Janine Turner

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Janine Turner
Janine Turner At Her Ranch.jpg
Janine Turner, May 2014
Born Janine Loraine Gauntt
(1962-12-06) December 6, 1962 (age 54)
Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1980–present
Children Juliette Turner (b. 1997)
Website janineturner.com

Janine Turner (born Janine Loraine Gauntt; December 6, 1962) is an American actress best known for her roles as Maggie O'Connell in the television series Northern Exposure (1990 – 1995) and as Dr. Dana Stowe on the Lifetime original series Strong Medicine (2000 to 2006). She is also a columnist for The Washington Times.

Early life[edit]

Turner was born Janine Loraine Gauntt in Lincoln, Nebraska, the daughter of Janice Loraine (née Agee), a real estate agent, and Turner Maurice Gauntt, Jr., a pilot for Braniff Airways.[1][2][3][4][5] Her father is from East Texas, while her mother is from South Texas.[6] She has a brother, Tim, and was raised in Euless, Texas.


In 1978, the fifteen-year-old Turner left home to pursue a modeling career with the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency. She began her acting career in 1980, appearing in several episodes of Dallas. She continued to make guest appearances on television shows throughout the 1980s before landing the role of Laura Templeton on General Hospital.

By 1986, Turner had become frustrated with the quality of the roles she was getting; as she told The Chicago Tribune five years later, "I was always working, but I wanted to do more serious roles and knew that I had the talent. I had to get away from Hollywood." Disregarding her agent's advice, Turner moved to New York in order to hone her craft, studying there with Marcia Haufrecht of The Actors Studio.

I gained a new respect and appreciation for acting in New York. And I decided that I didn't want to lock myself into roles that portrayed women negatively. I turned a lot of (TV and film) opportunities down because of that. Everyone thought I was crazy. I was really going for broke. I only had eight dollars left and had become very depressed right before I got the part in "Northern Exposure."[7]

Cast as Maggie O'Connell in 1990, Turner's work on Northern Exposure would earn her an Emmy nomination in 1993 and consecutive Golden Globe nominations from 1992 to 1994.[8] Accolades aside, the role itself was a positive experience for Turner, following the "damsel in distress" roles that had all but driven her from Hollywood in the first place. "I've found my ideal character in Maggie", she told the Tribune. "She's smarter and stronger than all the men she meets." Turner's own move from Hollywood to New York was mirrored by Maggie's, from her affluent Grosse Pointe community to the remote fictional backwater of Cicely, Alaska. Turner said about Maggie that "She went against the grain and challenged herself by moving to Alaska."[7]

Turner at the 1993 Emmy Awards, Governor's Ball

After her breakthrough in Northern Exposure, Turner appeared in the action film Cliffhanger opposite Sylvester Stallone. She next appeared as June Cleaver in a film adaptation of television's Leave it to Beaver.

In 2004, Turner wrote and directed Trip in a Summer Dress, a film about a strong-willed mother and her children. In 2006, she appeared in a low budget movie filmed in Dallas, The Night of the White Pants. In 2006, she was appointed a member of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.[9] In 2007, she appeared in a promotional video for 'Christoga,' a "Christian form of Yoga", as well as for Jesocise, a Christian type of Jazzercise.[10][11]

In 2008, Turner's book, Holding Her Head High: Inspiration from 12 Single Mothers Who Championed Their Children and Changed History, was released. The book focuses on single mothers through history, such as Rachel Lavein Fawcett, the abandoned single mother of Alexander Hamilton.

That same year, Turner began an eight-episode run on the NBC television series Friday Night Lights. She portrayed Katie McCoy, mother of a talented high school football quarterback.

On May 21, 2011, Turner began hosting a live two-hour talk show on conservative-oriented talk radio station KLIF (AM) in Dallas.

Turner and her daughter Juliette began an organization called Constituting America aimed at educating Americans about the U.S. Constitution.[12]

Activism and advocacy[edit]

In the 2008 election, she campaigned for vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and expressed her concern for what she perceived as a decidedly liberal bias in the media as a guest on the Fox News Channel show Huckabee on October 25, 2008, and on the CNN show Larry King Live on October 28, 2008. Turner is a frequent contributor to Republican Party candidates and organizations, donating at least $7,000 over the past decade.[13] She spoke at the 2012 Republican National Convention. She has described herself as "socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I'm almost more libertarian," as well as a supporter of the Tea Party.[14]

In 2016, controversy arose when critics wrote that Turner said of Star Wars "that Darth Vader’s costume was black because Star Wars movies were based on the Bible."[15] On the Fox News interview in question, Turner had been asked to comment on a video clip from a talk show in which a participant said she considered Star Wars racist because Darth Vader was dressed in black until he turned away from the dark side and was shown to be white when his helmet was removed. Turner's response was, verbatim: "And regarding Darth Vader? Please! I mean, look: the Bible talks about darkness and light. This is about evil and good. Darkness and light. This doesn't have anything to do with anything else. This is, goes back to biblical times; it's been discussed in the bible, Jesus talks about it, it's about darkness and light, evil and good, it doesn't have anything to do -- you know, evil people traditionally in the movies always wear dark and good people are in white; the evil people come up on the black horses, the good people come up on the white horses. I mean, you know, this is darkness and evil. It doesn't have anything to do with anything else."[16]

Personal life[edit]

Turner has never married. In 1997, she gave birth to a daughter, Juliette Loraine Gauntt. Turner declined to publicly identify the father, but other sources[17][18] identify him as Jerry Jones Jr., who was romantically involved with Turner the year Juliette was born.[19] She was once engaged to Alec Baldwin and also dated Troy Aikman, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Sylvester Stallone.[20][21] She currently lives on a longhorn cattle ranch outside Dallas with her daughter, who is also an actress.[22][23]



