Daily Mail

Kathleen: Arthritis in my 30s ruined my sex appeal

- By Alisha Rouse Showbusine­ss Correspond­ent

WITH stunning looks and seemingly never-ending legs, she was the Hollywood pin-up who dominated the 1980s.

But Kathleen Turner has revealed that developing rheumatoid arthritis in her late 30s destroyed her sexual confidence and derailed her career. The American actress, now 64, said the condition caused her to gain weight and made her question her identity, as it had been so focused on her sexual attractive­ness.

Speaking about the illness, she said: ‘I suppose there was a feeling of loss. Rheumatoid arthritis hit in my late 30s – the last of my years in which Hollywood would consider me a sexually appealing leading lady.

‘The hardest part was that so much of my confidence was based on my physicalit­y. If I didn’t have that, who was I?’

Turner’s screen career took off when she played femme fatale Matty Walker in 1981’s Body Heat. She was Oscar-nominated for her role in Peggy Sue Got Married in 1986, but the first symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis –which causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints – emerged soon after she gave birth to daughter Rachel in 1992 at the age of 38.

She was put on steroids which led to weight gain, sleep problems and depression.

The actress was told by a doctor she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair, but she rejected the prognosis and underwent surgery to replace damaged joints every October for 12 years.

Speaking to US online magazine Vulture about living with the condition, she said: ‘I’m too busy coping with disease to think much outside the day-today. It’s “Can I hold a pen? Can I stand up? Can I climb those stairs?”.’

Turner claimed to have felt like a ‘sexual target’ as an actress and said there was an ‘unspoken assumption’ in Hollywood ‘that women were property to be claimed’. She also took aim at Donald Trump, saying he had a ‘gross’ handshake. ‘He goes to shake your hand and with his index finger kind of rubs the inside of your wrist,’ she said. ‘He’s trying some kind of seductive move. You pull your hand away and go “Yuck”.’

‘There was a feeling of loss’

 ??  ?? hot property: kathleen turner in 1981’s Body heat
hot property: kathleen turner in 1981’s Body heat

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