Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts On My Life, Love and Leading Roles." As pointed out in a profile of Turner published by The Guardian after the release of the book, the actress hasn't undergone any cosmetic surgeries and can "eat a hefty BLT without even so much as a hint of mayo-induced panic." We like your style, Kathleen.