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Janine Turner got candid about her former engagement to her “first love” Alec Baldwin.
“I was engaged to Alec Baldwin,” she recently shared during a recent exclusive interview with Page Six.
The “Northern Exposure” alum said she was only 20 when they “met at an audition.”
“He stared at me across the crowded room … He was my first love,” she recalled. “We were engaged and then it wasn’t moving in the right direction, so we decided to part.”
However, Turner said she and the “30 Rock” alum, who is now married to Hilaria Baldwin, are “still friends.”
In a 2014 “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” episode, Turner shared that wedding preparations were well underway when they called it quits.
“We had the dress, the invitations, the church, everything,” she said. “And then we called it off. Mutually called it off.”
At the time, she was distraught over the split. “I loved Alec very much, so it was devastating,” she confessed. “[But] we both just knew that it was wrong … It wasn’t healthy. And I knew I didn’t want to live that way in my life.”
Before Turner met her “first love,” she had moved from Texas to New York to pursue a modeling career with the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency. She began acting in 1980 with a role in “Dallas.”
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More guest appearances on shows and TV ads followed but during her engagement to Alec, 65, the “Cliffhanger” star, 60, said she became frustrated by the roles that were being offered to her.
“I was watching Alec get all of these great roles and I was just told to show up in a bikini and do a 360 or be kidnapped,” she told us. “And I, I felt that was beneath my dignity.
“And if that’s what it was going to be, I didn’t want to continue acting.”
Turner decided to move back to New York, chop off her hair, study acting with a method acting coach and only take on roles that had dignity.
The “Leave it to Beaver” star says that when she booked her dream role — “the character was the one I’d always been waiting for” — on “Northern Exposure,” she was down to her last $8.
She starred in the comedy/drama series, which ran from 1990 to 1995, as a spunky pilot named Maggie O’Connell. During her time on the hit show, she also played Sylvester Stallone’s love interest in the 1993 action thriller film “Cliffhanger.”
But Turner took a step back from her career when she became a single mother to daughter Juliette in 1997.
“Motherhood happened upon me and my focus became my daughter,” she explained, “and as a single mom, because her father wasn’t around, chose not to be, I was all alone. I mean all alone, not kinda like the dad is there on the weekends. Completely alone, so I think I felt I wanted to be home with my family.”
That’s not to say that Turner dropped completely out of sight. She still worked, snagging a stint on “Friday Night Lights” and appearing in movies opposite Anthony Hopkins and Richard Gere.
But with Juliette, now 25, studying law at Harvard University, Turner is busy with the third act of her life.
She just completed a performance at the Pearl Theatre of her musical, “Belva: Don’t Give Up Before the Miracle,” which tells the true story of Belva Lockwood, a lawyer and politician, who was active in the suffrage movement.
Lockwood, who died in 1917, ran for president twice and was the first female lawyer to argue a case before the Supreme Court.
Turner not only starred in the production but also wrote the book and lyrics and is hoping to bring it to Broadway.
She also completed a book of poetry called “Gap Years.”
The “Patsy & Loretta” star says that poetry has been “my sanity savior.
“Poetry, I hear the music in my head and then I just take a pen and whenever I’m really in a state of panic or anxiety I just start to write. It’s been a fabulous coping skill for me,” she told Page Six.
And if that wasn’t enough, Turner has also been instrumental in getting “Northern Exposure” back on the air in countries like Canada and Australia, which she started by googling Universal Pictures executives and cold-calling them.
Turner, who says she’s been told “no” thousands of times in her career, is an optimist.
“If I continually focus on the negative, I’m going to be I’m just going to be miserable, I’m just going to be stuck and I don’t want to be stuck,” she explained.
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