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Janet Leigh

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Also Known As: Jeanette Helen Morrison, Jeanette Reems Died: October 3, 2004
Born: July 6, 1927 Cause of Death: vasculitis
Birth Place: Merced, California, USA Profession: actor, author

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Actress Janet Leigh's early film career found her playing wholesome ingénues in everything from musicals and Westerns to comedies and thrillers, which made excellent if artistically unremarkable use of her generous smile and unflaggingly positive nature. But in 1960, Leigh's name - and terrifying screams - became synonymous with cinematic legend as Alfred Hitchcock's doomed heroine in the infamous stabbing shower scene from "Psycho." Despite her later roles, which were eventually superceded by turns as a mother, humanitarian and best-selling author, audiences would still forever remember those fateful 45 seconds of the dying Leigh, glimpsed in naked silhouette, her hands tearing vainly at the shower curtain as her blood spirals down the drain. Like the film itself, Leigh became an enduring part of the fabric of movie history.

Actress Janet Leigh's early film career found her playing wholesome ingénues in everything from musicals and Westerns to comedies and thrillers, which made excellent if artistically unremarkable use of her generous smile and unflaggingly positive nature. But in 1960, Leigh's name - and terrifying screams - became synonymous with cinematic legend as Alfred Hitchcock's doomed heroine in the infamous stabbing shower scene from "Psycho." Despite her later roles, which were eventually superceded by turns as a mother, humanitarian and best-selling author, audiences would still forever remember those fateful 45 seconds of the dying Leigh, glimpsed in naked silhouette, her hands tearing vainly at the shower curtain as her blood spirals down the drain. Like the film itself, Leigh became an enduring part of the fabric of movie history.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Mary Pickford: A Life on Film (2000) Interviewee
2.
 In My Sister's Shadow (1999) Kay Conner
3.
 Charlton Heston: For All Seasons (1995) Interviewee
5.
6.
7.
 Thrill of Genius, The (1986) Herself
8.
 The Fog (1980) Kathy Williams
9.
 Boardwalk (1979) Florence
10.
 Mirror, Mirror (1979) Millie Gorman
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1946:
Signed by MGM
1947:
Made film debut in "The Romance of Rosy Ridge"
1955:
Played title role in "My Sister Eileen"
1956:
Began TV appearances with "The Rosemary Clooney Show"
1960:
Had breakout role in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho"; earned Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress
1962:
Co-starred in the classic film, "The Manchurian Candidate"
1963:
Played Rosie in film, "Bye Bye Birdie"
1969:
Made TV-movie debut, "The Monk" (ABC)
1979:
Co-starred in Stephen Verona's "Boardwalk"
1984:
Published autobiography, <i>There Really Was a Hollywood</i>
1990:
Returned to "Psycho" territory as host of the Showtime TV-movie, "Psycho IV: The Beginning"
1995:
Published memoir on the making of "Psycho" titled, <i>Psycho: Behind the Scenes of the Classic Thriller</i>
1995:
Published first novel, <i>House of Destiny</i>
1998:
Appeared with daughter Jamie Lee Curtis in "Halloween H2O"
1999:
Appeared as mother of Nancy McKeon and Alexandra Wilson in the CBS TV-movie, "In My Sister's Shadow"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Stockton High School: Stockton , California -
College of the Pacific: Stockton , California -
College of the Pacific: Stockton , California -

Notes

"I don't take showers. Or, if there is no other way to bathe, I make sure all of the doors and windows in the house are locked, and I leave the bathroom door and shower curtain open so I have a perfect, clear view." --Janet Leigh in People, August 1, 1995,

"There's a difference between retiring from a profession and retiring from life. I choose not to do the latter." --Janet Leigh

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
John K Carlyle. Marriage annulled in 1942.
husband:
Stanley Reames. Bandleader. Married in 1946; divorced in 1948.
husband:
Tony Curtis. Actor. Married in 1951; divorced in 1962; acted together in the films "Houdini" (1953), "The Black Shield of Falworth" (1954), "The Vikings" (1958), "The Perfect Furlough" (1959) and "Who Was That Lady?" (1960).
husband:
Robert Brandt. Stockbroker. Married in 1962.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Kelley Curtis. Actor. Born c. 1956.
daughter:
Jamie Lee Curtis. Actor. Born November 22, 1958.

Bibliography close complete biography

"There Really Was a Hollywood" Doubleday
"Psycho: Behind the Scenes of the Classic Thriller" Harmony/Crown
"House of Destiny" Mira Books
"The Dream Factory" Mira Books
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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