Many have seen her in the movies Romancing the Stone, War of the Roses, and Body Heat. Some have been lucky enough to see her on stage in The Graduate and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? You might have caught her on an episode of Nip/Tuck, Friends, or the soap opera The Doctors. Her voice has been used for cartoon characters in film and television. She has won awards and been recognized for her work with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Now, with the publication of this book, we see another side of Kathleen Turner. Revealing and attention-grabbing, this book takes readers deeper into the life of this talented woman.
In her autobiography, Send Yourself Roses (which she sometimes does before an opening performance), Kathleen Turner talks openly about how she grew as an actress and person. Today she feels like she’s at the top of her personal and professional life. But she didn’t always feel this confident, especially in her private life. She took many risks in life, both onstage and off, but she developed and learned with each experience.
This book is filled with many childhood memories, from how she was raised to how she raised her daughter. Turner and her family frequently moved when she was growing up, but moving meant new traveling outfits and exciting adventures. My favorite childhood memory from the book is the story about the time her grandparents’ farm was teeming with eggs. They had to come up with a solution – quick.
Turner was exposed to many different ways of life while moving around the world. She writes about the terrifying earthquake she lived through in Venezuela; while living in Cuba, her mom decided to pull her out of kindergarten because of the propaganda they were teaching the children in the classroom. She also recounts the bomb drills she had to practice in school when they moved back to the United States during the Cold War. It was during this time of frequent postings that Kathleen was exposed to some horrific realities while volunteering at a hospital in South America at the age of eleven. She didn’t go back, but she didn’t stop giving of her time as she grew older.
Turner recalls being enthusiastic about performing from as early as age four – she loved to sing. Although she was acting in high school, her father was anything but encouraging of her being on stage (he did sit in the car and wait for her while she was performing, though). This was a topic she and her dad often fought about when she was at home. She did continue to act in college nonetheless, and when she graduated, she moved to New York to pursue her dreams. New York was a time of waitressing, landing small roles, and taking temporary jobs. But it’s also during this time that she landed her first major role. She would be playing Matty Walker in 1981’s Body Heat. She then tried comedy in the movie The Man With Two Brains. In this film, she insisted on a body double in one scene. Joan Wilder in Romancing the Stone was one of her favorite characters to play, and in the filming of this movie, she did many of her own stunts. As Turner recounts many of her stage and screen performances, she touches on the fun times she had as well as the disasters that couldn’t be foreseen. While filming V.I. Warshawski, she broke her nose. She almost died during a turbulent plane landing during the filming of The Jewel of the Nile, and in 1992 she experienced pain and fever while filming Serial Mom. She was eventually diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. She talks about the treatments that worked for her and those that didn’t, and how she turned to alcohol to dull the pain. Through it all, she still managed to work as an actress and remain committed to her many causes, her family, and her friends. Her classmates in grade eight predicted Turner would be the first lady ambassador to the moon. Today, Kathleen Turner could still be that lady. She’s proved she’s fearless enough, tough enough, and adventurous enough. With Send Yourself Roses, she shares good advice, the lessons she’s learned, and her hopes for the future.
To win a free copy of this book, be the sixth person to email the name of your favourite Kathleen Turner movie to [email protected]