Jamie Lee Curtis
An American actress and author. Jaimie was born in Los Angeles, to actor Tony Curtis and actress Janet Leigh. Her paternal grandparents were Hungarian Jewish immigrants. Jaimie’s parents divorced in 1962, after which her mother married Robert Brandt. She 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). Jaimie attended 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.
Jaimie’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. She 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, further cementing her 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, she also starred in Terror Train, which opened in October and met with a negative reviews akin to Prom Night..
Her role in 1983’s Trading Places helped Curtis shed her horror queen image, and won her a BAFTA award as best supporting actress. 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. She won a Golden Globe for her work in 1994’s True Lies. Her recent film roles include Disney’s Freaky Friday (2003), opposite Lindsay Lohan, filmed at Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, California, near where Jaimie lives with her husband and children. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for this film.
In October 2006, Jaimie 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.
She 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.
Working with illustrator Laura Cornell, Jaimie has written a number of children’s books, all published by HarperCollins Children’s Books.
In 1987, she 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. Jaimie refused to allow her invention to be marketed until companies started selling biodegradable diapers, although the full statutory term of this patent expired February 20, 2007 and is now in the public domain.
She 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 have two adopted children (Annie, b. 1986; Thomas b. 1996). Jaimie is actor Jake Gyllenhaal’s godmother.
On her website, she tells her young readers that she "moonlights as an actor, photographer, and closet organizer." She takes time to support various philanthropic groups. Jaimie was Guest of Honour 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 and Angela Lansbury. Jaimie 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.
She appeared on the cover of the May/June 2008 issue of AARP Magazine, with grey hair and in water up to her chest.
Jaimie was an alcoholic who was once addicted to pain killers that she began using after a routine cosmetic surgical procedure. She became sober in 1999 and maintains that recovery is the greatest achievement of her life.