The Kid Stays in the Picture 

Lana Turner's lesbian daughter, Cheryl Crane, has penned her second memoir about her late, great movie star mother -- Lana: The Memories, the Myths, the Movies. Crane sits down with The Advocate to relive that fateful night she killed her mother's mobster lover, share some untold stories, and give us a sneak peek at the new photographs of their life together.

BY Greg Archer

November 26 2008 1:00 AM ET

 Cheryl Crane Josh vineyard x390 (courtesy of Cheryl Crane) | Advocate.com

Of her own
homosexuality, Crane says she knew she was gay when she was
8 and came out to her mother at the age of 12.

“It
wasn’t a great surprise,” she notes.
“When I first told my mother she gave me the
usual, ‘Oh, darling, I had a crush on my gym teacher
too; you’ll outgrow it.’ And I was,
‘No, I don’t think so.’ And I
didn’t ‘outgrow’ it. It was
always that way.”

Crane, now in her
60s, is a real estate agent and lives with her partner
of 37 years, Jocelyn “Josh” LeRoy, in Palm
Springs. Their first encounter is très
Hollywood, in fact. They met at a party, underneath a
pool table with Marlon Brando. (Apparently Brando
enjoyed having deep discussions under the billiards.) In
time, the author has proven to be a true advocate for
gay rights, getting the LGBT ball rolling (a bit)
faster in 1985.

“Nobody
[at that time] had come out happily and said, ‘I am
gay, I am in a relationship,’” she says.
“A few people had been drug out of the closet,
but Jocelyn and I were never in the closet. I was really one
of the first [in Hollywood circles] to come out --
with Bryant Gumbel on the Today show -- and the
reaction, all in all, from that point on, was 99%
positive.”

More interesting,
perhaps, may be the fact that friend John Waters
officiated over Crane’s commitment ceremony at Pia
Zadora’s home in 1992. Today, she says both she
and LeRoy both strongly opposed Prop. 8 and plan to
“officially” marry soon. “She’s
my best friend, and we have an awful lot of fun
together,” Crane muses. 

Beyond the tragic
events that generated headlines in the 1950s, Crane
also survived a mastectomy in 1998. “I had a lot of
inner strength; I still do. It’s what propped
me up all these years. I learned I was capable of
handling more than I thought I was. We’re very strong
people -- my family. “We know how to survive
when we’re knocked down. My mother certainly
had that and I think I do too.”

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