Thursday, 11 October 2012


There is an interesting obituary of Turhan Bey, who died at 89, by Ronald Bergen in today's Guardian; you can link to it here. Bey's background was almost as exotic as his subsequent career; as Bergan points out he was associated with the costume dramas of Jon Hall, Sabu, and Maria Montez, but he was often more watchable in more straightforward fare. What jumped out at me, however, was Bergen's relating that Bey never married, but 'wished to marry the actress Lana Turner in 1944, but gave her up because his mother disapproved.'

In August I wrote about The Falcon Takes Over, which was based on Raymond Chandler's Murder My Sweet. Bey had a small but crucial role in the 1942 film, as Jules Ampthor; Bergen doesn't mention the film, perhaps because the part was so small Bey went unbilled. But as you can see, if you go back to the piece here, I was fascinated by Helen Gilbert, who played the female villain, Velma.

Gilbert, as it happens, was married for five months in 1949 to Johnny Stompanato, who would later become Lana Turner's boyfriend, and be murdered, allegedly by Turner's daughter. And here was Bey hooked up with Turner back at the time he was making a picture with Gilbert, as you can see by the photo left, which was taken in 1942. Of course, Johnny Stomp was only 17 at the time, but....

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