In late 1937, she signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for 0 a week, and graduated from high school in between filming.
According to Le Roy, it was thanks to him that she made the switch, for he left Warners to work at MGM and was advised by studio head Jack Warner to take her with him, because Warner believed that she wouldn't "amount to anything." Her first starring role for MGM was scheduled to be an adaptation of (1938).
With her ten-year-old daughter, she moved to Los Angeles in 1931.
In 1982 she accepted a much publicized and lucrative recurring guest role in the television series .
Her first appearance on the show gave the series the highest rating it ever achieved.
Turner made her next final film appearance in 1991, and died from throat cancer in 1995. She was the only daughter of John Virgil Turner, a miner from Montgomery, Alabama (January 23, 1903 – December 14, 1930), and Mildred Frances Cowan, a sixteen-year-old native of Lamar, Arkansas (June 19, 1904 – February 22, 1982).
Her father was of Dutch ancestry and her mother was of Scottish, English and Irish ancestry.
Mayer turned her into a glamorous star, mostly popular among college boys, and gave her the leads in several teen-oriented films in the late 1930s and early 1940s, such as , but the film was never made.