Jamie Lee Curtis (born November 22, 1958), is an American actress, author, and activist. She made her film acting debut in 1978 as Laurie Strode in John Carpenter’s horror film Halloween
The film established her as a scream queen, and she appeared in a string of horror films in 1980, including The Fog, Prom Night, and Terror Train. She reprised the role of Laurie in the sequels Halloween II (1981), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), and Halloween (2018).
Curtis’s film work spans many genres, including the cult comedies Trading Places (1983), for which she received a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress, and A Fish Called Wanda (1988), for which she earned a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress. She won a Golden Globe, an American Comedy Award, and a Saturn Award for playing the starring role of Helen Tasker in James Cameron‘s action comedy film True Lies (1994). Curtis’s other major films include Blue Steel (1990), My Girl (1991), Forever Young (1992), The Tailor of Panama (2001), Freaky Friday (2003), Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008), You Again (2010), Veronica Mars (2014), and Knives Out (2019).
Jamie Lee Curtis received a Golden Globe and a People’s Choice Award for her portrayal of Hannah Miller on the ABC sitcom Anything But Love (1989–1992). She earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her work in the television film Nicholas’ Gift (1998). She also starred as Cathy Munsch on the Fox horror comedy series Scream Queens (2015–2016), for which she earned her seventh Golden Globe Award nomination.
Jamie Lee Curtis is the daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. She is married to Christopher Guest, with whom she has two adopted children. She has written numerous children’s books, with her 1998 release Today I Feel Silly, and Other Moods That Make My Day making The New York Times‘s best-seller list. She is also a frequent blogger for The Huffington Post. Curtis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998.urtis with her mother, Janet Leigh
Jamie Lee Curtis was born in Santa Monica, California, to actor Tony Curtis and actress Janet Leigh. Her father was Jewish, the son of Hungarian Jewish immigrants. Two of her maternal great-grandparents were Danish, while the rest of her mother’s ancestry is German and Scots-Irish. Curtis has an older sister, Kelly Curtis, who is also an actress, and several half-siblings (all from her father’s remarriages): Alexandra, actress Allegra Curtis, Benjamin, and Nicholas Curtis (who died in 1994 of a drug overdose). Curtis’s parents divorced in 1962. After the divorce, she stated her father was “not around” and that he was “not interested in being a father.”
Jamie Lee Curtis attended Westlake School (now Harvard-Westlake School) in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills High School, and graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall. Returning to California in 1976, she attended her mother’s alma mater, the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and studied law. She dropped out after one semester to pursue an acting career.
Jamie Lee Curtis’ 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. Curtis was subsequently cast in several horror films, garnering her the title “scream queen“.
Her next film was The Fog, which was helmed by Halloween director John Carpenter. The horror film opened in February 1980 to mixed reviews but strong box office, starting 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-popular slasher genre. That year, Curtis also starred in Terror Train, which opened in October and met with negative reviews akin to Prom Night. Both films performed 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 gave negative reviews to all three of Curtis’s 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 has returned to the Halloween series five times, playing Laurie Strode again in the sequels Halloween II (1981), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), and Halloween (2018), and having an uncredited voice role in Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982).
Her role in 1983’s Trading Places helped Jamie Lee Curtis shed her horror queen image, and garnered her a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She then starred in the 1988 comedy film A Fish Called Wanda, which achieved cult status while showcasing her as a comedic actress. For her performance, she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Jamie Lee Curtis received positive reviews for her performance in the action thriller Blue Steel (1990), which was directed by Kathryn Bigelow. She also received a Golden Globe Award for her work in the 1994 action comedy film True Lies, directed by James Cameron.
Jamie Lee Curtis’ other film roles also include the coming-of-age films My Girl (1991) and My Girl 2 (1994), and the Disney comedy film Freaky Friday (2003), opposite Lindsay Lohan. The latter was filmed at Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, California, near where Curtis and Guest lived with their children. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for her performance in the film. She starred in the Christmas comedy film Christmas with the Kranks (2004), which went on to gain a cult following.
In October 2006, Jamie Lee Curtis 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. Jamie Lee Curtis had voice roles in the animated films The Little Engine That Could (2011) and From Up on Poppy Hill (2011). This was followed by supporting roles in the neo-noir mystery film Veronica Mars (2014) and the biographical drama film Spare Parts (2015).
Jamie Lee Curtis returned to leading roles with her reprisal of Laurie Strode in the horror sequel film Halloween (2018). The film debuted to $76.2 million, marking the second-best ever opening weekend of October and the highest of the Halloween franchise. Its opening performance was the best-ever for a film starring a lead actress over 55 years old. It also became the highest-grossing of the franchise. Curtis’ performance earned critical acclaim. Also in 2018, she had a role in the drama film An Acceptable Loss. She then starred as Linda Drysdale-Thrombrey in Rian Johnson‘s mystery film Knives Out, which earned critical acclaim and over $300 million at the global box office.
Jamie Lee Curtis is set to again reprise her role as Laurie Strode in the horror sequel Halloween Kills, which is due for release in October 2021. She will reprise the role for the sequel Halloween Ends, which will be released in October 2022. She will also appear in the science fiction action film Everything Everywhere All at Once.