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 an author, public speaker and founder and co-chair of Constituting America 2010.[1]

Janine Turner
Janine Turner At Her Ranch.jpg
Turner at her ranch in May 2014
Janine Loraine Gauntt

(1962-12-06) December 6, 1962 (age 57)
Years active1980–present

Early lifeEdit

Turner was born Janine Loraine Gauntt in Lincoln, Nebraska, the daughter of Janice Loraine (née Agee), and Turner Maurice Gauntt, Jr.[2][3] She grew up in Euless and Fort Worth, Texas.[4]


In 1978, the 15-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, 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 by 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 in Manhattan 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.[5]

Cast as Maggie O'Connell in 1990, Turner's work on Northern Exposure would earn her an Emmy nomination in 1993 and three consecutive Golden Globe nominations from 1992 to 1994.[6] 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."[5]

Turner at the 1993 Emmy Awards, Governor's Ball

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 original Leave it to Beaver, then in Stolen Women: Captured Hearts, and Dr. T & the Women with Richard Gere. She also appeared in 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,[7] Turner also co-wrote and produced an album, Mockingbird Hill, in which both she and her daughter Juliette sang.

In 2008, Turner began a 12-episode run on the NBC television series Friday Night Lights. She portrayed Katie McCoy, mother of a talented high school football quarterback.

In 2015, Turner portrayed the wife of Anthony Hopkins' character in Solace.

In 2019, Turner is starring in the Lifetime Film, "Patsy & Loretta."

In 2010 Turner founded and is the co-president of the organization Constituting America[1] with co-president Cathy Gillespie, aimed at educating American adults and students about the non-partisan relevancy of the U.S. Constitution.

On May 21, 2011, Turner began hosting a live two-hour talk show, The Janine Turner Show, on talk radio station KLIF (AM) in Dallas, and in Houston, KPRC (AM), followed by iHeart Radio until 2013. It was awarded "Best Radio Show in Dallas."[7]

Turner is the author of four books, Holding Her Head High: Inspiration from 12 Single Mothers Who Championed Their Children and Changed History,[7] and A Little Bit Vulnerable: On Hollywood, God, Sobriety, & Politics," "Wisdom For Each Day: Inherited From My Great Grandfather," and "Artificial Intelligentsia Vs. Primal Sense." 'Holding Her Head High focuses on single mothers through history, such as Rachel Lavein Fawcett, the abandoned single mother of Alexander Hamilton.

Activism and advocacyEdit

In 2006, Turner was appointed a member of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.[8] In 2010, Turner 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,[1] and politics. She speaks at corporate events, civic events, schools, universities, and churches.

Turner has described herself as "socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I'm almost more libertarian."[9]Turner has written 85 essays on the 85 Federalist Papers,[1] and many op-ed pieces for the Washington Examiner, The Washington Times, and FoxNews.com.[10] Turner has written a petition, "The Truth Act"[11] - and corresponding white paper, "Long and Little Known: How Incoherent Statutes Harm Liberty & the Rule of Law."

Personal lifeEdit

Turner has never married. Her daughter, Juliette Turner-Jones, was born in 1997. Juliette legally hyphenated her surname in 2006 to include the name of her father, Jerry Jones Jr., son of the Dallas Cowboys' owner.[12] Janine Turner was once engaged to Alec Baldwin and also dated Troy Aikman, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Sylvester Stallone.[13][14] As of 2014, Turner was living on a longhorn cattle ranch outside Dallas with her daughter.[15]



Year Title Role Notes
1982 Young Doctors in Love Soap Cameos
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 Turner
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
2016 Occupy, Texas Mrs. Thomas
2018 Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer Dr. North


Year Title Role Notes
1980–1981 Dallas Susan 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 (1992–1994)
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[16] - (1995)

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

Awards and nominationsEdit

Janine Turner at the Governor's Ball after the 1992 Emmy Awards

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[16]

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


  1. ^ a b c d "Constituting America". Constituting America. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  2. ^ Turner, Janine (2014). A Little Bit Vulnerable. Dunham. ISBN 1939447577.
  3. ^ Turner, Janine (July 16, 2009). "What Would Our Forefathers Think of America Today?". FOXNews.com. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  4. ^ Turner, Janine (2008). Holding Her Head High. Thomas Nelson. ISBN 978-0-7852-2324-5.
  5. ^ a b Micucci, Dana (September 1, 1991). "Against The Grain: Janine Turner Ignores Advice and Thrives On It". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  6. ^ Awards for Janine Turner on IMDb.
  7. ^ a b c "Janine Turner". www.janineturner.com. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  8. ^ "Personnel Announcement". The White House. Office of the Press Secretary. June 15, 2006.
  9. ^ Whitford, David; Elkind, Peter (September 10, 2013). "The GOP's latest bombshell". Fortune. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  10. ^ Turner, Janine (April 30, 2010). "JANINE TURNER: Your Vote Is Your Voice". Fox News. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  11. ^ Turner, Janine (October 1, 2015). "JANINE TURNER: The infamous Roman Emperor Caligula and the U.S. Congress". The Washington Times. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  12. ^ "Names and Faces: Janine Turner Trades Northwest For Southern Exposure On Ranch". Orlando Sentinel. July 1, 1997. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  13. ^ "Janine Turner". People. August 2, 2004. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  14. ^ Koen, Gabriel (July 2, 1997). "Janine Turner's Life Story". Movieline. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "Meet the Council Members". USA Freedom Corps. The White House, President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. 2006. Archived from the original on April 11, 2008. Ms. Turner lives on her longhorn cattle ranch in Texas with her eight-year-old daughter, Juliette Turner-Jones
  16. ^ a b "52nd Annual Golden Globe Awards, The (1995): Overview". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved February 9, 2018.

External linksEdit