Barbara Turner

Barbara Turner, a screenwriter, actress, and the mother of actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, died Tuesday, according to Variety. She was 79.

Turner started acting in the late 1950s. She appeared on such television shows as “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Ben Casey,” and “The Virginian.”

She later focused on screenwriting. Her first was an adaption of the play “Deathwatch” in 1966, which her first husband, actor Vic Morrow, directed. Morrow and Turner had two daughters, Carrie Ann Morrow and Jennifer Jason Leigh 

Leigh spoke fondly about her mother  earlier this year in an interview with People Magazine: “I’ve always had so much admiration for my mom. She’s so inspiring as a woman and as an artist.... 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.”


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In 1994, Turner produced her screenplay “Georgia,” which starred her daughter Jennifer Jason Leigh. Leigh earned honors for her performance in the movie from the New York Film Critics Circle. Turner's other notable screenwriting credits include the film “Pollock,” about the modern artist Jackson Pollock. Actor Ed Harris received an Oscar nomination for his role in the movie. She also wrote the screenplay for the Robert Altman film “The Company,” which starred actress Neve Campbell.

Turner was married to Morrow from 1957 to 1964. She was married to the television director Reza Badiyi from 1968 to 1979, and they had a daughter.

She is survived by her three daughters, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

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