LOS ANGELES: Barbara Turner, an award-winning screenwriter and mother of actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, has died aged 79, media reports said.
She died in Los Angeles, Variety magazine reported. The cause of death was unclear.
Turner, who began her career in acting before turning to screenwriting, penned numerous film works including “Petulia”, “Georgia” and “Pollock”.
Born in New York City, she studied acting and appeared in a number of plays and television series in the 1950s and 1960s before taking up screenwriting.
She was married twice, first to actor Vic Morrow, with whom she had two daughters Leigh and Carrie Ann Morrow then Iranian-born film director Reza Badiyi, with whom she had another daughter, Mina Badiyi Chassler.
Among her many screenplay credits, “Petulia”, an obscure 1968 movie, was nominated for a Writers’ Guild of America award.
Turner produced the critically acclaimed “Georgia” a haunting tale of two sisters in 1994 with her daughter Leigh, who also starred in the film.
In a 1995 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Leigh spoke of her mother’s influence on her work as an actress.
“I grew up reading her scripts and getting my value of what a good script was from them,” she said. “It wasn’t about being her daughter.”
Turner’s other credits include the screenplay for the 2000 film “Pollock”, a biopic about the American painter Jackson Pollock.
Marcia Gay Harden won an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in the film and Ed Harris earned a best actor nomination for his portrayal of Pollock.