Peter Turner has zero regrets falling in love with Oscar-winning actress Gloria Grahame in the late ‘70s when he was nearly 30 years younger than her at age 26.
Grahame passed away at age 57 in 1981 from cancer. Their relationship, which the British writer and director chronicled in his memoir, “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” has been turned into a film of the same title. It stars Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening as Grahame.
Turner recently told Closer Weekly he first met the famous blonde during a British stage production in 1978. By then, the star of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Oklahoma!” was a fading Hollywood star looking to revive her career as an actress.
“It was the most wonderful relationship,” he explained. “It changed my life enormously and resonates with me even now.”
And when Turner first met Grahame, she had already faced plenty of hardships with love. According to the magazine, the “Bad and Beautiful” actress had already four failed marriages under her belt, including to director Nicholas Ray and his son Tony Ray.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed Nicholas had allegedly caught Grahame in bed with his 13-year-old son, Tony, from his first marriage after he returned from military school. That scandal would reportedly cause the marriage to end in 1952. The magazine added Grahame married Tony nine years later and they shared two children. The couple divorced in 1974.
Grahame spent her final years focusing on television and British theater, as well as raising her children away from Hollywood scandal.
“It affected her big time, and I don’t think it’s anything she ever got over,” said Turner. “But she was brave, courageous, and continued trying to work as an actress… The idea of love meant a lot to her. She wrote me a lovely letter that said, ‘In this life, when we die, it’s only loving that’s important.'”
Closer Weekly added the couple remained together for more than three years. And when Grahame was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, she reportedly stayed by Turner’s side in Liverpool.
The New York Times previously reported Grahame died at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan after arriving aboard a commercial flight from London. Dr. William R. Grace revealed at the time Grahame slipped into shock aboard the flight and physicians on the plane said her death was “imminent.”
Turner said Grahame would be content with having their romance depicted on the big screen so that audiences can finally understand the woman behind the wisecracking persona.
“She learned about love in her lifetime, and she was honest and true,” said Turner. “She would be terribly honored and proud by this film being made. It’s bringing a lot of attention back to Gloria, which is lovely, isn’t it?”