Janine Turner

Janine Turner

Birth name: Janine Loraine Gauntt
Born: December 6, 1962
Age: 55
Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.
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Janine Turner (born Janine Loraine Gauntt; December 6, 1962) is an American actress best known for her roles as Maggie O'Connell in the television series Northern Exposure, as Jessie Deighan, in the feature film Cliffhanger, and as Katie McCoy in Friday Night Lights. She is the author of two books, 'Holding Her Head High, released on the Washington Post best seller list (Thomas Nelson Pubisher) and 'A Little Bit Vulnerable' On Hollywood, God, Sobriety, & Politics. (Dunham Books). She is an active public speaker and founder and co-chair of Constituting America.


Early life

Turner was born Janine Loraine Gauntt in Lincoln, Nebraska, the daughter of Janice Loraine (née Agee), a real estate agent, and Turner Maurice Gauntt, Jr., a United States Military Academy at West Point graduate. (57), veteran of the United States Air Force and a pilot for Braniff International. Her father is from Athens,Texas, while her mother is from San Antonio, Texas. She has a brother, Tim, and was raised in Euless and Fort Worth, Texas.


In 1978, the fifteen-year-old Turner left home to pursue a modeling career with the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency in New York City. She began her acting career in 1980 in Hollywood, CA, appearing in several episodes of Dallas. She continued to make guest appearances on television shows throughout the 1980s before landing the role of Laura Templeton on General Hospital.

By 1986, Turner had become frustrated with the quality of the roles she was getting; as she told The Chicago Tribune five years later, "I was always working, but I wanted to do more serious roles and knew that I had the talent. I had to get away from Hollywood." Disregarding her agent's advice, Turner moved to New York in order to hone her craft, studying there with Marcia Haufrecht of The Actors Studio.

I gained a new respect and appreciation for acting in New York. And I decided that I didn't want to lock myself into roles that portrayed women negatively. I turned a lot of (TV and film) opportunities down because of that. Everyone thought I was crazy. I was really going for broke. I only had eight dollars left and had become very depressed right before I got the part in "Northern Exposure."

Cast as Maggie O'Connell in 1990, Turner's work on Northern Exposure would earn her an Emmy nomination in 1993 and consecutive Golden Globe nominations from 1992 to 1994. Accolades aside, the role itself was a positive experience for Turner, following the "damsel in distress" roles that had all but driven her from Hollywood in the first place. "I've found my ideal character in Maggie", she told the Tribune. "She's smarter and stronger than all the men she meets." Turner's own move from Hollywood to New York was mirrored by Maggie's, from her affluent Grosse Pointe community to the remote fictional backwater of Cicely, Alaska. Turner said about Maggie that "She went against the grain and challenged herself by moving to Alaska."

After her breakthrough in Northern Exposure, Turner appeared in the action film Cliffhanger opposite Sylvester Stallone. She next appeared as June Cleaver in a 'Leave It to Beaver' film adaptation of television's Leave it to Beaver, and 'Dr. T & The Women' with Richard Gere, and 'Stolen Women, Captured Hearts' and also did 'No Regrets' and numerous Movies of the Week'.

In 2004, Turner wrote, produced, and directed the award winning,Trip in a Summer Dress, a film about a strong-willed mother and her children. In 2006, she appeared in a low budget movie filmed in Dallas, The Night of the White Pants, with Tom Wilkinson. In 2007, she co-wrote, co-produced, and starred in 'Christoga,' a Christian Yoga DVD,

In 2008, Turner's book, Holding Her Head High: Inspiration from 12 Single Mothers Who Championed Their Children and Changed History, was released. The book focuses on single mothers through history, such as Rachel Lavein Fawcett, the abandoned single mother of Alexander Hamilton.

That same year, Turner began a twelve-episode run on the NBC television series Friday Night Lights. She portrayed Katie McCoy, mother of a talented high school football quarterback. Janine co-wrote, produced, and performed in with her daughter Juliette, the album called 'Mockingbird Hill'

On May 21, 2011, Turner began hosting a live two-hour talk show, The Janine Turner Show, "Best Radio Show In Dallas", on conservative-oriented talk radio station KLIF (AM) in Dallas, and in Houston, KTRC, followed by iheart Radio until 2013.

Turner founded an organization called Constituting America with Cathy Gillespie aimed at educating Americans about the non-partisan relevance of the U.S. Constitution.

