Jamie Lee Curtis

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The Right Honourable
Jamie Lee Curtis,
Lady Haden-Guest
Jamie Lee Curtis crop.jpg
Curtis in June 2010
Born(1958-11-22) November 22, 1958 (age 55)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Other namesThe Scream Queen
OccupationActress, author, blogger
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)Christopher Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest (m. 1984)
ParentsTony Curtis (father)
Janet Leigh (mother)
FamilyKelly Curtis (sister)
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The Right Honourable
Jamie Lee Curtis,
Lady Haden-Guest
Jamie Lee Curtis crop.jpg
Curtis in June 2010
Born(1958-11-22) November 22, 1958 (age 55)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Other namesThe Scream Queen
OccupationActress, author, blogger
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)Christopher Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest (m. 1984)
ParentsTony Curtis (father)
Janet Leigh (mother)
FamilyKelly Curtis (sister)

Jamie Lee Curtis, Lady Haden-Guest (born November 22, 1958) is an American actress and author.

She made her film debut in 1978 by starring as Laurie Strode in John Carpenter's Halloween. A big hit, the film established her as a notable actress in horror, and she subsequently starred in Halloween II, The Fog, Prom Night, Terror Train, and Roadgames, gaining the status of "scream queen" to mainstream audiences. Curtis has since compiled a body of work that spans many genres, including the cult comedy films Trading Places, for which she won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, A Fish Called Wanda, and True Lies, for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in Musical or Comedy.

Curtis is the daughter of the actress Janet Leigh and actor Tony Curtis. She is married to actor, screenwriter, and director Christopher Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest. Her 1998 book Today I Feel Silly, and Other Moods That Make My Day made the best-seller list in The New York Times. She also appeared in advertisements, and is a blogger for The Huffington Post.

Early life

Curtis was born in Santa Monica, California, to actor Tony Curtis and actress Janet Leigh. Her paternal grandparents were Hungarian Jewish immigrants[1] and two of her maternal great-grandparents were Danish.[2] Curtis's parents divorced in 1962, after which her mother married Robert Brandt. Curtis has an older sister, Kelly Curtis, who is also an actress, and several half-siblings (all from her father's remarriages), Alexandra, Allegra, Ben, and Nicholas Curtis (who died in 1994 of a drug overdose).[3] 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 the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. She considered majoring in social work, but quit 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".

Her next film was the horror film The Fog, which was helmed by Halloween director John Carpenter. The film opened in February 1980 to mixed reviews but strong box office,[4] further cementing 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 film" genre. That year, Curtis also starred in Terror Train, which opened in October and was met with negative reviews akin to Prom Night. Both films performed only moderately well at the box office.[5]

Curtis at the 1989 Emmy Awards

Curtis had a similar function in both films - the main character whose friends are murdered, and is practically the only protagonist to survive. Film critic Roger Ebert, who had given 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".[6] Curtis later appeared in Halloween II, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later and Halloween: Resurrection, as well as giving an uncredited voice role in Halloween III: Season of the Witch.

Her role in 1983's Trading Places helped Curtis shed her horror queen image, and garnered her a BAFTA award as best supporting actress.[7] 1988's A Fish Called Wanda achieved near cult status – while showcasing her as a comedic actress; she was nominated for a BAFTA as best leading actress.[7] She won a Golden Globe for her work in 1994's True Lies. Her film roles also include Disney's Freaky Friday (2003), opposite Lindsay Lohan, filmed at Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, California, near where Curtis and Guest live with their children. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for this film.[8]

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.[9]


Curtis in 2011

Curtis made her television debut in an episode of Columbo, but her first starring TV role was opposite Richard Lewis in the situation comedy Anything But Love, which ran for four seasons from 1989 through 1992. Her performance as Hannah Miller received both a Golden Globe and People's Choice Award. She appeared as nurse Lt. Duran in the short-lived television series, Operation Petticoat; based on the big-screen version which starred her real-life father.

She starred in the 1981 TV film Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story, playing the role of the eponymous doomed Playmate. She earned a Golden Globe nomination for her work in TNT's adaptation of the Wendy Wasserstein play The Heidi Chronicles. More recently, Curtis starred in the CBS television movie Nicholas' Gift, for which she received an Emmy nomination. Curtis also appeared in the science fiction series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and an early episode of The Drew Carey Show. Jamie Lee Curtis was a game-show panelist on several episodes of Match Game.

