Jamie Lee Curtis
Lady Haden-Guest
Jamie Lee Curtis at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International
Born (1958-11-22) November 22, 1958 (age 65)
Other namesThe Scream Queen
Occupation(s)Actress, author, blogger
Years active1977–present
Parent(s)Tony Curtis
Janet Leigh
FamilyKelly Curtis (sister)

Jamie Lee Curtis, Lady Haden-Guest (born November 22, 1958) is an American actress and author. She made her film debut in 1978 by starring as Laurie Strode in John Carpenter's Halloween (1978). A big hit, the film established her as a notable actress in horror, and she subsequently starred in Halloween II (1981), The Fog (1980), Prom Night (1980), Terror Train (1980), and Roadgames (1981), gaining the status of "scream queen" to mainstream audiences. Curtis has since compiled a body of work that spans many genres, including the cult comedy films Trading Places (1983), for which she won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, A Fish Called Wanda (1988), and True Lies (1994), for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in Musical or Comedy.

Curtis' other notable films include Blue Steel (1989) and Freaky Friday (2003), for which she received her third Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress - Musical or Comedy. For her role in the television series Anything But Love, Curtis received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy. Curtis received her first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie for her performance in the television film, Nicholas' Gift (1998). Curtis currently stars in the comedy horror series Scream Queens on FOX.

Curtis is the daughter of the actress Janet Leigh and actor Tony Curtis. She is married to actor, screenwriter, and director Christopher Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest. Her 1998 book Today I Feel Silly, and Other Moods That Make My Day made the best-seller list in The New York Times. She has appeared in advertisements and is a blogger for The Huffington Post.

Early life

Curtis was born in Santa Monica, California, to actor Tony Curtis and actress Janet Leigh. Her paternal grandparents were Hungarian Jewish immigrants[1] and two of her maternal great-grandparents were Danish.[2] Curtis's parents divorced in 1962, after which her mother married Robert Brandt. Curtis has an older sister, Kelly Curtis, who is also an actress, and several half-siblings (all from her father's remarriages), Alexandra, Allegra, Benjamin, and Nicholas Curtis (who died in 1994 of a drug overdose).[3] 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 the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. She considered majoring in social work, but quit after one semester to pursue an acting career.



Curtis's 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 horror film The Fog, which was helmed by Halloween director John Carpenter. The film opened in February 1980 to mixed reviews but strong box office,[4] 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 film" genre. That year, Curtis also starred in Terror Train, which opened in October and was met with negative reviews akin to Prom Night. Both films performed moderately well at the box office.[5]

Curtis at the 1989 Emmy Awards

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 had given 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".[6] Curtis later appeared in Halloween II, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later and Halloween: Resurrection, as well as giving an uncredited voice role in Halloween III: Season of the Witch.

Her role in 1983's Trading Places helped Curtis shed her horror queen image, and garnered her a BAFTA award as best supporting actress.[7] 1988's A Fish Called Wanda achieved near cult status – while showcasing her as a comedic actress; she was nominated for a BAFTA as best leading actress.[7] She won a Golden Globe for her work in 1994's True Lies. Her film roles also include Disney's Freaky Friday (2003), opposite Lindsay Lohan, filmed at Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, California, near where Curtis and Guest live with their children. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for this film.[8]

In October 2006, 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.[9]


Curtis in 2011

Curtis made her television debut in an episode of Columbo, but her first starring TV role was opposite Richard Lewis in the situation comedy Anything But Love, which ran for four seasons from 1989 through 1992. Her performance as Hannah Miller received both a Golden Globe and People's Choice Award. She appeared as nurse Lt. Duran in the short-lived television series, Operation Petticoat; based on the big-screen version which starred her real-life father.

She starred in the 1981 TV film Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story, playing the role of the eponymous doomed Playmate. She earned a Golden Globe nomination for her work in TNT's adaptation of the Wendy Wasserstein play The Heidi Chronicles. More recently, Curtis starred in the CBS television movie Nicholas' Gift, for which she received an Emmy nomination. Curtis also appeared in the science fiction series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and an early episode of The Drew Carey Show. Jamie Lee Curtis was a game-show panelist on several episodes of Match Game.

In 2012, she appeared in 5 episodes of the television series NCIS, playing the role of Dr. Samantha Ryan, a potential romantic interest of Special Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon). It has been hinted that her role may be a recurring one. During an interview, she openly said that if they could develop a story line, she would be more than happy to be on the show more.[10] It was at least the second time Harmon has worked with Curtis; he played her character's fiancé and later husband in the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday.[11]

Children's books

Working with illustrator Laura Cornell, Curtis has written a number of children's books,[12] all published by HarperCollins Children's Books.[13]


In 1987, Curtis filed a US patent application that subsequently issued as Patent No. 4,753,647. This is a modification of a diaper with a moisture proof pocket containing wipes that can be taken out and used with one hand.[15] Curtis refused to allow her invention to be marketed until companies started selling biodegradable diapers,[16] although the full statutory term of this patent expired February 20, 2007, and is now in the public domain.

Humanitarian and political causes

In March 2012, Curtis was featured with Martin Sheen and Brad Pitt in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play '8' — a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage — as Sandy Stier.[17] The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.[18][19] In June 2016, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando gay nightclub shooting; in the video, Curtis and others told the stories of the people killed there.[20][21]

Philanthropic efforts

Curtis is a staunch supporter of children's hospitals and their advocacy efforts. Currently, she plays a leadership role for Children's Hospital Los Angeles and supported the 2011 opening of a new inpatient facility for the organization. During California's 2008 general election, Curtis appeared in the "YES on Prop 3" TV advertisements.[22]

Curtis was guest of honor at the 11th annual gala and fundraiser in 2003 for Women in Recovery, a Venice, California-based non-profit organization offering a live-in, twelve-step program of rehabilitation for women in need. Past honorees of this organization include Sir Anthony Hopkins and Dame Angela Lansbury. Curtis is also involved in the work of the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, serving as the annual host for the organization's "Dream Halloween" event in Los Angeles, launched every year in October.[23][24]

Personal life

Curtis married actor Christopher Guest on December 18, 1984, becoming the Lady Haden-Guest when her husband inherited the Barony of Haden-Guest in 1996, upon the death of his father. She originally fell in love when she saw a picture of him from the movie This Is Spinal Tap in Rolling Stone saying to her friend Debra Hill "Oh, I'm going to marry that guy", actually marrying him five months later.[25] The couple have two adopted children (Annie, b. 1986; Thomas b. 1996).[26] Curtis is actor Jake Gyllenhaal's godmother.[27]

She is close friends with actress Sigourney Weaver. In a 2015 interview, she admitted that she has never watched Weaver's film, Alien, in its entirety because she was too scared.[28]

On her website, Curtis tells her young readers that she "moonlights as an actor, photographer, and closet organizer."[12] She takes time to support various philanthropic groups. Curtis appeared on the cover of the May/June 2008 issue of AARP Magazine, with gray hair and in water up to her chest.[29]

Curtis is a recovering alcoholic, and was once addicted to pain killers that she began using after a routine cosmetic surgical procedure. She became sober in 1999[30] and maintains that recovery is the greatest achievement of her life.[31]

Curtis has appeared in advertisements for Activia since 2007,[32] and is a blogger for The Huffington Post online newspaper.[33]

She is a fan of World of Warcraft,[34] and has attended ComicCon[35] and BlizzCon[36] incognito. She once helped her son Thomas create a cosplay of blood elf character Kael'thas Sunstrider, which he entered into a BlizzCon costume contest. Together they also got the chance to attend the premier of the Warcraft film on June 6, 2016, at The Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.[37]



Year Title Role Notes
1978 Halloween Laurie Strode
1980 The Fog Elizabeth Solley
1980 Prom Night Kim Hammond Nominated – Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress
1980 Terror Train Alana Maxwell Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actress
1981 Escape from New York Narrator / Computer Voice only, uncredited
1981 Roadgames Pamela "Hitch" Rushworth
1981 Halloween II Laurie Strode
1982 Halloween III: Season of the Witch Telephone Operator Voice only, uncredited
1983 Trading Places Ophelia BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1984 Love Letters Anna Winter
1984 The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension Sandra Banzai In extended version
1984 Grandview, U.S.A. Michelle "Mike" Cody
1985 Perfect Jessie
1987 A Man in Love Susan Elliot
1987 Amazing Grace and Chuck Lynn Taylor
1988 Dominick and Eugene Jennifer Reston
1988 A Fish Called Wanda Wanda Gershwitz Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1989 Blue Steel Megan Turner Festival du Film Policier de Cognac Special Mention Award (For the acting performance)
Mystfest Film Festival Award for Best Actress
1991 Queens Logic Grace
1991 My Girl Shelly DeVoto
1992 Forever Young Claire Cooper
1994 My Girl 2 Shelly DeVoto Sultenfuss
1994 Mother's Boys Judith "Jude" Madigan
1994 True Lies Helen Tasker American Comedy Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Saturn Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Action/Adventure
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Performance
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
1996 House Arrest Janet Beindorf
1997 Fierce Creatures Willa Weston
1998 Halloween H20: 20 Years Later Laurie Strode / Keri Tate Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Horror
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actress
1998 Homegrown Sierra Kahan
1999 Virus Kelly Foster
2000 Drowning Mona Rona Mace
2001 The Tailor of Panama Louisa Pendel
2001 Daddy and Them Elaine Bowen
2001 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys Queen Camilla Voice only
2002 Halloween: Resurrection Laurie Strode
2003 Freaky Friday Tess Coleman / Anna Coleman Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actress
2004 Christmas with the Kranks Nora Krank
2005 The Kid & I Herself
2008 Beverly Hills Chihuahua Aunt Viv
2010 You Again Gail
2011 The Little Engine That Could Beverly "Bev" Voice only
2012 From Up on Poppy Hill Ryoko Matsuzaki Voice only, English version
2014 Veronica Mars Gayle Buckley
2015 Spare Parts Principal Karen Lowry


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Quincy, M.E.[38] Girl in Dressing Room Episode: "Visitors in Paradise"
1977 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries Mary Episode: "Mystery of the Fallen Angels"
1977 Columbo Waitress Episode: "The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case"
1977–78 Operation Petticoat Lt. Barbara Duran 23 episodes
1978 Charlie's Angels Linda Frey Episode: "Winning Is for Losers"
1978 The Love Boat Linda Episode: "Till Death Do Us Part, Maybe/Chubs/Locked Away"
1979 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Jen Burton Episode: "Unchained Woman"
1981 She's in the Army Now Pvt. Rita Jennings TV movie
1981 Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story Dorothy Stratten TV movie
1982 Callahan Rachel Bartlett TV movie
1982 Money on the Side Michelle Jamison TV movie
1985 Tall Tales & Legends Annie Oakley Episode: "Annie Oakley"
1986 As Summers Die Whitsey Loftin TV movie
1989–92 Anything but Love Hannah Miller 56 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1989)
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1991)
1995 The Heidi Chronicles Heidi Holland TV movie
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
1996 The Drew Carey Show Sioux Episode: "Playing a Unified Field"
1998 Nicholas' Gift Maggie Green TV movie
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
2000 Pigs Next Door Clara Voice only
2005 A Home for the Holidays TV Program Host TV movie
2012 NCIS Dr. Samantha Ryan 5 episodes[39][40]
2012–15 New Girl Joan Day 5 episodes
2014 Only Human Evelyn Lang TV movie
2015–present Scream Queens Dean Cathy Munsch 13 episodes
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated – People's Choice Award for Favorite Actress in a New TV Series
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Pending – Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television


  1. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis Interview: Starring as Herself: Embracing Reality". Reader's Digest. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2009.
  2. ^ There/Hollywood, page 6, 1985, by Janet Leigh
  3. ^ "Family for Tony Curtis" Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  4. ^ "The Fog gross tally". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 9, 2006.
  5. ^ "The Numbers Jamie Lee Curtis grosses". Retrieved March 9, 2006.
  6. ^ Roger Ebert (October 9, 1980). "Terror Train". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 9, 2006.
  7. ^ a b "BAFTA award Supporting Actress in 1984". BAFTA Awards. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Complete list of nominees for 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards". (Associated Press). USA Today, December 18, 2003.
  9. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (June 29, 2007). "Curtis heads for Disney's 'Border'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2 July 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2007.
  10. ^ Day, Patrick (22 February 2012). "Jamie Lee Curtis brings potential romance to NCIS". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  11. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis, Mark Harmon reunite on "NCIS"". CBS News.
  12. ^ a b "Books". Jamie Lee Curtis Books.
  13. ^ Children's Books. Harper Collins.
  14. ^ McNamara, Mary (October 16, 2000). "Howling Success: Once The Queen Of Scream, Jaime Lee Curtis finds new fame as a children's author". The Los Angeles Times. The Spokesman-Review. p. B3.
  15. ^ Curtis; Jamie L. (Los Angeles, CA) (February 20, 1987). "United States Patent: 4,753,647". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 1 April 2008. A disposable infant garment which takes the form of a diaper including, on its outer side, a sealed, but openable, moisture-proof pocket which contains one or more clean-up wipers.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Acton, Johnny (2005). The Ideas Companion: Crafty Copyrights, Tricky Trademarks and Peerless Patents (A Think Book). Robson Books (Anova). ISBN 1-86105-835-7.
  17. ^ Kellogg, Jane. "George Clooney, Brad Pitt and More of Hollywood Perform Prop. 8 Play '8' (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  18. ^ ""8": A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality". YouTube. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
  19. ^ "YouTube to broadcast Proposition 8 play live". pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  20. ^ "49 Celebrities Honor 49 Victims of Orlando Tragedy | Human Rights Campaign". Hrc.org. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
  21. ^ Rothaus, Steve (June 12, 2016). "Pulse Orlando shooting scene a popular LGBT club where employees, patrons 'like family'". The Miami Herald. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  22. ^ "Imagine with Us: Yes on Prop 3, Children's Hospital Bond (website)".
  23. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis Online website".
  24. ^ "Children Affected by Aids website".
  25. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis and Kids Arrive for Avatar". interviewmagazine.com.
  26. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis and Kids Arrive for Avatar". People. December 18, 2009.
  27. ^ Schruers, Fred (October 30, 2005). "Interview: Jake Gyllenhaal, crown prince of Tinseltown". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  28. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis and Kids Arrive for Avatar". interviewmagazine.com.
  29. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis Goes Topless on Cover of AARP Magazine". Fox News. March 22, 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2009.
  30. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis Interview". Reader's Digest. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2009. ((cite web)): Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  31. ^ Curtis, Jamie Lee (July 20, 2009). "King of Pain". The Huffington Post.
  32. ^ Williams, Kevin (20 September 2010). "Curtis talks a lot of crap". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  33. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis Blog". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 October 2009.
  34. ^ http://www.inquisitr.com/75063/jamie-lee-curtis-actress-author-world-of-warcraft-addict/
  35. ^ http://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/18/jamie-lee-curtis-vega-street-fighter-evo-2015
  36. ^ http://mashable.com/2015/11/09/jamie-lee-curtis-blizzcon-cosplay/
  37. ^ https://twitch.tv/warcraft/v/70991236
  38. ^ "Quincy, M.E.: Visitors in Paradise Cast and Crew". Fandango. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  39. ^ "Fall Preview 2011 Photos: Jamie Lee Curtis on NCIS". CBS. August 24, 2011.
  40. ^ "Jamie Lee Curtis to spar with Gibbs on 'NCIS'". Entertainment Weekly. August 25, 2011.