Jamie Lee Curtis - Biography
Jamie Lee Curtis (born November 22,
1958) is an American actress and author. Although she was initially known
as a "scream queen" because of her starring roles in many horror films
early in her career such as Halloween, The Fog, Prom Night and Terror
Train, Curtis has since compiled a body of work that covers many genres.
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 is married to actor
Christopher Guest (Lord Haden-Guest) and, as the wife of a lord, is titled
Lady Haden-Guest, but she chooses not to use the title when in the United
States. She is currently the spokeswoman for Activia. She is also a
blogger for The Huffington Post online newspaper.
Curtis was born in Los Angeles, California, the child of actors Tony
Curtis and Janet Leigh. Her paternal grandparents were Hungarian Jewish
immigrants. Curtis's parents divorced in 1962 and her mother then 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). Curtis attended both Westlake School in Los Angeles and Beverly
Hills High School, but graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall. Returning to
California in 1976, Jamie attended the University of the Pacific in
Stockton, California. Jamie considered majoring in social work, but left
after a semester in order to pursue a career in acting.
Curtis's film debut was the 1978 horror Halloween, playing the role of
Laurie Strode, the only central teenage character in the film who is not
killed. The film was a major success and was considered the highest
grossing independent film of its time, earning status as a classic horror
film. Curtis was subsequently cast in several horror films, garnering her
the title of a "scream queen".
Her next film following Halloween was the horror film, The Fog, which was
directed by Halloween director John Carpenter. The film opened in February
1980 to mixed reviews but strong box office, 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 active "slasher film" genre. That year,
Curtis also starred in Terror Train, which opened in October and met with
a negative reaction akin to Prom Night. Both films performed only
moderately well at the box office. 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' 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". 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 leave her horror queen
image behind. 1988's A Fish Called Wanda achieved near cult status – while
showcasing her as a first rate comic actress. She won a Golden Globe for
her work in 1994's True Lies. Her recent successful film roles include
Disney's Freaky Friday (2003), opposite Lindsay Lohan. The movie was
filmed at Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, California, near
where Curtis and Guest make their home with their children. She was
nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture
Musical or Comedy in this movie.
In October 2006, Curtis told Access Hollywood that she has closed the book
on her acting career to focus on family. However, she returned to acting
after she was cast in June 2007 in Disney's live-action-animated film,
Beverly Hills Chihuahua, co-starring opposite Piper Perabo as one of two
live-action characters in the film.
Curtis made her TV debut in an episode of Columbo, but her first starring
role was opposite Richard Lewis in the situation comedy Anything But Love,
which ran for four seasons from 1989 through 1992. She appeared as nurse
Lt. Duran in the short-lived television series of Operation Petticoat;
based on the big-screen version which stars her real-life father. Her role
as Hannah Miller received both a Golden Globe and People's Choice Award.
She also starred in the made-for-TV film: Death of a Centerfold: The
Dorothy Stratten Story in 1981, playing the part of the 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 also appeared as a panelist on episodes of Match
Working with illustrator Laura Cornell, Curtis has written a number of
critically-acclaimed children's books, all published by HarperCollins
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 9 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 9780061127595, 2008.
My Friend Jay, 2009, edition of one, presented to Jay Leno
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 has refused to allow her invention to be marketed until
companies start selling biodegradable diapers.
Curtis married actor Christopher Guest on December 18, 1984, becoming Lady
Haden-Guest when her husband inherited the Barony of Haden-Guest in 1996,
upon the death of his father. The couple has two adopted children. In
addition, Curtis is actor Jake Gyllenhaal's godmother.
On her website, Curtis tells her young readers that she "moonlights as an
actor, photographer, and closet organizer." She takes time to support
various philanthropic groups. Curtis was Guest of Honor at the 11th annual
Gala and Fundraiser in 2003 for Women in Recovery, Inc., 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; the 2005 honoree was 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 appears on the cover of the May/June 2008 issue of AARP Magazine,
sporting gray hair and in water up to her chest.
Curtis was an alcoholic who was also once addicted to pain killers that
she started using after a routine cosmetic surgical procedure. She got
sober in 1999 and maintains that recovery is the greatest achievement of
During California's 2008 General Election, Curtis appeared in the "YES on
Prop 3" TV ads.
