Curtis, Jamie Lee 1958–

views updated May 23 2018

Curtis, Jamie Lee 1958–


Born November 22, 1958, in Los Angeles, CA; daughter of Tony Curtis (an actor; original name, Bernard Schwartz) and Janet Leigh (an actress; original name, Jeanette Helen Morrison); stepdaughter of Robert Brandt (a stockbroker); sister of Kelly Curtis (an actress, producer, and assistant); married Christopher Guest (an actor, director, and writer), December 18, 1984; children: Annie, Thomas Haden. Education: Attended the University of the Pacific; attended Choate Rosemary Hall (formerly known as Choate School). Avocational Interests: Photography.

Addresses: Agent—Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Publicist—PMK/HBH Public Relations, 700 San Vicente Blvd., Suite G910, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (some sources cite 8500 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Beverly Hills, CA 90211).

Career: Actress and writer. Author of children's books. Syzygy Industries, founder (with Christopher Guest); Cannes International Film Festival, member of the jury, 1992; made an uncredited appearance as Dr. Judy Peterson in Ellen's Energy Adventure, a theme park attraction at EPCOT Center, Universe of Energy Pavilion, Orlando, FL, 1996. Product spokesperson and appeared in advertisements for products and political issues. Children Affected by AIDS Foundation (CAAF), official spokesperson; affiliated with the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, the Commitment to Kids children's safety campaign, and other causes. Through her husband, Curtis acquired the titles Lady Haden-Guest and Baroness Haden-Guest of Saling.

Member: Screen Actors Guild.

Awards, Honors: Star of Tomorrow Award, National Association of Theatre Owners, ShoWest Convention, 1980; Genie Award nomination, best performance by a foreign actress, Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, 1981, for Prom Night; Saturn Award nomination, best actress, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, 1981, for Terror Train; Film Award, best supporting actress, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1984, for Trading Places; Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a motion picture—comedy/musical, and Film Award nomination, best actress, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, both 1989, for A Fish Called Wanda; Mysfest Award, best actress, and Special Mention for acting performance, Cognac Festival du Film Policier, both 1990, for Blue Steel; Golden Globe Award, best performance by an actress in a television series—comedy/musical, 1990, People's Choice Award, best female performer in a new television program, 1990, and Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a television series—comedy/musical, 1992, all for Anything but Love; Golden Globe Award, best performance by an actress in a motion picture—comedy/musical, Saturn Award, best actress, American Comedy Award, funniest actress in a motion picture (leading role), Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role, and MTV Movie Award nominations, best female performance and (with Arnold Schwarzenegger) best kiss, all 1995, for True Lies; Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a miniseries or motion picture made for television, 1996, for "The Heidi Chronicles," TNT Screenworks; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or movie, 1998, for Nicholas' Gift; received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 1998; Saturn Award nomination, best actress, and Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination, favorite actress—horror, both 1999, both for Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later; Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year, Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Harvard University, 2000; Video Premiere Award nomination (with others), best animated character performance, DVD Exclusive awards, 2001, for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & the Island of Misfit Toys; Grammy Award nomination, best spoken album for children, 2003, for Jamie Lee Curtis Audio Collection; Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a motion picture—musical or comedy, Saturn Award nomination, best actress, and Golden Satellite Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a motion picture, comedy or musical, International Press Academy, all 2004, for Freaky Friday.


Film Appearances:

Laurie Strode, Halloween (also known as John Carpenter's "Halloween"), Universal, 1978.

Alana, Terror Train (also known as Train of Terror and Le monstre du train), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1980.

Elizabeth Solley, The Fog (also known as John Carpenter's "The Fog"), Avco-Embassy, 1980.

Kim, Prom Night, Avco-Embassy, 1980.

Laurie Strode, Halloween II (also known as Halloween II: The Horror Continues and Halloween II: The Nightmare Isn't Over!), Universal, 1981.

Opening narration and computer voice, Escape from New York, Avco-Embassy, 1981.

Pamela Rushworth, Road Games (also known as Road-games), Avco-Embassy, 1981.

Anna Winter, Love Letters (also known as My Love Letters and Passion Play), New World Pictures, 1982.

