Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Name: Jamie Lee Curtis
Birthdate: November 22, 1958
Famous Years: 1978-Present
Currently Known For: Halloween Remake
|Networth: $35 Million||Famous For: Halloween, Freaky Friday, Trading Places|
November 22, 1958
Halloween, Freaky Friday, Trading Places
There’s a certain specific type of character in film that has stood out over the past 40 years, and one actress to thank for that. It’s the role of the “Scream Queen,” who plays the lead female role in a horror film and usually goes toe-to-toe with the monster or villain that’s haunting the town. Jamie Lee Curtis took on that role 40 years ago when she starred in the original “Halloween” film, and to this day she’s still considered to be the best to ever be recognized as a “Scream Queen” while also adding a lot more to her resume in the past four decades.
Curtis was born on November 22, 1958 in Santa Monica, California, and was raised by parents that had already been in the entertainment world. Her father was Tony Curtis, who had starred in movies such as “Some LIke It Hot” and “Spartacus”. Her mother was Janet Leigh, who is most remembered for “Psycho” and “The Manchurian Candidate”.
Talking about her relationship with her famous mother, Curtis admitted that even though she’d have a normal life as a school student, things weren’t as great at home. “We were and weren’t (close),” she said, writing an article about her mother for a magazine. “It was the honest truth about our relationship and the challenges of being her daughter - and the great benefits of being her daughter...Obviously I loved her very much, but it was a complicated relationship. She was a public figure and it was a really weird dance. Should I have pretended my whole life and said, Oh yeah, we were best friends?’ We weren’t best friends, but we weren’t enemies. She was a challenging woman to be raised by - and came from a challenging line of mothers.”
Of course, like her parents, Curtis would train in acting and dropped out of college in the mid 1970s to pursue the dream on a full-time basis, It wouldn’t take long for Curtis to land what’s still considered by many to be the biggest role of her life, when at 19 years old she filmed “Halloween”, playing the role of Laurie Strode. Curtis found instant fame thanks to the movie that had just a $300,000 budget making more than $70 million at the box office. Leading up to the role, Curtis had already been on several television series in the year prior in guest roles, and had a role on “Operation Petticoat”.
It was “Halloween” that truly changed her career, however, as she became the go-to actress for horror films in the early 1980s. Some of the more notable roles that she took on included “The Fog”, “Terror Train” and “Prom Night”. In 1981 and 1982, she’d star in the next two sequels for “Halloween”. By the end of the decade, she started to get away from the genre and had begun starring in comedies such as “Trading Places” and “A Fish Called Wanda”.
Meanwhile, she’d return to television toward the end of the decade when she starred in the series “Anything But Love”. Heading into the 1990s, Curtis had memorable roles in “My Girl” and “True Lies”, sticking mainly to the big screen beyond the decade’s beginning. In the 2000s, she’d mark her fifth “Halloween” movie, and continued to do family friendly comedies such as “Christmas with the Kranks” and “Freaky Friday” with a young Lindsay Lohan.
Curtis has kept busy in the acting world even as she nears her 60s, with plenty of roles in recent years. She’d appear in the 2014 “Veronica Mars” movie, and the next year in “Spare Parts”. On television, she returned to her horror roots when she played Dean Cathy Munsch on “Scream Queens” during its brief run. Then, sticking with the genre, it was announced that she’d be reprising her role as Laurie Strode in the “Halloween” universe. Fans were excited to see Curtis back in her first ever movie role, and after a limited release in September 2018 was deemed quite the performance by Curtis in what appears to be on its way to a successful run.
Curtis knows that her very first and again most recent roles have defined her career, despite 40 years in between. “I recognize that it will be my biggest contribution,” she admitted. “Despite writing books for children, all of my advocacy, all of my politics, all of my own personal journey, my legacy will be ‘Halloween’.” Still, it’s not a bad legacy to have, and there are plenty of people that remember her many other films.
For the future, Curtis looks to keep reinventing herself and wants to keep adding work behind the camera, as well. “I am a constant editor,” she says. “The biggest thing I’ve ever shed is my own limitations and perception of who I am. How can I expect my agent to think of me in a different way if I don’t think of me in a different way...It has to come from me. And even if I stumble in my pursuit, that’s OK. We are all looking for a fast track to enlightenment, but it’s sweat equity.”