Jamie Lee Curtis - Personal Quotes
"I believe people are entitled
to a private life. I'm not sure where it's written that because
you're in the public eye you are required to expose your private
business, with anybody. It is nobody's business, and it's
interesting because obviously in today's marketplace people don't
abide by that. There are no boundaries that people won't
cross...We're in a bit of a "Wild West" thing with media, and, I
think, it's just kind of like no holds barred - the Internet. You
know, there are no criteria on the Internet...I've chosen a public
life to express myself, not to tell what I do with my husband in
bed, not to do, to talk about my parents and my family life. And I
just think it's wrong, and obviously it's an insaitable appetite
that people have for gossip and inuendo and things that are nobody's
business. And there's a term that they use in this called
"legitimate public concern." What is legitimate public concern? If
an elected official has an illness, that's legitimate public concern
because they're our president or elected official. We, we, we need
to know that they're healthy because we want them to live a long
life and protect, you know, the Constitution...but in the
marketplace, in the world, I don't believe it's anybody's concern.
And that's what I think." --comments made on The View, Sept. 19,
"I thought, while they're up and firm [her breasts], why not shoot
them once or twice." - on screen nudity
"I'm Laurie Strode's guardian angel."
"When I did "Sesame Street" (1969), Elmo was not the worldwide
phenomenon he is now. I understood Elmo was special, and I said that
the only way I would do Sesame Street was with Elmo. Kevin Clash,
the young man who did the voice for him, was a very sweet guy and I
predicted Elmo's meteoric rise to fame way in advance. I am a
trendsetter without knowing it. Two years later the Elmo craze
began, but I was ahead of the curve."
When asked if she regretted making any films - "Easy. There's a
piece of shit called _Virus (1999/I)_ which I made because another
movie that I was supposed to do fell through. It was a bad choice
and the movie is a piece of shit. The runner up is a movie called
Grandview, U.S.A. (1984), which is this benign but still bad coming
of age movie, which is just bad. I will never, ever see those films
again. They are laughable, ludicrous movies and I'm bad in them.
"Believe me, none of it works" - on cosmetic surgery
"In some circles, my Caesar salad is more famous than my body."
"My life is so filled that for me to accept acting work now means
that I have to basically let somebody else do the job that I want to
do, which is raise my children. It's not that I'm retired, it's just
that I no longer accept acting work."
"The more I like me, the less I want to pretend to be other people."
Family Circle, 4-18-06
About Madonna: "'Holiday' came on the radio the other day and I
remember where I was the first time I heard it: in West L.A. on my
way to aerobics class." (In Style magazine, Sept/2006)
"I'm not an actor anymore. I really don't imagine I'll do that
again. I'm just focused on my family and just can't imagine anything
that's going to pull me away from them right now.
Jamie Lee Curtis - Filmography
You Again (2010) .... Gail
Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008) .... Aunt Viv
The Tuttles: Madcap Misadventures (2007) (VG) .... Barbara Tuttle
A Home for the Holidays (2005) (TV) .... TV Program Host
The Kid & I (2005) .... Jamie Lee Curtis
Molly & Roni's Dance Party (2005) (V) .... Disc jockey
Christmas with the Kranks (2004) .... Nora Krank
Freaky Friday (2003) .... Tess Coleman
Halloween: Resurrection (2002) .... Laurie Strode
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & the Island of Misfit Toys (2001)
(V) (voice) .... Queen Camilla
... aka Rudolph & the Island of Misfit Toys
Daddy and Them (2001) .... Elaine Bowen
... aka Daddy & Them (USA: DVD box title)
The Tailor of Panama (2001) .... Louisa Pendel
"Pigs Next Door" (2000) TV Series (voice) .... Clara
... aka Muca Beal Dorais (Ireland: Irish title)
Drowning Mona (2000) .... Rona Mace
Virus (1999) .... Kelly Foster
... aka Virus (France)
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) .... Laurie Strode/Keri Tate
... aka Halloween: H20 (USA: promotional title)
... aka Halloween: H20 (20 Years Later) (USA: promotional title)
Nicholas' Gift (1998) (TV) .... Maggie Green
... aka Dono di Nicholas, Il (Italy)
Homegrown (1998) .... Sierra Kahan
Fierce Creatures (1997) .... Willa Weston
House Arrest (1996) .... Janet Beindorf
"The Drew Carey Show" .... Sioux (1 episode, 1996)
- Playing a Unified Field (1996) TV Episode .... Sioux
Ellen's Energy Adventure (1996) (uncredited) .... Dr. Judy Peterson
The Heidi Chronicles (1995) (TV) .... Heidi Holland
True Lies (1994) .... Helen Tasker
Mother's Boys (1994) .... Judith 'Jude' Madigan
My Girl 2 (1994) .... Shelly DeVoto Sultenfuss
Forever Young (1992) .... Claire Cooper
My Girl (1991) .... Shelly DeVoto
Queens Logic (1991) .... Grace
"Anything But Love" .... Hannah Miller (17 episodes, 1989-1992)
- Mr. Mom (1990) TV Episode .... Hannah Miller
- Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1989) TV Episode ....
