How they got their start: Janine Turner

By: Start TV Staff     Posted: February 4, 2019, 1:16PM

Janine Turner's most famous role was as Northern Exposure's Maggie O'Connell, the feminist with a soft side whose all-time hero was Amelia Earhart. Her performance on the 1990s drama garnered the actress three Golden Globe nominations, and the casting couldn't have come at a more perfect time. 

Likely because Turner's career began in modeling, the beauty first graced the soap opera Dallas as a friend of Lucy Ewing named Susan. She appeared in three episodes of that show, and it led to an even beefier recurring role on General Hospital. During that period, she also had some time on Happy Days and once set sail on The Love Boat.

But it was Northern Exposure that got Turner cast into starring roles on the big screen. In the 1990s, she starred with Sylvester Stallone in Cliffhanger and was cast as June Cleaver in the movie adaptation of Leave It to Beaver.

Refusing to play "damsel in distress" types, Turner continued taking strong female character roles, including, of course, her turn in the 2000s as Dr. Dana Stowe on Strong Medicine. Right from its first season, Strong Medicine sought to be a medical drama with feminist politics serving as the backbone of each episode. Turner plays a Harvard graduate and renowned women's health specialist who joins forces with Dr. Lu Delgado to open a free clinic. Turner explained why her admiration for Strong Medicine series co-creator Whoopi Goldberg attracted her to the show: 

"She's one of the reasons I wanted to do the project," Turner told CNN. "I respect Whoopi. I think she's a great humanitarian. She cares about people, and I think that this shows, (and) is respected in [Strong Medicine]."