Friday, October 09, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Steve Crane's Visit to Crawfordsville

Sixty-six years ago, on Tuesday, October 12th, 1943, the citizens of Crawfordsville were thrilled to learn that glamourous movie star Lana Turner was in town. Lana Turner visited with her husband, Crawfordsville native Stephen (Joe) Crane and stayed in the Crane family house at 205 West Pike Street (the house no longer exists) from October 12th through the 15th. Crane was anxious for his famous bride to meet his mother,visit Wabash's Sigma Chi house, and see his father's cigar store.

Stephen Crane was born and lived in Crawfordsville until he moved to Hollywood in 1939. Known as Joe to locals, Crane attended Crawfordsville High School and was a 1937 graduate of Wabash College. Crane's father, William, owned Stephenson & Crane's Cigar Store at 107 South Washington Street and, along with his wife Katheryn, was well-liked in the community.

Although Stephen Crane and Lana Turner's marriage ended in August 1944, both continued to make successful careers in Hollywood. Turner went on to star in classic films such as The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Bad and the Beautiful, and Imitation of Life. Although Crane made an attempt at an acting career, he found lasting success as a famous restaurateur (of the Luau in Beverly Hills, Kon-Tiki chains, and Ports O'Call restaurants) and president of Stephen Crane Associates. Stephen Crane passed away on February 6, 1985, one day before his 69th birthday and was buried in Crawfordsville. Lana Turner remained in the public eye for most of her life and died on June 29, 1995 at the age of 74.

CDPL is interested in talking to locals who knew the Cranes or have information or personal remembrances regarding Lana Turner and Steve Crane's visit. If you would like to share information, please contact 765-362-2242 ext. 117 or email us at

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