Joseph Stephen Crane
American actor
Joseph Stephen Crane
Joseph Stephen Crane was an American actor and restaurateur. A Columbia Pictures actor in the early 1940s, Crane opened the Luau, a popular celebrity restaurant, in 1953 and established a successful 25-year career in the restaurant industry. In addition to his own accomplishments, Crane is often remembered as Lana Turner's ex-husband.
Biography
Joseph Stephen Crane's personal information overview.
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Joseph Stephen Crane
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1985
    Age 69
    On February 6, 1985, Crane died of anemia one day shy of his 69th birthday.
    More Details Hide Details While he did contribute to the entertainment field, Crane's legacy lies in his restaurants. Crane's innovative and high profile restaurants helped to solidify and remains a symbol of the Polynesian pop culture of the 1950s and 1960s.
  • 1984
    Age 68
    By 1984, Crane was in ailing health and his ex-wife Helen Demaree cared for him in her home in Pauma Valley.
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  • 1978
    Age 62
    After selling the Luau in 1978, Crane seemed to disappear from the public eye.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1958
    Age 42
    On April 4, 1958, Stephen Crane's 14-year-old daughter, Cheryl, killed Lana Turner's boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato.
    More Details Hide Details Sensationalized in the press, the case brought attention to Stephen Crane. At the inquest, Crane testified on behalf of his daughter and in the end, the killing was deemed a justifiable homicide.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1948
    Age 32
    In 1948, Crane married French sex symbol and actress Martine Carol, famous for her role in Lola Mont├Ęs (1955) but the couple were divorced in 1953.
    More Details Hide Details In the 1960s, Crane married and divorced Helen DeMaree and Leslie Deeb.
    Crane was engaged to starlet Lila Leeds when, in 1948, she was arrested along with actor Robert Mitchum for smoking marijuana.
    More Details Hide Details Crane quickly ended the relationship and moved abroad to avoid the scandal.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1943
    Age 27
    Their daughter, Cheryl Crane, was born on July 25, 1943. The marriage did not last and the couple was divorced a second time in August 1944.
    More Details Hide Details In addition to Lana Turner, Crane was involved with many famous women. Crane was seen at hotspots with Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth in the 1940s and Mamie van Doren in the 1950s.
    After discovering that she was pregnant, Turner remarried Crane in March 1943.
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  • 1942
    Age 26
    Crane and Turner were married on July 17, 1942, but the happy union was short-lived.
    More Details Hide Details Crane had failed to mention that he was not yet divorced from his first wife, Carol Ann Kurtz. Turner quickly annulled the marriage and Crane received a finalized divorce from Kurtz as the marriage mix-up became sensationalized in the gossip columns.
    Stephen Crane was as well known for his high-profile relationships as he was for his successful career. In 1942, Crane met actress Lana Turner at the Mocambo restaurant.
    More Details Hide Details Turner later described the meeting in her autobiography: He mentioned nonchalantly that he was in the tobacco business, in a way that suggested that any kind of business bored him. Certainly it seemed that he had no money worries. We chatted for hours, and by the time he took me home, I was ready to fall in love. With my weakness for a certain kind of good looks, coupled with witty charm, I took him at face value. In no time we were a pair. Only three weeks later he asked me to marry him.
  • 1939
    Age 23
    Crane briefly married Indianapolis native, Carol Ann Kurtz, and managed the family cigar store, but after separating from Kurtz, decided to take his chances in Hollywood in 1939.
    More Details Hide Details Now known as Stephen, the young Indiana native began his brief film career in 1944. Signed to Columbia Pictures, Crane was cast in the B-picture The Cry of the Werewolf. Starring alongside Nina Foch and Osa Massen, Crane starred as a scientist who discovers his father has been killed by a werewolf. The Crime Doctor's Courage (1945) proved to be another murder mystery B-picture. Crane's third and final film appearance was in Tonight and Every Night (1945). Starring Rita Hayworth and Lee Bowman, this World War II musical was nominated for two Academy Awards in 1946. Crane had several lines and walk-on appearances as character Leslie Wiggins, a friend of Lee Bowman's character. Although he had successfully been involved in local Crawfordsville plays in his youth, Crane was the first to admit that his acting skills were less than par. In 1967, Crane would reflect, "To be honest, I was a very poor actor". Crane's daughter suggests that the abrupt end to her father's acting career may be attributed to his attraction to a Polish ballerina, who turned out to be Columbia Pictures President Harry Cohn's girlfriend.
  • 1937
    Age 21
    Joe Crane and his younger brother, Billy, were on a trip to Mexico City when they decided to visit Hollywood on a whim in the summer of 1937.
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    A member of the fraternity Sigma Chi and the dramatic theater Scarlet Masque, Crane graduated with a B.A. in Business in 1937.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1933
    Age 17
    In Crawfordsville, Crane was known to family and friends as "Joe". Active in drama and debate, Crane graduated from Crawfordsville High School in 1933.
    More Details Hide Details Crane was voted "Most Attractive" by his peers his senior year. Following high school, Crane enrolled in Wabash College, a men's liberal arts college in Crawfordsville.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1916
    Age 0
    Born on February 7, 1916.
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