Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis
Curtis at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con
|Born||November 22, 1958|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Parent(s)||Tony Curtis |
|Relatives||Kelly Curtis (sister)|
Allegra Curtis (half-sister)
Jamie Lee Curtis (born November 22, 1958) is an American actress, author, producer, director, and activist. She made her film acting debut in 1978 as Laurie Strode in John Carpenter's horror film Halloween. The film established her as a scream queen, and she appeared in a string of horror films, including The Fog, Prom Night, Terror Train (all 1980) and Roadgames (1981). She reprised the role of Laurie in the sequels Halloween II (1981), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), and Halloween (2018).
Curtis's film work spans many genres, including the cult comedies Trading Places (1983), for which she received a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress, and A Fish Called Wanda (1988), for which she earned a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress. She won a Golden Globe, an American Comedy Award, and a Saturn Award for playing the starring role of Helen Tasker in James Cameron's action comedy film True Lies (1994). Curtis's other major films include Blue Steel (1990), My Girl (1991), Forever Young (1992), The Tailor of Panama (2001), Freaky Friday (2003), Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008), You Again (2010), Veronica Mars (2014), and Knives Out (2019).
Curtis received a Golden Globe and a People's Choice Award for her portrayal of Hannah Miller on the ABC sitcom Anything But Love (1989–1992). She earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her work in the television film Nicholas' Gift (1998). She also starred as Cathy Munsch on the Fox horror comedy series Scream Queens (2015–2016), for which she earned her seventh Golden Globe Award nomination.
Curtis is the daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. She is married to Christopher Guest, with whom she has two adopted children. She has written numerous children's books, with her 1998 release Today I Feel Silly, and Other Moods That Make My Day making The New York Times's best-seller list. She is also a frequent blogger for The Huffington Post. Curtis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998.
Curtis was born in Santa Monica, California, to actor Tony Curtis and actress Janet Leigh. Her father was Jewish, the son of Hungarian Jewish immigrants. Two of her maternal great-grandparents were Danish, while the rest of her mother's ancestry is German and Scots-Irish. Curtis has an older sister, Kelly Curtis, who is also an actress, and several half-siblings (all from her father's remarriages): Alexandra, actress Allegra Curtis, Benjamin, and Nicholas Curtis (who died in 1994 of a drug overdose). Curtis's parents divorced in 1962. After the divorce, she stated her father was "not around" and that he was "not interested in being a father."
Curtis attended Westlake School (now Harvard-Westlake School) in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills High School, and graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall. Returning to California in 1976, she attended her mother's alma mater, the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and studied law. She dropped out after one semester to pursue an acting career.
Curtis's film debut occurred in the 1978 horror film Halloween, in which she played the role of Laurie Strode. The film was a major success and was considered the highest-grossing independent film of its time, earning accolades as a classic horror film. Curtis was subsequently cast in several horror films, garnering her the title "scream queen". She would return to the Halloween franchise five times, playing Strode again in the sequels Halloween II (1981), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), and Halloween (2018), and having an uncredited voice role in Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982).
Her next film following Halloween was The Fog, which was helmed by Halloween director John Carpenter. The horror film opened in February 1980 to mixed reviews but strong box office, starting Curtis as a horror film starlet. Her next film, Prom Night, was a low-budget Canadian slasher film released in July 1980. The film, for which she earned a Genie Award nomination for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress, was similar in style to Halloween, yet received negative reviews which marked it as a disposable entry in the then-popular slasher genre. That year, Curtis also starred in Terror Train, which opened in October and met with negative reviews akin to Prom Night. Both films performed moderately well at the box office. Curtis's roles in the latter two films served a similar function to that of Strode—the main character whose friends are murdered and is practically the only protagonist to survive. Film critic Roger Ebert, who gave negative reviews to all three of Curtis's 1980 films, said that Curtis "is to the current horror film glut what Christopher Lee was to the last one—or Boris Karloff was in the 1930s." In 1981, she appeared alongside Stacey Keach in the Australian thriller film Roadgames, directed by Carpenter's friend Richard Franklin; her importation, which was requested by the film's American distributor AVCO Embassy Pictures, was contested by the Sydney branch of Actors Equity. Although the film was a box office bomb in Australia and Franklin later regretted not increasing the size of Curtis' role, it has achieved a cult following and was championed by Quentin Tarantino.