Herself, Coming Soon (documentary), Universal, 1982.

(Uncredited) Voices of curfew announcer and telephone operator, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Universal, 1982.

Ophelia, Trading Places (also known as Black or White), Paramount, 1983.

(Scenes deleted) Dr. Sandra Banzai (Buckaroo's mother), The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension (also known as The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1984.

Jessica "Jessie" Wilson, Perfect, Columbia, 1984.

(In archive footage) Laurie Strode, Terror in the Aisles (also known as Time for Terror), Universal, 1984.

Michelle "Mike" Cody, Grandview, U.S.A., Warner Bros., 1984.

Welcome Home, 1986.

Lynn Taylor, Amazing Grace and Chuck (also known as Silent Voice), TriStar, 1987.

Susan Elliott, Un homme amoureux (also known as A Man in Love and Un uomo innamorato), Gaumont/Cinecom International Films, 1987.

Jennifer Reston, Dominick and Eugene (also known as Nicky and Gino), Orion, 1988.

Wanda Gerschwitz, A Fish Called Wanda, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1988.

Megan Turner, Blue Steel, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1990.

Grace, Queens Logic, Seven Arts Pictures, 1991.

Shelly DeVoto, My Girl, Columbia, 1991.

Claire Cooper, Forever Young (also known as Return of Daniel), Warner Bros., 1992.

Helen Tasker, True Lies, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1994.

Judith "Jude" Madigan, Mother's Boys (also known as Kodliche Absichten), Miramax/Dimension Films, 1994.

Shelly DeVoto Sultenfuss, My Girl 2, Columbia, 1994.

Janet Beindorf, House Arrest, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1996.

Willa Weston, Fierce Creatures (also known as Death Fish II), Universal, 1997.

Laurie Strode/Keri Tate, Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (also known as Halloween: H20, Halloween H20: (20 Years Later), Halloween: The Revenge of Laurie Strode, Halloween 7, and Halloween 7: The Revenge of Laurie Strode), Miramax/Dimension Films, 1998.

Sierra Kahan, Homegrown, TriStar/Sony Pictures Entertainment, 1998.

Kelly "Kit" Foster, Virus, Universal, 1999.

Narrator, Epidemic Africa (short documentary), Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, 1999.

Elaine Bowen, Daddy and Them, Miramax, 2000.

Louisa Pendel, The Tailor of Panama, Columbia, 2000.

Rona Mace, Drowning Mona, Destination Films, 2000.

Voice of Queen Camilla, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & the Island of Misfit Toys (animated; also known as Rudolph & the Island of Misfit Toys), Golden Books Family Entertainment, 2001.

Laurie Strode, Halloween: Resurrection (also known as Hall8ween, Halloween 8, Halloween: Evil Never Dies, Halloween: Homecoming, Halloween: The Homecoming, Halloween H2K, Halloween H2K: Evil Never Dies, and Halloween:, Miramax/Dimension Films, 2002.

Tess Coleman, Freaky Friday, Buena Vista, 2003.

Nora Krank, Christmas with the Kranks (also known as John Grisham's "Skipping Christmas" and Skipping the Holidays), Columbia, 2004.

Jamie Lee Curtis, The Kid & I, Slowhand Cinema Releasing, 2005.

(In archive footage) Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (documentary), ThinkFilm, 2007.

Television Appearances; Series:

Lieutenant Barbara Duran, Operation Petticoat (also known as Life in the Pink and Petticoat Affair), ABC, 1977–78.

Hannah Miller, Anything but Love, ABC, 1989–92.

Voice of Clara, Pigs next Door (animated; also known as Muca Beal Dorais), beginning c. 2000.

Television Appearances; Movies:

(Uncredited) Grace's daughter, Columbo: Forgotten Lady, NBC, 1975.

Waitress, Columbo: The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case, NBC, 1977.

Dorothy Stratten, Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story, NBC, 1981.

Michelle Jamison, Money on the Side, ABC, 1982.

Whitsey Loftin, As Summers Die, HBO, 1986.

Heidi Holland, "The Heidi Chronicles," TNT Screen-works, TNT, 1995.

