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Beverly Hills Restaurateur Dead at 69

February 7, 1985 GMT

PAUMA VALLEY, Calif. (AP) _ Millionaire restaurateur Steve Crane, who was host to Hollywood’s finest at his Beverly Hills eatery and once was married to actress Lana Turner, died Wednesday after a long illness. He would have been 69 on Thursday.

Crane’s Luau restaurant, a popular Rodeo Drive hangout for film stars, was noted for its Tahitian cuisine and tropical drinks.

The restaurant was torn down after Crane sold it about six years ago and retired, said his former publicist, Norman Millen. Crane had accumulated six restaurants in the Los Angeles area, as well as restaurants in 14 Sheraton hotels around the country, Millen said.

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His daughter by Miss Turner, Cheryl, put the family in the headlines in the 1950s by fatally stabbing mobster Johnny Stompanato, who at the time was Miss Turner’s boyfriend.

The girl, then 14, had walked in when Stompanato allegedly was threatening her mother. She was acquitted on grounds of justifiable homicide and made a ward of the court.

Crane married Miss Turner in 1942 and they were divorced two years later when Cheryl was 6 months old.He actually married Miss Turner twice because the first ceremony took place when his divorce from his first wife, Carol Kurtz, was not official.

After Miss Turner, he married and divorced French actress Martine Carol, known for her sexy roles in the 1950s, and then Helen Crane and Leslie Deeb.

Crane had a fledgling acting career in Hollywood before going into the restaurant business, starring in ″Tonight and Every Night,″ and ″Cry of the Werewolf.″

He died in the home of Mrs. Crane, who said she had been caring for him in recent months. Other survivors besides his daughter include sons Sean and Stephen Crane IV.Funeral services were not announced.