Barbara Turner (actress)
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|Born||Gloria Rose Turner
July 14, 1936
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Vic Morrow (1957–1964; divorced; 2 children)
Reza Badiyi (1968–1985; divorced; 1 child)
Life and career
Turner was born Gloria Rose Turner in New York City, the daughter of Pearl (née Zisez) and Alexander Turner. Her parents were both from Austrian Jewish families (her father was an immigrant, as were her maternal grandparents). She was married to actor Vic Morrow – with whom she had two daughters, actress Jennifer Jason Leigh and Carrie Ann Morrow – from 1957 to 1964, and to Iranian television director Reza Badiyi – with whom she had another daughter, actress Mina Badie, from 1968 to 1985. Both Vic Morrow and Reza Badiyi were close friends of the director Robert Altman, who later directed Leigh in two movies, Short Cuts (1993) and Kansas City (1996). Turner performed a cameo role in the family drama-comedy Margot at the Wedding, with daughter Jennifer, released in the fall of 2007.
Turner generally writes complex, emotionally charged human dramas which focus on character interaction and personal relationships. She had several minor acting roles in obscure film and television productions of the 1950s and 1960s before co-writing with then-husband Morrow. In 1966, Morrow directed their screen adaptation of the Jean Genet play Deathwatch. In 1973, she wrote the screenplay for the TV movie The Affair, starring Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner. Praised as a sensitive depiction of a disabled woman coming to grips with her first romantic experience, the film developed a cult following after it lapsed into public domain status. Turner's teleplay for the TV movie Freedom (1981), was based on her daughter Carrie's experiences in the 1970s as a teen runaway, played by real-life family friend Mare Winningham.
Turner later received accolades for her work, including a Writers Guild of America Award nomination for her adaptation of Petulia (1968), an Emmy nomination for the 1977 television movie The War Between the Tates, and the Christopher Award for the 1987 television movie Eye on the Sparrow.
In 1995, she teamed up with daughter Jennifer Jason Leigh to produce Turner’s screenplay for Georgia, a film depicting the troubled relationship between two singing sisters (played by Leigh and Mare Winningham, who both won praise and several awards for their performances). Turner later served as a script consultant on The Anniversary Party (2001), a film that Leigh wrote, produced and directed with Alan Cumming.
In 2000, Turner’s screenplay for the Jackson Pollock biopic Pollock became a successful film which won an Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress for Marcia Gay Harden and a Best Actor nomination for Ed Harris. She then collaborated with actress Neve Campbell on a screenplay named The Company (2003), about the inner workings of Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet, which was directed by her old friend Robert Altman.
In June 2010, it was announced that Turner and Jerry Stahl had written a screenplay for an HBO film about Ernest Hemingway and his relationship with Martha Gellhorn entitled Hemingway & Gellhorn; the film starred Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman when it aired in 2012. James Gandolfini was executive producer of the film, which was directed by Philip Kaufman.
Screenplays written by Barbara Turner:
- Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012 HBO film)
- The Company (2003)
- Pollock (2000) (adaptation)
- Georgia (1995)
- Out of Darkness (1994)
- Eye on the Sparrow (1987)
- Sessions (1983)
- The War Between the Tates (1977) (adaptation)
- Petulia (1968) (adaptation)
- Deathwatch (1966) (adaptation)
Barbara Turner's acting roles:
- Soldier Blue (1970)
- Nightmare in Chicago (1964) (TV)
- Monster From Green Hell (1958)
- Margot at the Wedding (2007)