Janet Leigh Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (4)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (26)  | Personal Quotes (8)  | Salary (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Merced, California, USA
Died in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (vasculitis)
Birth NameJeanette Helen Morrison
Height 5' 5½" (1.66 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Janet Leigh was the only child of a couple who often moved from town to town. Living in apartments, Janet was a bright child who skipped several grades and finished high school when she was 15. A lonely child, she would spend much of her time at movie theaters. She was a student, studying music and psychology, at the University of the Pacific until she was "discovered" while visiting her parents in Northern California. Her father was working the desk at a ski resort where her mother worked as a maid. Retired MGM actress Norma Shearer saw a picture of Janet on the front desk and asked if she could borrow it. This led to a screen test at MGM and a starring role in The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947). MGM was looking for a young naive country girl and Janet filled the bill perfectly. She would play the young ingénue in a number of films and work with such stars as Errol Flynn, Gary Cooper, James Stewart, Orson Welles and Judy Garland. She appeared in a number of successful films, including Little Women (1949), Angels in the Outfield (1951), Scaramouche (1952), Houdini (1953) and The Black Shield of Falworth (1954), among others. Janet would appear in a variety of films, from comedies to westerns to musicals to dramas. Of her more than 50 movies, she would be remembered for the 45 minutes that she was on the screen in the small-budget thriller Psycho (1960). Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this 1960 classic would include the shower scene that would become a film landmark. Even though her character is killed off early in the picture, she would be nominated for an Academy Award and receive a Golden Globe. Her next film would be The Manchurian Candidate (1962), in which she starred with Frank Sinatra. For the rest of the decade, her appearances in films would be rare, but she worked with Paul Newman in Harper (1966). In the 1970s she appeared on the small screen in a number of made-for-TV movies. In 1980, she appeared alongside her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis in The Fog (1980), and later, in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998). Janet Leigh died at age 77 in her home in Beverly Hills, California on October 3, 2004.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana < tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Spouse (4)

Robert Jay Brandt (15 September 1962 - 3 October 2004) ( her death)
Tony Curtis (4 June 1951 - 14 September 1962) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Stanley Harold Reames (5 October 1945 - 7 September 1949) ( divorced)
John Carlisle (21 August 1942 - 28 December 1942) ( annulled)

Trade Mark (3)

Sparkling blue eyes
Voluptuous figure
Deep sultry voice

Trivia (26)