Her role in 1983's Trading Places helped Curtis shed her horror queen image, and garnered her a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She then starred in the 1988 comedy film A Fish Called Wanda, which achieved cult status while showcasing her as a comedic actress. For her performance, she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Curtis received positive reviews for her performance in the action thriller Blue Steel (1990), which was directed by Kathryn Bigelow. She also received a Golden Globe Award for her work in the 1994 action comedy film True Lies, directed by James Cameron.
Her other film roles also include the coming-of-age films My Girl (1991) and My Girl 2 (1994), and the Disney comedy film Freaky Friday (2003), opposite Lindsay Lohan. The latter was filmed at Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, California, near where Curtis and Guest lived with their children. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for her performance in the film. She starred in the Christmas comedy film Christmas with the Kranks (2004), which went on to gain a cult following.
In October 2006, Curtis told Access Hollywood that she had closed the book on her acting career to focus on her family. She returned to acting after being cast in June 2007 in Disney's live-action-animated film Beverly Hills Chihuahua, co-starring opposite Piper Perabo as one of three live-action characters in the film. She also starred in the 2010 comedy film You Again, opposite Kristen Bell and Sigourney Weaver. Curtis had voice roles in the animated films The Little Engine That Could (2011) and From Up on Poppy Hill (2011). This was followed by supporting roles in the neo-noir mystery film Veronica Mars (2014) and the biographical drama film Spare Parts (2015).
Curtis returned to leading roles with her reprisal of Laurie Strode in the horror sequel film Halloween (2018). The film debuted to $76.2 million, marking the second-best ever opening weekend of October and the highest of the Halloween franchise. Its opening performance was the best-ever for a film starring a lead actress over 55 years old. It also became the highest-grossing of the franchise. Curtis' performance earned critical acclaim. Also in 2018, she had a role in the drama film An Acceptable Loss. She then starred as Linda Drysdale-Thrombrey in Rian Johnson's mystery film Knives Out, which earned critical acclaim and over $300 million at the global box office.
Curtis is set to again reprise her role as Laurie Strode in the horror sequel Halloween Kills, which is due for release in October 2021. She will reprise the role for the sequel Halloween Ends, which will be released in October 2022. She will also appear in the science fiction action film Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Curtis made her television debut in a 1977 episode of the drama series Quincy, M.E.. She went on to guest star on several series, including Columbo, Charlie's Angels and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. She appeared as Nurse Lt. Barbara Duran in the short-lived comedy series Operation Petticoat (1977–1978), based on the 1959 film that starred her father, Tony Curtis. Curtis was also a gameshow panelist on several episodes of Match Game.
Curtis starred in the 1981 television film Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story, playing the eponymous doomed Playmate. She earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for her work in TNT's adaptation of the Wendy Wasserstein play The Heidi Chronicles. Her first starring role on television came opposite Richard Lewis in the situation comedy series Anything But Love, which ran for four seasons from 1989 through 1992. For her performance as Hannah Miller, she received a People's Choice Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy. Curtis also appeared in a 1996 episode of the sitcom The Drew Carey Show. In 1998, she starred in the CBS television film Nicholas' Gift, for which she received an Primetime Emmy Award nomination.
In 2012, she appeared in five episodes of the police drama series NCIS, playing the role of Dr. Samantha Ryan, a potential romantic interest of Special Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon). During an interview, she stated that if they could develop a storyline, she would be interested to return to the series, but this never occurred. The series reunited Curtis with Harmon, after he played her character's fiancé and later husband in the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday.
From 2012 to 2018, Curtis had a recurring role as Joan Day, the mother of Zooey Deschanel's character, in the sitcom New Girl. From 2015 to 2016, Curtis had a lead role as Cathy Munsch on the Fox satirical horror comedy series Scream Queens, which aired for two seasons. For her performance, she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.
- When I Was Little: A Four-Year Old's Memoir of Her Youth, 1993.
- Tell Me Again About The Night I was Born, 1996.
- Today I Feel Silly, and Other Moods That Make My Day, 1998; listed on the New York Times best-seller list for 10 weeks.
- Where Do Balloons Go?: An Uplifting Mystery, 2000.
- I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem, 2002.
- It's Hard to Be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel, 2004.
- Is There Really a Human Race?, 2006.
- Big Words for Little People, ISBN 978-0-06-112759-5, 2008.
- My Friend Jay, 2009, edition of one, presented to Jay Leno
- My Mommy Hung the Moon: A Love Story, 2010.
- My Brave Year of Firsts, 2016.
- This Is Me: A Story of Who We Are and Where We Came From, 2016.
