9 Vintage Hollywood Scandals That Reveal Tinseltown’s Ugly Side

Published May 11, 2021
Updated December 9, 2021

Lana Turner’s Daughter Killed Turner’s Mafioso Boyfriend

The blonde bombshell Lana Turner, best known for her femme fatale roles in Hollywood, had an extremely stormy love life. Not only was she married eight times and had short flings with Hollywood’s rich and famous such as Rex Harrison, Clark Gable and supposedly even Frank Sinatra, but she was also caught up in film noir-esque situation in real life.

Lana Turner And Johnny Stompanato

Wikimedia CommonsJohnny Stompanato with Lana Turner at a Hollywood nightclub in 1958.

In 1958, in one of the biggest Hollywood scandals ever, Turner was accused of killing her Mafioso boyfriend Johnny Stompanato, who had ties to Mickey Cohen. He was discovered stabbed to death in Turner’s home.

Hollywood Scandals Lana Turner In Court

Getty ImagesShowing the strain, actress Lana Turner appears on the verge of collapse as she testifies at the inquest into the death of Johnny Stompanato on April 11, 1958.

A court hearing followed during which Turner’s 14-year-old daughter Cheryl Crane confessed to killing her mother’s boyfriend. She had only killed him, however, because she was protecting her mother. According to Turner, that fateful night she had argued with Stompanato, and he had threatened to cripple her and kill her daughter.

Vintage Hollywood Scandals Cheryl Crane

Bettmann/ Getty ImagesCheryl Crane (left), daughter of Steve Crane and actress Lana Turner, is escorted from jail to juvenile hall in Los Angeles in 1958.

The coroner’s jury ruled the death a justifiable homicide. While Turner’s career was unharmed, she could not escape rumors which that claimed that she’d killed Stompanato and forced her daughter to take the blame. Since Crane was a minor, Turner allegedly thought she’d get off easier.

Laura Martisiute
Laura Martisiute is a freelance writer based in Tramore, Ireland. In her spare time, she likes to explore secret beaches, pet cats, and read.
Kaleena Fraga
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Kaleena Fraga has also had her work featured in The Washington Post and Gastro Obscura, and she published a book on the Seattle food scene for the Eat Like A Local series. She graduated from Oberlin College, where she earned a dual degree in American History and French.
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Martisiute, Laura. "9 Vintage Hollywood Scandals That Reveal Tinseltown’s Ugly Side." AllThatsInteresting.com, May 11, 2021, https://allthatsinteresting.com/vintage-hollywood-scandals. Accessed May 18, 2024.