Maggie Green, Nicholas' Gift (also known as Il dono di Nicholas), CBS, 1998.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Circus of the Stars #2, CBS, 1977.

Performer, Circus of the Stars #3, CBS, 1979.

The Celebrity Football Classic, NBC, 1979.

Herself, Fear on Film: Inside "The Fog," 1980.

The All-Star Salute to Mother's Day, NBC, 1981.

ABC's Comedy Sneak Peek, ABC, 1989.

Superstars and Their Moms, TBS, 1989.

Herself, Help Save Planet Earth, 1990.

"To Be Free: The National Literacy Honors from the White House," Bell Atlantic Showcase, ABC, 1990.

Flix Special Edition, VH1, 1990.

Starathon '90 (also known as Starathon '90 Weekend with the Stars for Cerebral Palsy), syndicated, 1990.

Living in America, VH1, 1991.

Herself, A Spinal Tap Reunion: The 25th Anniversary London Sell-Out (also known as The Return of Spinal Tap and A Spinal Tap Reunion), NBC, 1992.

Host, The Making of "True Lies," Fox, 1994.

Herself, Sesame Street's All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever! (also known as All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever!), ABC, 1994.

Host, Ladies' Home Journal's Most Fascinating Women of '96, CBS, 1996.

The Good, the Bad & the Beautiful (also known as Popcorn Venus), TBS, 1996.

Herself, Masters of Fantasy: Joel Schumacher, Sci-Fi Channel, 1997.

Host, Paul McCartney and Friends Live: PETA's Millennium Concert, VH1, 1999.

Inside LAX, Arts and Entertainment, 1999.

Host, A Very Special Christmas from Washington, D.C., TNT, 2000.

Presenter, A Home for the Holidays, CBS, 2000.

Herself, AFI's 100 Years, 100 Thrills: America's Most Heart-Pounding Movies (also known as AFI's 100 Years … 100 Thrills), CBS, 2001.

Narrator, All Kinds of Families, Lifetime, 2001.

Narrator, Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song, TCM, 2001.

Herself, "Halloween": A Cut Above the Rest, 2003.

Herself, Survival of the Fittest: America's War on Weight with Dr. Phil, NBC, 2003.

Herself, Hollywood Home Movies, Arts and Entertainment, 2004.

Presenter, The Seventh Annual Home for the Holidays, CBS, 2005.

(In archive footage) Wanda Gerschwitz, De que te ries?, Canal+ Espana, 2006.

Appeared in specials relating to awards presentations.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Presenter, The 52nd Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1980.

Presenter, The 55th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1983.

Presenter, The 41st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Fox, 1989.

Presenter, The 42nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Fox, 1990.

Cohost, The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Fox, 1991.

Presenter, The 17th Annual CableACE Awards, TNT, 1995.

Presenter, The 67th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1995.

Presenter, The 53rd Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 1996.

The Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, UPN, 1996.

Presenter, The 1998 MTV Movie Awards, MTV, 1998.

Hollywood Salutes Arnold Schwarzenegger: An American Cinematheque Tribute (also known as Hollywood Salutes Arnold Schwarzenegger), TNT, 1998.

Presenter, The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 1999.

(Uncredited) Herself, 2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Fox, 2000.

Host, The Fifth Annual Prism Awards (also known as Prism Awards 2001), syndicated, 2001.

Presenter, The 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 2001.

The 15th Annual American Comedy Awards, Comedy Central, 2001.

Lifetime Presents: Disney's American Teacher Awards, Lifetime, 2001.

Presenter, The 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 2003.

Presenter, The 2003 Teen Choice Awards, Fox, 2003.

Presenter, The 76th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2004.

The 2004 MTV Movie Awards, MTV, 2004.

Presenter, 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (also known as Screen Actors Guild 12th Annual Awards), TNT and TBS, 2006.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Girl in dressing room, "Visitors in Paradise," Quincy M.E. (also known as Quincy), NBC, 1977.

Mary, "The Mystery of the Fallen Angels," The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, ABC, 1977.

Herself, Dinah! (also known as Dinah! & Friends), syndicated, 1977.

Linda Frey, "Winning Is for Losers," Charlie's Angels, ABC, 1978.

