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My Gay Toronto - Bellini's 8 1/2

The legendary of Lana Turner and her scandals

If you're at all familiar with Hollywood legend and lore, then you know that Lana Turner was called the 'Sweater Girl' because of her amazing tits. You might also know that she was discovered sitting on a stool at Schwab's Drug Store (it was actually the Top Hat Cafe), and most importantly, you would know that her 13-year-old daughter stabbed her big-dicked Mafioso boyfriend to death, resulting in one of the all-time biggest show biz scandals. And now, Danforth Prince and Darwin Porter have unleashed their laser-like research skills to dig out the real story of the great movie star Lana Turner.

Subtitled Hearts & Diamonds Take All, it's a massive, juicy read. Born Judy Turner, she grew up nice and it wasn't long before she was getting small parts in big movies. She loved men, married seven and had affairs with many more. One of her biggest fans was Eva Peron, who modelled her own look on Turner's style. Lana Turner had some great roles (The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Bad and the Beautiful, Imitation of Life) yet only received one Oscar nomination, for Peyton Place. It was a charmed life, except for her affair with Johnny Stompanato. 

A low-level mobster, he wooed Lana with jewels, eventually winning her heart with his charm and his giant penis. But he often flew into violent rages, threatening to maim or kill Lana, Cheryl and Lana's mother as well. Once, sensing that Lana was having a fling with co-star Sean Connery, he went on set and waved a gun in Connery's face. Cheryl could take no more of the threats, and during a horrible fight she delivered one efficient stab wound with a kitchen knife, causing enough internal bleeding to end Stompanato's life almost immediately. As far as movie star scandals go, this is one of the greatest.

Cheryl Crane is still alive, a lesbian in a long-term relationship. She recently retired from her job as a real estate agent. Considering the trauma - not just the murder she committed, but also the fact that she was repeatedly raped as a child by Lana's then-husband Lex Barker - she turned out okay. (Lex Barker was Tarzan, by the way. Like much of the Golden Age gossip, every element of the story is a combination of the campy and the erotic.)

The book is full of other morsels, like that Johnny Weismuller had an elongated foreskin, or that Freddie Bartholomew liked having his toes sucked. Once again, Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince have concocted a jaw-dropping biographical delight of a great movie star. And even if you don't care about old movie stars, it's also pretty horny.


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