By Alex Simon
Few living actors can claim to have experienced the Hollywood machine in all its iterations more than three-time Oscar nominee Piper Laurie. Signed by Universal Pictures at 17, their youngest contract player in years, she was in the last generation that were part of the Hollywood “factory,” pushed into “cheesecake” roles that accented physical attributes, as opposed to talent. It was the beginning of a journey.
She was born Rosetta Jacobs in Detroit, Michigan, on January 22, 1932, to immigrant parents of Polish and Russian Jewish descent. When she was still five, the family sent her and her sister to a children’s sanatorium in the mountains to see if her sister’s asthma could be cured. Three years later after being reunited with her family she decided she wanted to become an actress and studied with Benno and Betomi Schneider for several years