Jen Burton, "Unchained Woman," Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, NBC, 1979.

Linda, "Till Death Do Us Part, Maybe/Chubs/Locked Away," The Love Boat, ABC, 1979.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Jen Burton, "A Blast for Buck," Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, NBC, 1980.

Guest host, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's "Saturday Night," Saturday Night, Saturday Night Live '80, SNL, and SNL 25), NBC, 1980, 1984.

Guest host, Fridays, ABC, 1981.

Annie Oakley, "Annie Oakley," Shelley Duvall's "Tall Tales and Legends" (also known as Tall Tales and Legends), Showtime, 1985.

"The Story of Hollywood," Talking Pictures, TNT, 1988.

Sesame Street (also known as Canadian Sesame Street, The New Sesame Street, Open Sesame, Sesame Park, and Les amis de Sesame), PBS, 1988.

Herself, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (also known as The Best of Carson), NBC, 1991.

Herself, Howard Stern (also known as The Howard Stern Show), E! Entertainment Television, 1992, 1998.

Herself, Showbiz Today, Cable News Network, 1995.

Herself, "Jamie Lee Curtis," Biography (also known as A & E Biography: Jamie Lee Curtis), Arts and Entertainment, 1996.

Sioux, "Playing a Unified Field," The Drew Carey Show, ABC, 1996.

Himself, Intimate Portrait: Janet Leigh, Lifetime, 1996.

Herself, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, 1996, 1997, 1998.

Herself, "Macaulay Culkin: A Child's Rise/A Family's Fall," The E! True Hollywood Story (also known as THS), E! Entertainment Television, 1997.

Herself, Mundo VIP, SIC Televisao (Portugal), 1997.

Herself, "Jennifer Love Hewitt," Celebrity Profile (also known as E! Celebrity Profile), E! Entertainment Television, 1998.

Herself, Caiga quien caiga, Telecino (Spain), 1998.

Herself, Hey Hey, It's Saturday (also known as Hey, Hey, It's Saturday Night), Nine Network (Australia), 1998.

Herself, The Martin Short Show, syndicated, 1999.

Herself, Intimate Portrait: Jamie Lee Curtis, Lifetime, 2000.

Herself, "Joan Rivers," The E! True Hollywood Story (also known as THS), E! Entertainment Television, 2001.

Herself, "Tony Curtis: Tony of the Movies," Biography (also known as A & E Biography: Tony Curtis), Arts and Entertainment, 2001.

Herself, America's Most Wanted (also known as A.M.W. and America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back), Fox, 2001.

Herself, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 2001, 2002 (multiple episodes), 2003, 2004.

Herself, "Jamie Lee Curtis," Revealed with Jules Asner, E! Entertainment Television, 2002.

Herself, The Early Show, CBS, 2002.

Herself, Today (also known as NBC News Today and The Today Show), NBC, 2002.

Herself, "Freaky Friday," Super Short Show (also known as Mike's "Super Short Show"), Disney Channel, 2003.

Herself, "Hot Movie Dancing," VH1 Goes Inside, VH1, 2003.

Herself, "Janet Leigh," Biography (also known as A & E Biography: Janet Leigh), Arts and Entertainment, 2003.

Herself, The Frank Skinner Show, Independent Television (England), 2003.

Herself, Intimate Portrait: Famous Families, Lifetime, 2003.

Herself, Richard & Judy, Channel 4 (England), 2003.

Herself, Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (also known as Ellen and The Ellen DeGeneres Show), syndicated, 2003, 2004.

Herself, This Morning (also known as This Morning with Richard and Judy), Independent Television, 2003, 2004.

Herself, "Scream Queens," The E! True Hollywood Story (also known as THS), E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

Herself, The Film Programme (also known as Film 2004), BBC, 2004.

Herself, The Tony Danza Show, syndicated, 2004.

Herself, The View, ABC, 2004.

(In archive footage) Herself, "Lindsay Lohan," The E! True Hollywood Story (also known as THS), E! Entertainment Television, 2005.

Herself, Corazon de…, Television Espanola (TVE, Spain), 2005 (multiple episodes), 2006.