In 2012, she appeared in 5 episodes of the television series NCIS, playing the role of Dr. Samantha Ryan, a potential romantic interest of Special Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon). It has been hinted that her role may be a recurring one. During an interview, she openly said that if they could develop a story line, she would be more than happy to be on the show more.[10] If the role is made recurring, it will be at least the second time Harmon has worked with Curtis; he played her fiancé and later husband in the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday[11]

Children's books

Working with illustrator Laura Cornell, Curtis has written a number of children's books,[12] all published by HarperCollins Children's Books.[13]


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.[15] Curtis refused to allow her invention to be marketed until companies started selling biodegradable diapers,[16] although the full statutory term of this patent expired February 20, 2007, and is now in the public domain.

Humanitarian and political causes

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.[17] The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.[18][19]

Philanthropic efforts

Curtis is a staunch supporter of children's hospitals and their advocacy efforts. Currently, she plays a leadership role for Children's Hospital Los Angeles and supported the 2011 opening of a new inpatient facility for the organization. During California's 2008 general election, Curtis appeared in the "YES on Prop 3" TV advertisements.[20]

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 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.[21][22]

Personal life

Curtis married actor Christopher Guest on December 18, 1984, becoming the Lady Haden-Guest when her husband inherited the Barony of Haden-Guest in 1996, upon the death of his father. The couple have two adopted children (Annie, b. 1986; Thomas b. 1996).[23] Curtis is actor Jake Gyllenhaal's godmother.[24]

On her website, Curtis tells her young readers that she "moonlights as an actor, photographer, and closet organizer."[12] She takes time to support various philanthropic groups. Curtis appeared on the cover of the May/June 2008 issue of AARP Magazine, with gray hair and in water up to her chest.[25]

Curtis is a recovering alcoholic, and was once addicted to pain killers that she began using after a routine cosmetic surgical procedure. She became sober in 1999[26] and maintains that recovery is the greatest achievement of her life.[27]

Curtis has appeared in advertisements for Activia since 2007,[28] and is a blogger for The Huffington Post online newspaper.[29]



1978HalloweenLaurie Strode
1980The FogElizabeth Solley
1980Prom NightKim HammondNominated — Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress
1980Terror TrainAlana MaxwellNominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
1981Escape from New YorkNarrator, computer voice
1981RoadgamesPamela 'Hitch' Rushworth
1981Halloween IILaurie Strode
1982Halloween III: Season of the WitchPhone Operatorvoice only, uncredited
1983Trading PlacesOpheliaBAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1984Love LettersAnna Winter
1984The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th DimensionSandra BanzaiIn extended version
1984Grandview, U.S.A.Michelle 'Mike' Cody
1986As Summers DieWhitsey
1987A Man in Love
1987Amazing Grace and Chuck
1988Dominick and EugeneJennifer Reston
1988A Fish Called WandaWanda GershwitzNominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1989Blue SteelMegan TurnerFestival du Film Policier de Cognac Special Mention Award (For the acting performance)
Mystfest Film Festival Award for Best Actress
1991Queens LogicGrace
1991My GirlShelly DeVoto
1992Forever YoungClaire Cooper
1994My Girl 2Shelly DeVoto Sultenfuss
1994Mother's BoysJudith 'Jude' Madigan
1994True LiesHelen TaskerAmerican Comedy Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Saturn Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Action/Adventure
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Performance
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
1996House ArrestJanet Beindorf
1997Fierce CreaturesWilla Weston
1998Halloween H20: 20 Years LaterLaurie Strode/Keri TateNominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Horror
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
1998HomegrownSierra Kahan
1998Nicholas' GiftMaggie GreenNominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1999VirusKelly Foster
2000Drowning MonaRona Mace
2001The Tailor of PanamaLouisa Pendel
2001Daddy and ThemElaine Bowen
2001Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit ToysQueen Camillavoice only
2002Halloween: ResurrectionLaurie Strode
2003Freaky FridayTess Coleman/Anna ColemanNominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
2004Christmas with the KranksNora Krank
2005The Kid & IHerself
2008Beverly Hills ChihuahuaAunt Viv
2010You AgainGail
2011The Little Engine That CouldBeverlyVoice only
2012From Up on Poppy HillRyoko MatsuzakiVoice only
2014Veronica MarsGayle Buckley
2015"Spare Parts"as the principal


