Screenwriter Barbara Turner passed away on 5 April 2016 at the age of 79.
Turner began screen-writing in the 1960’s, with her initial screenplays co-written with her husband, Vic Morrow, whom Turner met at Dramatic Workshop, before they relocated to Hollywood together. Their first was 1996’s Deathwatch, based on Jean Genet’s stage-play.
In 1973, Turner wrote television film The Affair.
Turner’s first Humanitas Award nomination was for 1976’s Widow in 90 Minutes or Longer Network or Syndicated Television.
This was followed by another television film, 1981’s Freedom, based on daughter Carrie’s experience as a teenage runaway.
Turner received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special for the 1977 television film The war Between the Tates, based on Alison Lurie’s novel.
In 1983, Turner wrote the Sessions screenplay.
For the 1983 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Cujo, Turner was credited as Lauren Currier when collaborating on the screenplay with Don Carlos Dunaway.
This was followed by a Television & Cable category win at the Christopher Awards for 1987’s television film Eye on the Sparrow.
Turner’s second Humanitas Award nominated was for television film, Out of Darkness in 1994 in 90 Minutes or Longer Network or Syndicated Television.
The following year in 1995, Turner wrote the Georgia screenplay.
While not the screenwriter, Turner served as a script consultant on 2001’s The Anniversary Party by daughter Jennifer Jason Leigh – Turner’s daughter with Morrow – and Alan Cumming, which won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.
In 2000, Turner collaborated with Susan Emshwiller on Pollock, based on the book Jackson Pollock: an American Saga by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith.
In 2003, Turner wrote screenplay The Company, about the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.
Currently, Turner’s final produced screenplay is Hemingway & Gellhorn, on-which Turner collaborated with Jerry Stahl, and was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for Long Form – Original.
Turner’s final screenplay is the currently to-be-produced Knock Wood: Charlie McCarthy Project, based on producer Candice Bergen’s memoir.
Turner’s other to-be-produced adapted screenplays include Headlong (based on Michael Frayn’s novel), Knowledge of the Angels (based on Jill Patton Walsh’s novel), and Barn Blind (based on Jane Smiley’s novel). Original screenplays include Beautiful View, Under Heaven and Once Again for Zelda.
“I do a lot of research… so everything is sunk in a kind of truth. People are wonderful, they’re extraordinary. They do and say and create extraordinary things. And that’s the joy of writing for me: just going out there for each screenplay and listening to people, and learning how they view the world, how they experience life and each other. My thought is, why make anything up when it’s so wonderful as it is?”
– Turner on Georgia, Scenario Magazine (1995)
“I’ve always had so much admiration for my mom. She’s so inspiring as a woman and as an artist. My mother always helped me because she was kind of a research fanatic. When she would write a screenplay there would be so much research all over the walls. And so when I started working as an actress I would do the same thing. She instilled in me a love of taking everything very seriously. It didn’t matter what it was.”
– Leigh on Turner, PEOPLE Magazine (2016)
This story was broken by Variety.