Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool: A True Love Story by Peter TurnerOn 29 September 1981, Peter Turner received a phone call that would change his life. His former lover, Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame, had collapsed in a Lancaster hotel and was refusing medical attention. He had no choice but to take her into his chaotic and often eccentric familys home in Liverpool.
Liverpool born and bred, Turner had first set eyes on Grahame when he was a young actor, living in London. Best known for her portrayal of irresistible femme fatales in films such as The Big Heat, Oklahoma and The Bad and the Beautiful, for which she won an Oscar, Grahame electrified audiences with her steely expressions and heavy-lidded eyes and the heroines she bought to life were often dark and dangerous. Turner and Grahame became firm friends and remained so ever after their love affair had ended. And it was to him she turned in her final hour of need.
Film Stars Dont Die in Liverpool is an affectionate, moving and wryly humorous memoir of friendship, love, and stardom.
Peter Turner chats about his love for Gloria Grahame in Film Stars don't die in Liverpool
“Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” and Gloria Grahame’s Defiant Power
Gloria Grahame arrived at the 25th Academy Awards on the verge of superstardom. But this was no false modesty. I felt unqualified then, [but] Gloria always felt unqualified. Rumors circulated that she rebuked the honor after getting drunk at the event, which caused her to trip and curse en route to claim the prize — none of which was true. Sadly, following her Oscar victory, the beauty Grahame embodied so artfully on screen never reflected the personal turmoil festering under the surface. At 29, she was already two divorces deep into a turbulent romantic life: one from allegedly abusive actor Stanley Clements, the other from boozy Rebel Without a Cause director Nicholas Ray, with whom she had a son, Timothy. Her crippling self-doubt had long served as fodder for journalists.
Please refresh the page and retry. Here we explore the best of these…. As Ginny, a weary dance hall performer who becomes witness to a murder, Grahame was the kind of woman who spoke her mind. Maybe you were some place having beautiful thoughts. Confidently hilarious as Angel, she uses an elephant to save her friend from unwanted male attentions.
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The rise of talking pictures coincided with the Great Depression. The ostensible golden age of the studios paralleled the darkest days of the thirties. Current-day Hollywood contrives its public self-image from the phantoms and the fumes of the classic studio era; in the process, it evokes, with a fallacious longing, the hard-knock times that high-studio movies symbolize. Turner, a working actor of local renown, found himself in contact with a legend whose way of life had become surprisingly ordinary but whose personality retained its grandeur, whose every casual remark resonated with the weight of a past that was populated by potentates and geniuses and by fierce conflicts—intimate, public, and historical. When Turner and Grahame meet—in real life, in ; the film has it as —her career was greatly reduced.
But her personal life got in the way of superstardom. Married four times, she endured custody battles and saw her career practically disappear after she married Anthony Ray, her former stepson from her marriage to Ray. She was 36 and he was Turner quit acting after Grahame died of cancer in at the age of It took him several years to process her death before he began writing his book about her. Our connection was we became friends, then it became deeper, more romantic. There was so much there.