Appeared as herself, "The Films of James Cameron," The Directors, Encore; as herself, "Jamie Lee Curtis," Celebrity Profile (also known as E! Celebrity Profile), E! Entertainment Television; and in episodes of other series, including Storytime, PBS.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Lieutenant Barbara Duran, Operation Petticoat (also known as Life in the Pink and Petticoat Affair), ABC, 1977.

Private Rita Jennings, She's in the Army Now, ABC, 1981.

Rachel Bartlett, Callahan, ABC, 1982.

Stories from Growing Up, Nickelodeon, 1991.

Associated with other pilots, including D.O.A.

Television Work; Movies:

Dialogue coach, Murder at the World Series (also known as The Woman in Box 359), ABC, 1977.

Television Work; Episodic:

Director, "The Call of the Mild," Anything but Love, ABC, 1992.

Radio Appearances; Episodic:

Herself, Howard Stern (also known as The Howard Stern Radio Show and The Howard Stern Show), 1992, 1998.



Herself, Unmasking the Horror, 1998.

Herself, "Halloween" Unmasked 2000, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 1999.

Herself, Virus: Ghost in the Machine (short), Universal Studios Home Video, 1999.

(In archive footage) Laurie Strode, Boogeymen: The Killer Compilation (also known as Boogeymen), Flixmix, 2001.

Herself, Halloween: Resurrected (short), 2002.

(In archive footage) Herself, Tales from the Mist: Inside "The Fog" (short), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment, 2002.

Herself, Something Fishy (short), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment, 2003.

Disc jockey, Molly & Roni's Dance Party, Ventura Distribution, 2005.

(In archive footage) Herself, Halloween: 25 Years of Terror, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2005.

Music Videos:

Jermaine Jackson, "(The Closest Thing to) Perfect," c. 1985.

Video Games:

Helen Tasker, True Lies, Nintendo of America, 1995.


Jamie Lee Curtis Audio Collection (includes When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old's Memoir of Her Youth, Tell Me Again about the Night I Was Born, Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day, Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery, and I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem), Harper, 2003.


Concepts for Films:

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (also known as Halloween: H20, Halloween H20: (20 Years Later), Halloween: The Revenge of Laurie Strode, Halloween 7, and Halloween 7: The Revenge of Laurie Strode), Miramax/Dimension Films, 1998.

Writings for Children; with Illustrations by Laura Cornell:

When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old's Memoir of Her Youth, HarperCollins, 1993, audio version released as Jamie Lee Curtis Audio Collection, Harper, 2003.

Tell Me Again about the Night I Was Born, HarperCollins, 1995, audio version released as Jamie Lee Curtis Audio Collection, Harper, 2003.

Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day, HarperCollins, 1998, audio version released as Jamie Lee Curtis Audio Collection, Harper, 2003.

Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery, HarperCollins, 2000, audio version released as Jamie Lee Curtis Audio Collection, Harper, 2003.

My Mommy Hung the Moon, HarperCollins, c. 2001.

I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem, HarperCollins, 2002, audio version released as Jamie Lee Curtis Audio Collection, Harper, 2003.

It's Hard to Be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel, HarperCollins, 2004.


(With Janet Leigh) There Really Was a Hollywood, Doubleday, 1984.

Contributor to periodicals, including O, the Oprah Magazine.


Some sources state that Curtis wrote short stories using a pseudonym.



International Directory of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, fourth edition, St. James Press, 2000.

Writers Directory, St. James Press, 2005.


Biography, August, 1998, pp. 96-101, 117.

Entertainment Weekly, March 18, 1994, p. 66; August 14, 1998, pp. 28-34.

Esquire, July, 1985, p. 66.

Femme Fatales, summer, 1992, pp. 6-11, 60; November, 1998, pp. 42-49, 60-61.

Good Housekeeping, November, 1996, p. 28.

Interview, August, 1989, p. 66.

McCall's, October, 1998, pp. 22-24, 26, 28-29.

More, September, 2002, pp. 90-95.

Movieline, April, 1996.

Newsweek, August 18, 2003, p. 54.

