Iconic singer Tina Turner has passed away at the age of 83. Via The Hollywood Reporter, Turner died Wednesday “‘after a long illness’ in her home in Küsnacht, near Zurich, Switzerland.” She leaves behind an incredible musical legacy that includes eight Grammy Awards and over 200 million albums sold in her lifetime.
Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, but she changed her name while partnering with her husband, Ike Turner, in the 1960s. Together, they rose to fame as the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, while she endured his abusive behavior behind the scenes. In 1976, Turner earned her status as a feminist icon by leaving her husband and speaking out about the abuse that she suffered at his hands. She subsequently reinvented herself as a solo act and became one of the biggest names in rock.
Outside of the music industry, Turner branched out into Hollywood with a handful of acting roles. Starring in movies wasn’t Turner’s ultimate goal, but the few films that she left behind created an indelible mark on those who watched her on-screen. Her magnetic personality was on full display, and she was unforgettable in every way. To honor the life of Tina Turner, we’re taking a look back at her five best movies.
Turner was already a music superstar when she landed her first real acting role in Tommy, the rock opera created by The Who. Turner was cast as the Acid Queen, one of the questionable people that Tommy (Roger Daltrey) was sent to by his parents after he was struck “deaf, dumb, and blind.” Turner also got to show off her musical talents when she sang the Acid Queen’s song as she tried to goad Tommy out of his catatonia with some increasingly erratic and even erotic actions toward him.
While the song didn’t wake Tommy up, it led to Turner’s second solo studio album, which was called Acid Queen.
You can rent or buy Tommy on digital platforms like Prime Video.
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Aunty Entity was by far Turner’s most famous role, and also the biggest part she ever had in a movie that wasn’t about her. In Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, the lead character, “Mad” Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson), caught the attention of Aunty, the leader of Bartertown. Aunty felt threatened by Master (Angelo Rossitto) and his bodyguard, The Blaster (Paul Larsson), when they tried to steal control of Bartertown from her. So she enlisted Max to take them out.
But when Max refused to kill Blaster in the Thunderdome arena, Aunty didn’t waste any time turning on him. She was a powerful ally, but an even more terrifying villain when she felt that Max had betrayed her.
You can rent or buy Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome on digital platforms like Prime Video.
What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993)
Although Tina Turner doesn’t star in What’s Love Got to Do with It, it’s her biopic, her story, her music, and even her singing voice. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s Angela Bassett stepped into the role of Tina as she becomes a hot musical act with her lover-turned-husband, Ike Turner (John Wick: Chapter 4‘s Laurence Fishburne). Ike and Tina’s success was spectacular, but it was marred by his physical and emotional abuse that left Tina a shell of herself.
The movie chronicles the end of their relationship, as well as Tina’s escape and subsequent reinvention of herself as one of the biggest superstars in rock. It’s an inspiring story, even decades later.
You can rent or buy What’s Love Got To Do with It on digital platforms like Prime Video.
Last Action Hero (1993)
Streaming on Netflix
Turner only had a small role in Last Action Hero as the mayor of Los Angeles in the film within the film, Jack Slater III. This part turned out to be her final acting role as she largely focused on her music and other ventures after this film. Arnold Schwarzenegger played Detective Jack Slater, a fictional character who had no idea that he wasn’t real. Jack was only clued into the truth of his reality when a young boy named Danny Madigan (Austin O’Brien) found himself thrust into the world of his favorite movie franchise.
You can rent or buy Last Action Hero on digital platforms like Prime Video.
Streaming on Max
What’s Love Got to Do With It? was the fictionalized version of Turner’s life, but Tina was the real deal. In this HBO documentary, Turner got to talk about her decades in the music industry and tell her personal story in her own words. Bassett also contributed to the film, alongside fellow talking heads Oprah Winfrey, Kurt Loder, Katori Hall, Erwin Bach, Carl Arrington, Jimmy Thomas, Le’Juene Fletcher, Rhonda Graam, and more.
This film turned out to be Turner’s ultimate farewell. But as always, Turner knew how to go out on top.
You can rent or buy Tina on digital platforms like Prime Video.