Was 'discovered' by Norma Shearer from a photo on the desk of Janet's father.
Co-starred with Tony Curtis in five films: Houdini (1953), The Black Shield of Falworth (1954), The Vikings (1958), The Perfect Furlough (1958) and Who Was That Lady? (1960).
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#99). [1995]
Eloped at the age of 15 - marriage was later annulled. Thus, Tony Curtis was her third husband when she married him at 23.
Actually made Touch of Evil (1958), with a broken arm. Her arm was in a cast when she showed up for production, so they took her arm out of the cast and used every trick they could to hide it.
She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California on May 14, 2004. She delivered an inspirational speech to graduating students, faculty, and administrators in accepting her award. Author Maxine Hong Kingston and US Solicitor General Ted Olson were also awarded honorary degrees on the same day.
Attended and graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.
She and her actress daughter Jamie Lee Curtis appear together in John Carpenter's The Fog (1980), though they do not meet until the film's end. They also appear together in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) early in the film when Janet reports to Jamie on a problem with the girls' shower at a private school.
In 2006, the city of Stockton, California renamed and dedicated a downtown cinema and plaza in her honor. "Janet Leigh Plaza" is in the central core of the redeveloped downtown two blocks away from the "Bob Hope Theater".
In Italy, most of her films were dubbed by either Renata Marini or Rosetta Calavetta. She was occasionally dubbed by Germana Calderini, Dhia Cristiani, Micaela Giustiniani and Fiorella Betti.
She was the daughter of Frederick Robert Morrison, and his wife, Helen Lita (Westergard). Her father had English, German, Northern Irish (Scots-Irish), and Swiss-German ancestry. Her mother was from a family of Danish immigrants.
Interviewed in Tom Weaver's book "Science Fiction Stars and Horror Heroes" (McFarland & Co., 1991).
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 326-329. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
In June 2010, Pacific Theatre, the campus movie theater of the University of the Pacific, was renamed and dedicated as Janet Leigh Theatre. The theater houses Janet Leigh movie posters, movie stills, college and family photos, and a display cabinet with many personal and professional Janet Leigh artifacts. The lavender gown worn by Ms. Leigh to the 1961 Academy Awards (and created by Edith Head) is on display in the cabinet in the lobby.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1777 Vine Street in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
She was an active Democrat and appeared alongside Tony Curtis at the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, California.
Was portrayed by Scarlett Johansson in Hitchcock (2012).
Gave birth to her 1st child at age 28, a daughter Kelly Curtis on June 17, 1956. Child's father was her 3rd ex-husband, Tony Curtis.
Gave birth to her 2nd child at age 31, a daughter Jamie Lee Curtis on November 22, 1958. Child's father was her 3rd ex-husband, Tony Curtis.
She was cremated after death and her ashes are interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
Became pregnant with her 1st child by husband Tony Curtis in May 1953 but she suffered a miscarriage on July 8, 1953 at age 26.
Was 2 months pregnant with her daughter Kelly Curtis when she completed filming Safari (1956) and 5 months pregnant with her when she recorded her appearance on The Rosemary Clooney Show (1956).
Said on TCM that Van Johnson was responsible for her stage name. While they were filming The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947), he suggested she shorten her first name to Janet. He also thought that, since the film they were doing was a civil war drama, Lee would go well as her last name. But then he suggested she spell it Leigh. She was concerned there might a problem in being confused with Vivien Leigh; but then Van Johnson reminded her of Van Heflin. He said "there's two Van's and it hasn't hurt either of us".
Janet Leigh wrote four books: "There Really Was a Hollywood" (1984--an autobiography); "Psycho: Behind the Scenes of the Classic Thriller" (1995, co-authored with Christopher Nickens); "House of Destiny" (1996--a novel); and "The Dream Factory" (2002--a novel).
Has never appeared in a Best Picture Oscar nominated film.
Turned down the role of Simone Clouseau in The Pink Panther (1963). Recently divorced/remarried, she didn't want to go off on location in Europe and be distanced from her family.

Personal Quotes (8)

[when asked if it was true that she doesn't take showers] It's actually, honestly true. And not because of the shooting of it. It was the seeing of it. It never dawned on me how truly vulnerable we are. But that's what [Alfred Hitchcock] did. A shower. A bird. All these things that are absolutely ordinary, he made extraordinary.
Psycho (1960) gave me very wrinkled skin. I was in that shower for seven days - 70 setups. At least, he [Alfred Hitchcock] made sure the water was warm.
I don't know what it is I exude. But whatever it is, it's whatever I am!
[on working with Alfred Hitchcock] Hitch relished scaring me. When we were making Psycho (1960), he experimented with the mother's corpse, using me as his gauge. I would return from lunch, open the door to the dressing room and propped up in my chair would be this hideous monstrosity. The horror in my scream, registered on his Richter scale, decided which dummy he'd use as the Madame.
[on her Psycho (1960) co-star, the late Anthony Perkins] To me he was a leading man. But to the rest of the world, he'll always be "Norman Bates". People just wouldn't let him be anything else.
[on Night of the Lepus (1972)] I've forgotten as much as I could about that picture.
[on getting second billing to Tony Curtis in Houdini (1953), when her career was more established than his] I will always take second billing to my husband. I don't care if he's made one picture and I've made a hundred.
There's a difference in product. I mean, Boys Don't Cry (1999) would never have been made when -- when we were younger.

Salary (2)

The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947) $50 /week
Psycho (1960) $25,000

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