People Weekly, March 11, 1991, p. 75; August 3, 1998; November 16, 1998, p. 11; November 29, 2004, p. 193.

Psychology Today, September/October, 2002, pp. 30-35.

Reader's Digest, December, 2004, pp. 90-97.

Redbook, October, 1996, pp. 88-91, 142-43; April, 1997, p. 104; April, 1998, p. 82; November, 2000, p. 124.

Rolling Stone, 1, 1985, p. 35.

Total Film, June, 1997, p. 130.

TV Guide, October 21, 1989, p. 4; April 25, 1998, p. 6.

Women's Day, December 7, 2004, p. 130.

Curtis, Jamie Lee

views updated May 14 2018

CURTIS, Jamie Lee

Nationality: American. Born: Los Angeles, California, 22 November 1958; daughter of the actor Tony Curtis and the actress Janet Leigh; sister of the actress Kelly Curtis. Education: Studied at Choate School, Connecticut; University of the Pacific, California. Family: Married the actor/director Christopher Guest, 1984, daughter: Annie, son: Thomas Haden. Career: Began her career by acting on TV, with credits including the TV movie and TV series Operation Petticoat, 1970s; made her film debut in Halloween, 1978; starred on the TV situation comedy Anything but Love, 1989–92. Awards: Best Supporting Actress British Academy Award, for Trading Places, 1983; Cognac Festival du Film Policie Special Mention (for her Acting Performance), for Blue Steel, 1990; Best Performance by an Actress on a TV Series-Comedy/Musical Golden Globe, for Anything But Love, 1990; Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role) American Comedy Award, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Comedy/Musical Golden Globe, for True Lies, 1994. Address: 10573 West Pico Boulevard #242, Los Angeles, CA 90064–2348, U.S.A.

Films as Actress:


Columbo: The Bye-Bye Sky-High I.Q. Murder Case (Wanamaker—for TV) (as Waitress); Operation Petticoat (Life in the Pink) (Astin—for TV) (as Lieutenant Barbara Duran)


Halloween (Carpenter) (as Laurie Strode)


The Fog (Carpenter) (as Elizabeth Solley); Prom Night (Lynch) (as Kim); Terror Train (Spottiswoode) (as Alana)


Road Games (Franklin) (as Pamela Rushworth); Halloween II (Carpenter) (as Laurie Strode); Escape from New York (Carpenter) (as opening narrator/voice of computer); Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story (Beaumont—for TV) (title role); She's in the Army Now (Averback—for TV) (as Rita Jennings)


Money on the Side (Collins—for TV) (as Michelle Jamison)


Trading Places (Landis) (as Ophelia); Love Letters (My Love Letters) (Amy Jones) (as Anna Winter)


The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension (Richter) (as Dr. Sandra Banzai); Grandview, U.S.A. (Kleiser) (as Michelle "Mike" Cody)


Perfect (Bridges) (as Jessica Wilson); 8 Million Ways to Die (Ashby); Annie Oakley (Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales and Legends: Annie Oakley) (Lindsay-Hogg—for TV)


As Summer Dies (Tramont—for TV) (as Whitsey Loftin)


Amazing Grace and Chuck (Silent Voice) (Newell) (as Lynn Taylor); A Man in Love (Un Homme amoureux) (Kurys) (as Susan Elliot)


Dominick and Eugene (Robert M. Young) (as Jennifer Reston); A Fish Called Wanda (Charles Crichton) (as Wanda Gershwitz)


Blue Steel (Bigelow) (as Megan Turner)


Queens Logic (Rash) (as Grace); My Girl (Zieff) (as Shelly DeVoto)


Forever Young (Miner) (as Claire)


My Girl 2 (Zieff) (as Shelly Sultenfuss); Mother's Boys (Simoneau) (as Jude); True Lies (Cameron) (as Helen Tasker)


The Heidi Chronicles (for TV) (as Heidi Holland)


House Arrest (Winer) (as Janet Beindorf); Ellen's Energy Adventure (short) (as Dr. Judy Peterson—uncredited)


Fierce Creatures (Young, Schepisi) (as Willa Weston); Home-grown (Gyllenhaal) (as Sierra Kazan)


Halloween H2O: Twenty Years Later (Miner) (as Laurie Strode/Keri Tate); Nicholas' Gift (Markowitz—for TV) (as Maggie Green)


Virus (Bruno) (as Kit Foster)


Drowning Mona (Gomez) (as Rona Cale); The Tailor of Panama (Boorman); Daddy and Them (Thornton)

Other Films:


Murder at the World Series (McLaglen—for TV) (dialogue coach)


By CURTIS: books—

When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old's Memoir of Her Youth, New York, 1993.