Activism and advocacy

In 2006, she was appointed a member of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. In the 2008 election, she campaigned for vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and expressed her concern for what she perceived as a decidedly liberal bias in the media as a guest on the Fox News Channel show Huckabee on October 25, 2008, and on the CNN show Larry King Live on October 28, 2008. Turner is a frequent contributor to Republican Party candidates and organizations, donating at least $7,000 over the past decade. In 2010, Janine launched her public speaking career on the national circuit, and became a sought after public inspirational speaker on a plethora of topics, including heart health, sobriety, faith, the Constitution and politics. Turner speaks to schools and universities, and churches, and she spoke at the 2012 Republican National Convention. She has described herself as "socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I'm almost more libertarian," as well as a supporter of the Tea Party. She debated a Democrat on the O'Reilly Factor and from 2011-2012 appeared on Fox news on Fridays. Janine is now a regular on Varney and Co. on Fox Business. She has written 85 essays on 85 Federalist Papers, and numerous Op-eds for the Washington Examiner, Washington Times, and FoxNews.com. Turner has written a Petition, "The Truth Act' - and corresponding white Paper, 'Long and Little Known: How Incoherent Statutes Harm Liberty & the Rule of Law.'

Personal life

Turner has never married. In 1997, she gave birth to a daughter, Juliette Loraine Gauntt, also known as Juliette Turner-Jones (author of 'Our Constitution Rocks'). Turner's daughter Juliette legally hyphenated her surname in 2006 to include the name of her father, Jerry Jones Jr., son of the Dallas Cowboys' owner. Janine Turner was once engaged to Alec Baldwin and also dated Troy Aikman, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Sylvester Stallone. She currently lives on a longhorn cattle ranch outside Dallas with her daughter and 21 Longhorns, including Revolution, Liberty, TigerBud, Prairie Don Juan, and 4 Angus named Henry Lee, Martha Washington, Hamilton, and Abigail Adams.



Year Title Role Notes
1982 Young Doctors in Love
1986 Knights of the City Brooke
1986 Tai-Pan Shevaun Tillman
1988 Monkey Shines Linda Aikman
1989 Steel Magnolias Nancy-Beth Marmillion
1990 The Ambulance Cheryl
1993 Cliffhanger Jessie Deighan
1997 The Curse of Inferno Layla Moanes
1997 Leave It to Beaver June Cleaver
2000 Dr. T & the Women Dorothy Chambliss
2004 No Regrets Cheryl
2004 Trip in a Summer Dress Mama Short film
2006 Miracle Dogs Too Paula Wells Direct-to-video
2006 The Night of the White Pants Barbara Hagan
2009 Birdie & Bogey Amy
2009 Maggie's Passage Jenny Sirron
2015 The Ivy League Farmer Ella Gilbert
2015 Solace Elizabeth Clancy (with Anthony Hopkins) Post-production
2016 Occupy Texas Mrs. Thomas


Year Title Role Notes
1980-1981 Dallas Unknown 3 episodes
1981 Mr. Merlin Unknown Episode: "All About Sheila"
1981-1982 Behind the Screen Janie-Claire Willow Unknown episodes
1982 The Love Boat Betsy Dunvar Episode: "The Victims/Man in the Iron Shorts"
1982-1983 General Hospital Laura Templeton
1983 The Paper Chase Sondra Episode: "Birthday Party"
1983 Happy Days Debbie Episode: "Where the Guys Are"
1983 Boone Maggie Episode: "Words and Music"
1984 The Master Gina/Teri Episode: "The Good, the Bad and the Priceless"
1984 Santa Barbara Hollywood Woman Episode: "#1.8"
1984 The New Mike Hammer Christine Episode: "Bonecrunch"
1985 The A-Team Theresa Gianni Episode: "The Big Squeeze"
1985 Knight Rider Karen Forester Episode: "KITTnap"
1986-1987 Another World Patricia Kirkland 2 episodes
1989 Quantum Leap Michelle Episode: "Catch a Falling Star"
1990-1995 Northern Exposure Maggie O'Connell 110 episodes
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Drama
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Hosted 52nd Annual Golden Globe Awards - (1995)

1997 Stolen Women: Captured Hearts Anna Brewster TV movie
1998 Circle of Deceit Terry Silva TV movie
1998 Beauty Alix Miller TV movie
1999 Fatal Error Dr. Samantha Craig TV movie
1999 A Secret Affair Vanessa Stewart TV movie
2000-2002 Strong Medicine Dr. Dana Stowe 50 episodes
2005 Walker Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire Ranger Kay Austin TV movie
2007 Primal Doubt Jean Harper TV movie
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Victoria Grall Episode: "Inconceivable"
2008-2009 Friday Night Lights Katie McCoy 12 episodes

Awards and nominations

Emmy Award

  • 1993: Nominated, "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series" - Northern Exposure

Golden Globe Award

  • 1992: Nominated, "Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Drama" - Northern Exposure
  • 1993: Nominated, "Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Drama" - Northern Exposure
  • 1994: Nominated, "Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Drama" - Northern Exposure
  • 1995: Turner Hosted 52nd Annual Golden Globe Awards

Screen Actors Guild Awards

  • 1995: Nominated, "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series" - Northern Exposure

Young Artist Award

  • 1983: Won, "Best Young Actress in the Daytime Series" - General Hospital


  • Holding Her Head High: Inspiration from 12 Single Mothers Who Championed Their Children and Changed History. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 2008. ISBN 978-0-7852-2324-5

[ Source: Wikipedia ]