Since her breakout role as femme fatale extraordinaire Matty Walker in Body Heat (1981), Kathleen Turner has delivered pitch-perfect performances that cut across genres on screen and stage. From playing dark comedy in War of the Roses (1989) to action/romance in Romancing the Stone (1984), Ms. Turner has crafted a diverse filmography that has established her as a leading screen talent. Standout roles include Irene in Prizzi’s Honor (1985) and the title role in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), for which she received a best actress Oscar nomination. Memorably, Turner also lent her slinkiest voice to Jessica Rabbit in the animated Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988).
On stage, Ms. Turner made her Broadway debut in 1978 in Albert Innaurato's Gemini, with Reed Birney. In 1990, breathing life into the role of Maggie, she delivered a striking performance in Tennessee William's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, in which she starred opposite Charles Durning. In 1995, Ms. Turner portrayed Yvonne, a codependent mother to Michael, played by Jude Law, in Indiscretions, an adaptation of Cocteau's Les Parents Terribles.
Two plays of note traveled from Broadway to London's West End: In Terry Johnson's The Graduate, Ms. Turner played Mrs. Robinson, starring opposite Jason Biggs; and in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Ms. Turner redefined the role of Martha, earning her highest marks to date. The onstage chemistry with co-star Bill Irwin was shattering and garnered rave reviews. As Ben Brantley wrote in The New York Times: “When [Turner] sits at the center of the stage quietly reciting a litany of the reasons she loves her dearly despised husband, you feel she has peeled back each layer of her skin to reveal what George describes as the marrow of a person.”
Back on Broadway, in High (2010), Ms. Turner employed this same intensity to embody a foul-mouthed, alcoholic nun charged with trying to save a young addict (Evan Jonigkeit). In 2014, at the Duchess Theatre in London, she starred opposite Ian McDiarmid in Stephen Sachs' Bakersfield Mist.
Ms. Turner has relished opportunities to perform in illustrious regional theaters, notably as the title character in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Geffin in Los Angeles, and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. At Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., she mesmerized audiences in Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and her Children and in Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking.
In addition to her strong work on big screen and stage, Ms. Turner has left her mark on television, with memorable appearances on Friends as Chandler’s cross-dressing father; in Californication as the sublimely lecherous Sue Collini; and most recently in Hulu's The Path. She has also leant her inimitable voice to iconic animated series such as The Simpsons and King of the Hill.
Ms. Turner recently expanded her repertoire with the development of her first cabaret performance, Finding My Voice, which debuted in Philadelphia in the fall of 2017 and which will continue in selected cities across the country.