Tell Me Again: About the Night I Was Born, New York, 1995.

By CURTIS: articles—

Interviews in Interview (New York), September 1983 and August 1989.

Interview with C. Krista, in Films in Review (New York), August/September 1985.

Interview in Time Out (London), 3 January 1990.

Interview in Premiere (New York), February/March 1990.

"Tuff Enough," interview with Rod Lurie, in Los Angeles Magazine, July 1994.

On CURTIS: articles—

Photoplay (London), May 1979.

Thomson, David, "Class of 1985," in Film Comment (New York), March/April 1985.

Hibbin, S., "Jamie Lee Curtis," in Films and Filming (London), August 1985.

"Blue Steel," in American Cinematographer (Hollywood), May 1989.

Lerner, Michael, "Zany Jamie," in Interview (New York), August 1989.

Clark, John, filmography in Premiere (New York), September 1989.

Boyd, Blanche McCrary, "The Rules of the Jamie Game," in Premiere (New York), November 1991.

Diamond, J., "Jamie Lee Curtis Faces Up to Her Image," in New York Times, 27 December 1992.

Stars (Mariembourg), Winter 1995.

Frankel, Martha, "What Jamie Lee Loves More Than Acting," in Redbook (New York), October 1996.

Current Biography (New York), 1998.

Nashawaty, Chris, "Final Cut," in Entertainment Weekly (New York), 14 August 1998.

Allen, T., "Scaredy-Kitten," in Esquire (New York), September 1998.

* * *

Like many a cinematic ingenue, Jamie Lee Curtis started out as a heroine of horror/terror films: John Carpenter's Halloween, The Fog, and Halloween II; Paul Lynch's Prom Night; and Roger Spottiswoode's Terror Train. But unlike scores of attractive but inexperienced young actresses, she never was forced to make films that were strictly cheesy, Grade D exploitation. Similarly, unlike countless performers whose careers never transcend their roots, she has been able to secure a series of showy supporting and starring roles in A-list films. Perhaps her career progressed in this direction because of her lineage: her parents are, of course, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. Keeping in mind her parents, Curtis's casting in horror films may be linked to the shower her mother took in Psycho; prior to debuting in Halloween, Curtis appeared in a television series based on the film Operation Petticoat, the original of which had starred her father.

This is not to imply that Curtis simply inherited her fame. Early in her career, she "paid her dues" in television movies which were variously stupid (She's in the Army Now, a tepid reworking of Private Benjamin), exploitative (Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story), or stupid and exploitative (Money on the Side, playing a suburban housewife who becomes a prostitute—a film which never would be confused with Buñuel's Belle du jour). In all these films, Curtis imbued her characters with an intelligence far greater than that supplied by the scriptwriters.

Having the proper connections may have helped her early on, but Curtis's acting ability and on-screen appeal, coupled with her undeniable sexiness, are what have sustained her. In Halloween, for instance, her talent is showcased to good advantage. As the likable, partnerless member of a trio of young women, she manages to convey her character's repressed sexuality—an irony, considering the in-your-face eroticism inherent in so many of her future roles. Indeed, in some of Curtis's biggest box-office hits, she has traded on a combination of her natural effervescence and sex appeal. In Trading Places, one of her earlier films, she is memorable in her supporting role as a Bronx-accented hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold. It was here where she first displayed her flair for comedy. In A Fish Called Wanda, she blends seamlessly with a choice cast (John Cleese, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin) as a sexy con woman. Her instant-classic striptease scene in True Lies (in which she is cast as Arnold Schwarzenegger's wife) is as eye-popping as any of the film's special effects.

