Classic Hollywood #94 – Lana Turner, Stephen Crane & Frank Sinatra

Lana Turner, Stephen Crane & Frank Sinatra At The Stork Club 1943Lana Turner Stephen Crane Frank Sinatra Stork Club photo International News 1943

Nation’s Heart Throbs in Gotham

Two of the three persons at this Stork Club table probably account for more of the male and female heart throbs in America. Lana Turner takes care of the male faction while Sinatra the singer accounts for the fairer sex. In center is Stephen Crane who is fortunate enough to be Lana’s husband and personal heart throb. (October 9, 1943) Photo: International News

From the look of this press photo it seems film star Lana Turner (1921-1995) and singer Frank Sinatra have more chemistry than Turner and her husband Stephen Crane. Quick romances do not always lead to satisfying marriages. Lana Turner eloped with bandleader Artie Shaw in 1940 when she was just 19-years-old. The marriage lasted four months.

Only three weeks after meeting merchandiser and tobacco heir Stephen Crane, 21-year-old Lana Turner married him on July 17, 1942. In December of 1942 the couple announced they were expecting a child. 

A few weeks later it was discovered that Crane had neglected to finalize his divorce from his previous wife Carol Ann Kurtz.

Right after the new year, Turner filed to have the marriage annulled, even though the divorce from Kurtz was pending and finalized on January 19, 1943,  Turner’s annulment was granted on February 4.  A week and half later, after trying unsuccessfully for a reconciliation with Turner, Crane swallowed sleeping tablets and drove his car off a cliff. Miraculously he survived.

Crane and Turner were rewed on March 14 in Tijuana, Mexico. Daughter Cheryl Crane was born July 25, but parenthood did not lead to wedded bliss. By April of 1944, Turner left Crane for a second and final time citing “extreme cruelty.” In a five minute uncontested hearing the two were divorced August 21, 1944.

Lana Turner would marry five more times, all ending in divorce. Not one of her marriages lasted longer than four years.

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