- Me, Myselfie & I: A Cautionary Tale, 2018.
In 1987, Curtis filed a US patent application that subsequently issued as Patent No. 4,753,647. This is a modification of a diaper with a moisture-proof pocket containing wipes that can be taken out and used with one hand. Curtis refused to allow her invention to be marketed until companies started selling biodegradable diapers. The full statutory term of this patent expired February 20, 2007, and it is now in the public domain. She filed a second US patent application related to disposable diapers in 2016 which issued as US Patent 9,827,151 on November 28, 2017, and will expire on September 7, 2036.
In March 2012, Curtis was featured with Martin Sheen and Brad Pitt in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play 8—a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage—as Sandy Stier. The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. In June 2016, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting; in the video, Curtis and others told the stories of the people killed there.
Beginning in 1990, Curtis and her father, Tony, took a renewed interest in their family's Hungarian Jewish heritage, and helped finance the rebuilding of the "Great Synagogue" in Budapest, Hungary. The largest synagogue in Europe today, it was originally built in 1859 and suffered damage during World War II.
Curtis was guest of honor at the 11th annual gala and fundraiser in 2003 for Women in Recovery, a Venice, California-based non-profit organization offering a live-in, twelve-step program of rehabilitation for women in need. Past honorees of this organization include Sir Anthony Hopkins and Dame Angela Lansbury. Curtis is also involved in the work of the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, serving as the annual host for the organization's "Dream Halloween" event in Los Angeles, launched every year in October.
Curtis married Christopher Guest on December 18, 1984. She saw a picture of him from the movie This Is Spinal Tap in Rolling Stone and told her friend Debra Hill, "Oh, I'm going to marry that guy", actually marrying him five months later. The couple have two adopted children (Annie, b. 1986; Thomas, b. 1996). Curtis is actor Jake Gyllenhaal's godmother.
When her father-in-law died on April 8, 1996, her husband became The Rt Hon. The 5th Baron Haden-Guest, making her a baroness with the style The Right Honourable The Lady Haden-Guest, according to the rules of the British peerage. She rejects the idea of using this title, saying, "It has nothing to do with me".
Curtis is a recovering alcoholic, and was once addicted to painkillers that she began using after a routine cosmetic surgical procedure. She became sober from opiates in 1999 after reading and relating to Tom Chiarella’s account of addiction; and maintains that recovery is the greatest achievement of her life.
She is a fan of World of Warcraft and One Piece, and has attended Comic-Con and BlizzCon incognito. She once helped her son Thomas create a cosplay of blood elf character Kael'thas Sunstrider, which he entered into a BlizzCon costume contest. Together they also got the chance to attend the premiere of the Warcraft film on June 6, 2016, at The Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
|1980||The Fog||Elizabeth Solley|
|1980||Prom Night||Kim Hammond|
|1980||Terror Train||Alana Maxwell|
|1981||Roadgames||Pamela "Hitch" Rushworth|
|1981||Halloween II||Laurie Strode|
|1982||Halloween III: Season of the Witch||Telephone Operator (voice)||Uncredited|
|1984||Love Letters||Anna Winter|
|1984||Grandview, U.S.A.||Michelle "Mike" Cody|
|1984||The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension||Sandra Banzai||In extended version|
|1987||A Man in Love||Susan Elliot|
|1987||Amazing Grace and Chuck||Lynn Taylor|
|1988||Dominick and Eugene||Jennifer Reston|
|1988||A Fish Called Wanda||Wanda Gershwitz|
|1990||Blue Steel||Megan Turner|
|1991||My Girl||Shelly DeVoto|
|1992||Forever Young||Claire Cooper|
|1993||Mother's Boys||Judith "Jude" Madigan|
|1994||My Girl 2||Shelly DeVoto Sultenfuss|
|1994||True Lies||Helen Tasker|
|1996||House Arrest||Janet Beindorf|
|1997||Fierce Creatures||Willa Weston|
|1998||Halloween H20: 20 Years Later||Laurie Strode / Keri Tate|
|2000||Drowning Mona||Rona Mace|
|2001||The Tailor of Panama||Louisa Pendel|
|2001||Daddy and Them||Elaine Bowen|