While she was taking showy roles in Trading Places, A Fish Called Wanda, and True Lies, Curtis also was tackling parts that stretched her as an actress—most successfully, as the young woman who comes upon her late mother's romantic correspondence with a married man in Love Letters; and the title role in the television adaptation of Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles. She also has played characters of integrity in films that were simply unsuccessful: the aerobics instructor in the inane Perfect, and the cop in the muddled Blue Steel. And she has taken supporting roles in projects she has believed in: A Man in Love, Dominick and Eugene, and Amazing Grace and Chuck.

Because her highest-profile roles have been supporting ones (Trading Places, True Lies) or as a part of an ensemble (A Fish Called Wanda), Curtis never has won a place in the inner circle of actress-stars, alongside the likes of Demi Moore and Julia Roberts. This is unfortunate, as she is every bit as attractive as (and, in some ways, far more charismatic than) Moore and Roberts. Curtis's full-bodied performance in The Heidi Chronicles serves as evidence that she has matured as an actress, and is quite capable of playing characters whose intelligence and vulnerability transcend their sexuality.

Yet at the time she made The Heidi Chronicles, her most fully evolved and heartfelt projects were made-for-TV; she also starred in Nicholas' Gift as a parent forced to make a life-giving decision regarding the donation of her brain-dead son's organs. Otherwise, Curtis was lost in the dreadful sci-fi thriller Virus; her role in the ensemble farce Homegrown was virtually a cameo; and she had what might have been a solid part as a comically sexy small town waitress in Drowning Mona, only the character was underwritten. Meanwhile, she was linked to her cinematic past. In 1997, Curtis was reunited with her Fish Called Wanda co-stars in the less-than-memorable Fierce Creatures; the film was shot in 1995 by Robert M. Young, and then rewritten and re-filmed by Fred Schepisi the following year. Then in 1998, she reprised her screen debut in the self-explanatorily-titled Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later.

—Rob Edelman

Curtis, Jamie Lee

views updated Jun 11 2018


CURTIS, JAMIE LEE (1958– ), U.S. actor. Daughter of Jewish actor Tony *Curtis (Bernie Schwartz) and Janet Leigh, Curtis spent her high school years at the Choate School in Connecticut. After graduation, she attended the University of the Pacific in California for one term before dropping out. Universal signed Curtis to a seven-year contract in 1977 that got her bit parts on television shows like Operation Petticoat, Quincy, and Columbo. She made her big-screen debut in John Carpenter's Halloween (1978), and became known as the "queen of scream" with such follow-up horror films as The Fog (1980), Prom Night (1980), Terror Train (1981), and Halloween ii (1981). After portraying the lead in the tv film Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story, Curtis followed with comedy roles in the films Trading Places (1983) and A Fish Called Wanda (1988). She married actor-director Christopher Guest in 1984, with whom she has a daughter, Annie, and a son, Thomas, both adopted. In 1989–92, she starred opposite Richard Lewis in the sitcom Anything But Love, winning a 1990 Golden Globe for best actress in a television comedy. A memorable performance in the film True Lies (1994) opposite Arnold Schwarznegger won her another Golden Globe (1995), the same year that she appeared in the screen version of Wendy *Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles (1995). She reprised her role as Laurie Strode in Halloween H20 (1998). Curtis had a major hit with the Disney remake of Freaky Friday (2003) and continued her family-friendly roles with Christmas with the Kranks (2004). Curtis is also a successful children's book author, publishing When I Was Little (1995); Tell Me Again about the Night I Was Born (1996); Today I Feel Silly (1998); Where Do Balloons Go? (2000); I'm Gonna Like Me (2002); and It's Hard to Be Five (2004).

[Adam Wills (2nd ed.)]

Curtis, Jamie Lee

views updated May 11 2018

CURTIS, Jamie Lee

CURTIS, Jamie Lee. American, b. 1958. Genres: Children's fiction, Children's non-fiction. Career: Actress on television and in films, 1977-. Publications: When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old's Memoir of Her Youth, 1993; Tell Me Again about the Night I Was Born, 1995; Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods that Make My Day, 1998. Address: c/o Rick Kurtzman, Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212-1804, U.S.A.

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