- Hearts and Bones (1989) TV Episode .... Hannah Miller
- It's Better to Have Loved and Flossed (1989) TV Episode ....
- Truth or Consequences (1989) TV Episode .... Hannah Miller
Blue Steel (1990) .... Megan Turner
A Fish Called Wanda (1988) .... Wanda Gershwitz
Dominick and Eugene (1988) .... Jennifer Reston
... aka Nicky and Gino (UK)
Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987) .... Lynn Taylor
... aka Silent Voice
Un homme amoureux (1987) .... Susan Elliott
... aka A Man in Love (USA)
... aka Uomo innamorato, Un (Italy)
"Tall Tales and Legends" .... Annie Oakley (1 episode, 1987)
... aka Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales and Legends (USA: complete
- Annie Oakley (1987) TV Episode .... Annie Oakley
As Summers Die (1986) (TV) .... Whitsey Loftin
Welcome Home (1986)
Perfect (1985) .... Jessie
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)
(scenes deleted) .... Sandra Banzai - Buckaroo's Mother
... aka The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (USA: short title)
Grandview, U.S.A. (1984) .... Michelle 'Mike' Cody
"Saturday Night Live" .... Host (1 episode, 1984)
... aka NBC's Saturday Night (USA: first season title)
... aka SNL (USA: informal title)
... aka SNL 25 (USA: alternative title)
... aka Saturday Night (USA: second season title)
... aka Saturday Night Live '80 (USA: sixth season title)
- Jamie Lee Curtis/The Fixx (1984) TV Episode .... Host
Love Letters (1984) .... Anna Winter
... aka My Love Letters
... aka Passion Play
Trading Places (1983) .... Ophelia
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) (voice) (uncredited) ....
Curfew Announcer/Telephone Operator
... aka The Last Halloween (Philippines: English title)
Money on the Side (1982) (TV) .... Michelle Jamison
Callahan (1982) (TV) .... Rachel Bartlett
"Fridays" .... Guest Host (1 episode, 1981)
- Episode #3.7 (1981) TV Episode .... Guest Host
Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story (1981) (TV) ....
Halloween II (1981) .... Laurie Strode
... aka Halloween II: The Nightmare Isn't Over! (USA: video box
Escape from New York (1981) (uncredited) (voice) ....
... aka John Carpenter's Escape from New York (USA: complete title)
She's in the Army Now (1981) (TV) .... Pvt. Rita Jennings
Roadgames (1981) .... Pamela 'Hitch' Rushworth
... aka Road Games (USA)
Terror Train (1980) .... Alana Maxwell
... aka Monstre du train, Le (Canada: French title)
... aka Train of Terror
Prom Night (1980) .... Kim Hammond
The Fog (1980) .... Elizabeth Solley
... aka John Carpenter's The Fog (USA: complete title)
"Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" .... Jen Burton (1 episode, 1979)
- Unchained Woman (1979) TV Episode .... Jen Burton
"The Love Boat" .... Linda (1 episode, 1978)
- Till Death Do Us Part, Maybe/Chubs/Locked Away (1978) TV Episode
Halloween (1978) .... Laurie Strode
... aka John Carpenter's Halloween (USA: complete title)
"Charlie's Angels" .... Linda Frey (1 episode, 1978)
- Winning Is for Losers (1978) TV Episode .... Linda Frey
"Operation Petticoat" (1977) TV Series .... Lt. Barbara Duran
(unknown episodes, 1977-1978)
Operation Petticoat (1977) (TV) .... Lt. Barbara Duran
... aka Life in the Pink (USA: reissue title)
... aka Petticoat Affair (UK)
Columbo: The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case (1977) (TV) ....
"The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries" .... Mary (1 episode, 1977)
... aka The Nancy Drew Mysteries (USA: short title)
- The Mystery of the Fallen Angels (1977) TV Episode .... Mary
"Quincy M.E." .... Girl in dressing room (1 episode, 1977)
... aka Quincy (International: English title: informal title)
- Visitors in Paradise (1977) TV Episode .... Girl in dressing room
Columbo: Forgotten Lady (1975) (TV) (uncredited) .... Grace's
Jamie Lee Curtis - Related Links
Wikipedia: Jamie Lee Curtis
YouTube: Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis