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Jeanette Helen Curtis (Morrison)

Also Known As: "Janet Leigh"
Birthplace: Merced, Merced County, California, United States
Death: October 03, 2004 (77)
Home, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA, United States (Vascultis (Inflamation of blood vessels)..)
Place of Burial: Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Frederick Robert Morrison and Helen Lita Morrison
Wife of Robert Jay Brandt
Ex-wife of John Kenneth Carlisle; Stanley Reames and Tony Curtis
Mother of Kelly Curtis; Jamie Lee Curtis and Private

Occupation: Actress, Author, singer, dancer, author
Managed by: Eilat Gordin Levitan
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Janet Leigh

As the screaming blonde beauty knifed to death in the shower at the Bates Motel in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Psycho, Janet Leigh’s shower scene remains one of the most famous murder scenes in the history of film. For this role she was awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She was the wife of actor Tony Curtis from June 1951 to June, 1961 and the mother of Jamie Lee Curtis and Kelly Curtis.

She was born Jeanette Helen Morrison on July 6, 1927 in Merced, California, the only child of Helen Lita (née Westergaard) and Frederick Robert Morrison. Leigh attended grammar and high school in Stockton, California, graduating early at the age of fifteen, and going on to study both music and psychology. She was married twice at a young age, first in 1942 to John Carlyle and later to Stanley Reames in 1946, which ended in divorce in 1948.

In the winter of 1945, she was discovered by the actress Norma Shearer, whose late husband Irving Thalberg had been a senior executive at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Shearer showed talent agent Lew Wasserman a photograph she had seen of Leigh while vacationing at Sugar Bowl, the ski resort where the girl's parents worked. Shearer later recalled that "that smile made it the most fascinating face I had seen in years. I felt I had to show that face to somebody at the studio." Leigh left the University of the Pacific, where she was studying music and psychology, after Wasserman secured a contract with MGM, despite having no acting experience. She was placed under the tutelage of drama coach Lillian Burns.

She was cast in a number of films in the late 1940s and early 1950s and worked with many leading stars of the time. In 1951, she married actor, Tony Curtis, and had two daughters, Kelly Lee (1956) and Jamie Lee (1958). Leigh and Curtis appeared in five films together, most notably 'Houdini' in 1953. In 1962, she divorced Curtis and married director, Robert Brandt.

Her most successful movies included 'Little Women', 'Angels in the Outfield', 'Scaramouche', 'The Black Shield of Falworth' and the Orson Welles film noir, 'Touch of Evil'. But she is best known for her shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s 'Psycho' – in which, as the film’s star, she is killed off halfway through the movie. For her performance, Leigh won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award.

Her career began to wane in the 1960s. She co-starred opposite Frank Sinatra in 'The Manchurian Candidate' and with Paul Newman in 'Harper'.

Since then she has appeared in a sprinkling of made-for-television movies and minor feature films.

Leigh died in October 2004 after suffering for a year from vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels.

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Janet Leigh's Timeline

July 6, 1927
Merced, Merced County, California, United States
November 22, 1958
Age 31
Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States