Year Title Role Notes
1982 Young Doctors in Love
1986 Knights of the City Brooke
1986 Tai-Pan Shevaun Tillman
1988 Monkey Shines Linda Aikman
1989 Steel Magnolias Nancy-Beth Marmillion
1990 The Ambulance Cheryl
1993 Cliffhanger Jessie Deighan Nominated – Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress
1997 The Curse of Inferno Layla Moanes
1997 Leave It to Beaver June Cleaver
2000 Dr. T & the Women Dorothy Chambliss
2004 No Regrets Cheryl
2004 Trip in a Summer Dress Mama Short film
2006 Miracle Dogs Too Paula Wells Direct-to-video
2006 The Night of the White Pants Barbara Hagan
2009 Birdie & Bogey Amy
2009 Maggie's Passage Jenny Sirron
2010 Black Widow Rachel
2011 A Fonder Heart Nurse Linda
2015 Solace Elizabeth Clancy Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1980–1981 Dallas Unknown 3 episodes
1981 Mr. Merlin Unknown Episode: "All About Sheila"
1981–1982 Behind the Screen Janie-Claire Willow Unknown episodes
1982 The Love Boat Betsy Dunvar Episode: "The Victims/Man in the Iron Shorts"
1982–1983 General Hospital Laura Templeton
1983 The Paper Chase Sondra Episode: "Birthday Party"
1983 Happy Days Debbie Episode: "Where the Guys Are"
1983 Boone Maggie Episode: "Words and Music"
1984 The Master Gina/Teri Episode: "The Good, the Bad and the Priceless"
1984 Santa Barbara Hollywood Woman Episode: "#1.8"
1984 The New Mike Hammer Christine Episode: "Bonecrunch"
1985 The A-Team Theresa Gianni Episode: "The Big Squeeze"
1985 Knight Rider Karen Forester Episode: "KITTnap"
1986–1987 Another World Patricia Kirkland 2 episodes
1989 Quantum Leap Michelle Episode: "Catch a Falling Star"
1990–1995 Northern Exposure Maggie O'Connell 110 episodes
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (1992–1994)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
1997 Stolen Women: Captured Hearts Anna Brewster TV movie
1998 Circle of Deceit Terry Silva TV movie
1998 Beauty Alix Miller TV movie
1999 Fatal Error Dr. Samantha Craig TV movie
1999 A Secret Affair Vanessa Stewart TV movie
2000–2002 Strong Medicine Dr. Dana Stowe 50 episodes
2005 Walker Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire Ranger Kay Austin TV movie
2007 Primal Doubt Jean Harper TV movie
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Victoria Grall Episode: "Inconceivable"
2008–2009 Friday Night Lights Katie McCoy 12 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Janine Turner at the Governor's Ball after the 1992 Emmy Awards

Emmy Award

  • 1993: Nominated, "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series" – Northern Exposure

Golden Globe Award

  • 1992: Nominated, "Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Drama" – Northern Exposure
  • 1993: Nominated, "Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Drama" – Northern Exposure
  • 1994: Nominated, "Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Drama" – Northern Exposure

Golden Raspberry Award

  • 1994: Nominated, "Worst Supporting Actress" – Cliffhanger

Screen Actors Guild Awards

  • 1995: Nominated, "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series" – Northern Exposure

Young Artist Award

  • 1983: Won, "Best Young Actress in the Daytime Series" – General Hospital



  1. ^ Janine Turner Biography (1962–) from filmreference.com
  2. ^ Janine Turner Biography from Yahoo! Movies
  3. ^ "What Would Our Forefathers Think of America Today?". FOXNews.com. July 16, 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2010. 
  4. ^ . January 3, 1996 http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=ST&s_site=dfw&p_multi=ST&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EAF9049229561C4&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "I5126: Turner Maurice GAUNTT (Jr.) (18 DEC 1934 - )". Retrieved December 2, 2016.  line feed character in |title= at position 37 (help)
  6. ^ Janine Turner from the website of the International Speakers Bureau
  7. ^ a b Micucci, Dana (1 September 1991). "Against The Grain: Janine Turner Ignores Advice and Thrives On It". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Janine Turner". Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
  9. ^ June 15, 2006 Personnel Announcement from the White House website
  10. ^ "Christoga – Christian Yoga". YouTube. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  11. ^ McDonell-Parry, Amelia (May 19, 2010). "Christoga: Ex-"Northern Exposure" Star Janine Turner Presents Yoga For Christians". The Frisky. 
  12. ^ Constituting America. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  13. ^ "NEWSMEAT ▷ Janine Turner's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". Newsmeat.com. May 19, 2010. Retrieved May 30, 2010. 
  14. ^ "The GOP's latest bombshell". September 10, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
  15. ^ The Raw Story, December 2015, Conservative actress tells Fox: Darth Vader is black because it’s in the Bible and ‘Jesus talks about it’, Retrieved August 2, 2016
  16. ^ Raw Story (2015-12-14), Janine Turner: Darth Vader is black because it's in the Bible, retrieved 2016-09-02 
  17. ^ "Turner, Janine 1962-". Encyclopedia.com. Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Janine Turner of Northern Exposure is a conservative talk show host". Jenx.com. January 9, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Names and Faces: Janine Turner Trades Northwest For Southern Exposure On Ranch". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Janine Turner – Vol. 62 No. 5". August 2, 2004. Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
  21. ^ Koen, Gabriel (July 2, 1997). "Janine Turner's Life Story". Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Juliette Gauntt". International Movie Database. IMDB.com. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  23. ^ Meet the Council Members, her biography from a President's Council on Service and Civic Participation website

External links[edit]