1977Quincy M.E.[30]Girl in Dressing RoomEpisode: "Visitors in Paradise"
1977The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew MysteriesMaryEpisode: "Mystery of the Fallen Angels"
Episode: "Try and Catch Me"
Episode: "The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case"
1978The Love BoatLindaEpisode: "Till Death Do Us Part, Maybe/Chubs/Locked Away"
1978Charlie's AngelsLinda FreyEpisode: "Winning Is for Losers"
1978–1979Operation PetticoatLt. Barbara Duran23 episodes
1979Buck Rogers in the 25th CenturyJen BurtonEpisode: "Unchained Woman"
1981She's in the Army NowPvt. Rita JenningsTV movie
1981Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten StoryDorothy StrattenTV movie
1982CallahanRachel BartlettTV movie
1982Money on the SideMichelle JamisonTV movie
1985Tall Tales & LegendsAnnie OakleyEpisode: "Annie Oakley"
1986As Summers DieWhitsey LoftinTV movie
1989–1992Anything But LoveHannah MillerSeries regular
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1989)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1991)
1995The Heidi ChroniclesHeidi HollandTV movie
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
1996The Drew Carey ShowSiouxEpisode: "Playing a Unified Field"
1998Nicholas' GiftMaggie GreenTV movie
2000Pigs Next DoorClaraVoice
2005A Home for the HolidaysTV Program HostTV movie
2012NCISDr. Samantha Ryan5 episodes[31][32]
2012New GirlJoanEpisode: "Parents"


  1. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis Interview: Starring as Herself: Embracing Reality". Reader's Digest. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  2. ^ There/Hollywood, page 6, 1985, by Janet Leigh
  3. ^ "TCM:Tony Curtis Bio". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  4. ^ "The Fog gross tally". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 9, 2006. 
  5. ^ "The Numbers Jamie Lee Curtis grosses". Retrieved March 9, 2006. 
  6. ^ Roger Ebert (October 9, 1980). "Terror Train". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 9, 2006. 
  7. ^ a b "Jamie Lee Curtis". BAFTA Awards Database. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
  8. ^ "Complete list of nominees for 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards". (Associated Press). USA Today, December 18, 2003.
  9. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (June 29, 2007). "Curtis heads for Disney's 'Border'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2007-06-29. 
  10. ^ Day, Patrick (2012-02-22). "Jamie Lee Curtis brings potential romance to NCIS". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  11. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis, Mark Harmon reunite on "NCIS"". CBS News. 
  12. ^ a b "Books". Jamie Lee Curtis Books. 
  13. ^ Children's Books. Harper Collins.
  14. ^ McNamara, Mary (October 16, 2000). "Howling Success: Once The Queen Of Scream, Jaime Lee Curtis finds new fame as a children's author". The Los Angeles Times. The Spokesman-Review. p. B3. 
  15. ^ Curtis; Jamie L. (Los Angeles, CA) (February 20, 1987). "United States Patent: 4,753,647". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 2008-04-01. "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." 
  16. ^ Acton, Johnny (2005). The Ideas Companion: Crafty Copyrights, Tricky Trademarks and Peerless Patents (A Think Book). Robson Books (Anova). ISBN 1-86105-835-7. 
  17. ^ Kellogg, Jane. "George Clooney, Brad Pitt and More of Hollywood Perform Prop. 8 Play '8' (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  18. ^ ""8": A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality". YouTube. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  19. ^ "YouTube to broadcast Proposition 8 play live". pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved March 15, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Imagine with Us: Yes on Prop 3, Children's Hospital Bond (website)". .
  21. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis Online website". 
  22. ^ "Children Affected by Aids website". 
  23. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis and Kids Arrive for Avatar". People. December 18, 2009. 
  24. ^ Schruers, Fred (October 30, 2005). "Interview: Jake Gyllenhaal, crown prince of Tinseltown". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  25. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis Goes Topless on Cover of AARP Magazine". Fox News. March 22, 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  26. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis Interview". Reader's Digest. Retrieved 2009-10-17. [dead link]
  27. ^ Curtis, Jamie Lee (July 20, 2009). "King of Pain". The Huffington Post. 
  28. ^ Williams, Kevin (2010-09-20). "Curtis talks a lot of crap". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  29. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis Blog". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  30. ^ "Quincy, M.E.: Visitors in Paradise Cast and Crew". Fandango. Retrieved May 3, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Fall Preview 2011 Photos: Jamie Lee Curtis on NCIS". CBS. August 24, 2011.
  32. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis to spar with Gibbs on 'NCIS'". Entertainment Weekly. August 25, 2011.

External links