|2001||Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys||Queen Camilla (voice)|
|2002||Halloween: Resurrection||Laurie Strode|
|2003||Freaky Friday||Tess Coleman / Anna Coleman|
|2004||Christmas with the Kranks||Nora Krank|
|2005||The Kid & I||Herself|
|2008||Beverly Hills Chihuahua||Vivian Ashe|
|2010||You Again||Gail Byer Olsen|
|2011||The Little Engine That Could||Beverly "Bev" (voice)|
|2012||From Up on Poppy Hill||Ryoko Matsuzaki (voice)||English dub|
|2014||Veronica Mars||Gayle Buckley|
|2015||Spare Parts||Principal Karen Lowry|
|2018||Halloween||Laurie Strode||Also executive producer|
|2018||An Acceptable Loss||Rachel Burke|
|2019||Knives Out||Linda Drysdale-Thrombrey|
|2021||Halloween Kills||Laurie Strode||Post-production; also executive producer|
|2022||Halloween Ends||Laurie Strode||Pre-production|
|TBA||Everything Everywhere All at Once||Post-production|
|1977||Quincy, M.E.||Girl in Dressing Room||Episode: "Visitors in Paradise"|
|1977||The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries||Mary||Episode: "Mystery of the Fallen Angels"|
|1977||Columbo||Waitress||Episode: "The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case"|
|1977–1978||Operation Petticoat||Lt. Barbara Duran||Main role|
|1978||Charlie's Angels||Linda Frey||Episode: "Winning Is for Losers"|
|1978||The Love Boat||Linda||Episode: "Till Death Do Us Part, Maybe/Chubs/Locked Away"|
|1979||Buck Rogers in the 25th Century||Jen Burton||Episode: "Unchained Woman"|
|1980||Saturday Night Live||Host||Episode: "Jame Lee Curtis / James Brown & Ellen Shipley"|
|1981||She's in the Army Now||Pvt. Rita Jennings||Television film|
|1981||Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story||Dorothy Stratten||Television film|
|1982||Callahan||Rachel Bartlett||Television film|
|1982||Money on the Side||Michelle Jamison||Television film|
|1984||Saturday Night Live||Host||Episode: "Jame Lee Curtis / The Fixx"|
|1985||Tall Tales & Legends||Annie Oakley||Episode: "Annie Oakley"|
|1986||As Summers Die||Whitsey Loftin||Television film|
|1989–1992||Anything but Love||Hannah Miller||Main role; also directed episode: "The Call of the Mild"|
|1995||The Heidi Chronicles||Heidi Holland||Television film|
|1996||The Drew Carey Show||Sioux||Episode: "Playing a Unified Field"|
|1998||Nicholas' Gift||Maggie Green||Television film|
|2000||Pigs Next Door||Clara (voice)||Episode: "Movin' On Up"|
|2005||A Home for the Holidays||TV Program Host||Television film|
|2012||NCIS||Dr. Samantha Ryan||5 episodes|
|2012–2018||New Girl||Joan Day||6 episodes|
|2014||Only Human||Evelyn Lang||Television film|
|2015–2016||Scream Queens||Cathy Munsch||Main role; also directed episode: "Rapunzel, Rapunzel"|
|2019||Guest Grumps||Herself||Web series; episode: "Playing Super Mario Party w/ JAMIE LEE CURTIS!"|
|2020||Archer||Agent Bruchstein (voice)||Episode: "The Orpheus Gambit"|
Awards and nominations
|1988||Golden Apple Award||Female Star of the Year||Won|
|1998||Hollywood Walk of Fame||Motion Picture – 6600 Hollywood Blvd.||Won|||
|2000||Hasty Pudding Theatrical Award||Woman of the Year||Won|||
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- There/Hollywood, page 6, 1985, by Janet Leigh
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- Roger Ebert (October 9, 1980). "Terror Train". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 9, 2006.
- Kangaroo Hitchcock: The Making of Roadgames (2003). Anchor Bay Entertainment.
- Scott Murray, "Richard Franklin: Director/Producer", Senses of Cinema, 12 July 2008 accessed 26 October 2012
- Curtis, Jamie Lee; Keach, Stacy; McLean, Greg; and Quentin Tarantino (2008). Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (Documentary). City Films Worldwide.
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A disposable infant garment which takes the form of a diaper including, on its outer side, a sealed, but openable, moisture-proof pocket which contains one or more clean-up wipers.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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- Official website for Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell books
- Jamie Lee Curtis at IMDb
- Works by or about Jamie Lee Curtis in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- "Jamie Lee Curtis collected news and commentary". The New York Times.
- Jamie Lee Curtis interview at the Wayback Machine (archived December 23, 2007)