Cheryl Crane Tells Us Why the Bad Always Die Twice

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

October 26 2011 2:38 PM ET

THE BAD ALWAYS DIE TWICE BOOK COVER TALL 390x (COURTESY) ADVOCATE.COM

I have to ask about another parallel. Nikki is the
daughter of a star who disapproves of her daughter’s real estate career. How
did your own mother feel about your career choices? 


Nikki’s mother doesn’t disapprove of Nikki being a realtor; she just doesn’t
understand why she has to work at all. 
My mother, on the other hand, loved my career in real estate. In fact,
when we all lived in Hawaii she would sit on the beach in front of the Colony
Surf — where she had her penthouse — between Josh and I hustling clients and
handing out our cards.

You’ve been with your partner a long time. That’s
pretty amazing, especially since the experts always say that if you’re the
child of divorce you’re likely to divorce yourself. What’s your secret to a
long happy relationship?


Josh and I celebrated our 40th anniversary last May. I don’t feel
that being a child of divorce can stop you from having a lasting relationship
with the right person. As far as there being a secret, our life is filled with
love and laughter and not exploring the secret.

You fought cancer a decade ago. How much did that
impact your life and your work?


It has been 13 years this month that I have been cancer free. At the time that
I was diagnosed, they told me that I had only three months to live.  Well they were wrong. I think that it
showed me that the most important thing in my life was to live it the very best
way I could and to try and accomplish all the things that I wanted to try in my
life — and that includes writing.

Do you ever wish you could just be Cheryl Crane,
not the
Cheryl Crane,
daughter of Lana Turner who was involved in an infamous murder trial?  


No, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was not a murder trial, it was a coroner’s
inquest and it was ruled justifiable. As to being the daughter of Lana Turner,
she was a great mother and a great friend.

One question about your mom, if I may. Your
mother’s legacy always seems tainted by the scandals. Which of her performances
have endured for you?


I think the fact that she had a wild life has really kept her image alive
— so many stars have been forgotten. There are many films in which she showed
that she was really a very gifted actress. Some of my favorites are The
Postman Always Rings Twice
, Ziegfeld
Girl, The Bad and the Beautiful
and,
of course, Imitation of Life.

Your mother has a big old school gay following due
to the Douglas Sirk and Ross Hunter films. When you came out as part of the
LGBT community, was it difficult to constantly run into fans of your mother?


No, being my mother’s daughter has always had great advantages and it’s always
a pleasure to hear nice things about her.

Is Palm Springs far enough away from Hollywood
for someone infamous to live a normal life?


I have always lived a normal life as far as I’m concerned. Palm Springs has
become a suburb of Los Angeles and we are there all the time.

What’s next for you? Will Nikki be solving more
crimes? Will you be touring with this book? 


I have just returned from a book tour and I am working on the second Nikki
Harper mystery, Imitation of Death.

Crane's new novel is available from Kensington Books. 

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