October 4, 2004 by

Janet Leigh

23 comments

Categories: Actors, Hollywood, Writers/Editors

jleigh.jpgWatching actress Janet Leigh scream in terror as a knife slashed her flawless skin inspired millions of moviegoers to swear off showering in motel bathrooms.
Leigh’s portrayal of Marion Crane in the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock thriller “Psycho” earned her a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. The experience of watching the final cut of the famous shower scene made Leigh take baths for the rest of her life.
Born Jeanette Helen Morrison in Merced, Calif., Leigh was studying music and psychology at the College of the Pacific when actress Norma Shearer saw her picture. Shearer urged Leigh to contact talent agent Lew Wasserman and ask for a job in show business. He, in turn, negotiated her first contract with MGM Studios.
Leigh was only 19 years old when she appeared in the 1947 movie, “The Romance of Rosy Ridge.” Within two years, she became one of Hollywood’s busiest starlets, acting in films opposite Robert Mitchum, Ezio Pinza, James Stewart, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne and Dick Van Dyke. The beautiful blonde actress eventually made more than 60 pictures, including “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Touch of Evil,” but it was her death scene in the Bates Motel that earned her lasting fame.
Leigh married four times, first to John K. Carlyle and Stanley Reames, then to actor Tony Curtis and businessman Robert Brandt. In the final years of her life, she penned the novels “Dream Factory” and “House of Destiny.” Her autobiography, “There Really Was a Hollywood,” was published in 1984.
Leigh, died on Oct. 3 at the age of 77. Cause of death was not released. She is survived by Brandt and her daughters, actresses Kelly Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Filmography

23 Responses to Janet Leigh

  1. marie williams

    So very sorry to read of your passing. You left a legacy of wonderful performances. (I always thought you had the lovliest smile and laugh.) May you rest in everlasting peace. You will be remembered. With sincere sympathy, Marie W.

  2. Susan O'Mullane

    Was saddened to hear of the death of a beautiful lady and a fine actress. You brought me many happy hours of viewing pleasure.
    May you rest in peace. Thanks for the memories.
    Susan O

  3. Sandra Rozens

    Your portrayal of Marion Crane was so convincing in Psycho that I went into labor with my first child in the wee hours of the morning after being so frightened on Friday October 15, 1960 at a drive-in movie. I loved the movie. You were superb!! Thank you for all your hard work in entertaining many audiences.You will always be in my family’s memories.

  4. Scott W-Indianapolis

    Janet Leigh was a true Hollywood Idol! A true beauty and an extremely talented actress. Her memory will ramain in our hearts always.

  5. DG RICE AND FAMILY

    WE WILL ALL MISS A TRUE STAR! OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO HER FAMILY. MAY WE KEEP HER FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS.
    RESPECTFULLY,
    THE DG RICE FAMILY

  6. Folashade Ojo

    Well, i’m not too sure if i know u much, but people talk much about u very well.
    May your soul rest in perfect peace in Jesus name.(Amen).

  7. gene packard

    She had it all. Brains(except when it came to picking Tony Curtis”, a face from heaven and what a body.In fact, her “stoveside” drying off scene in “Jet Pilot” makes Jayne Maynsfield look like Mia Farrow!!

  8. Jess Stanley Reames

    I feel I’ve lost a member of the family though I knew you not. I grew up hearing about my dad’s and your relationship and marriage and have lived with it so long that I feel a piece of me has been lost with you. Though you and Dad didn’t make it last, it must have been good while it did. Dad really missed you all those years…I know because it was what he didn’t want to talk about that went to his core. God bless you and keep you. As Dad died in 1985, maybe you two are again meeting somewhere……..

  9. barbara warnock

    I was saddend to hear of the passing of Janet Leigh. I remember many of her movies as a child growing up. It seemed that I knew that if Janet were starring in a movie it would be worth seeing. My very favorite movie was “The Perfect Furlough” in which she starred with her then current husband, Tony Curtis (another of my favorites). My condolences to the family. This lovely lady will be missed. She was very beautiful and had exceptional talent.

  10. Randi Fredriksen

    I was saddend to hear of the passing of Janet Leigh. Iremember many of her movies. My very favorit movie vas “the veikings”
    My condolences to the family.

  11. Kombiz salehi

    I was extremely saddened by hearing of her passing. In fact, I was rather shocked, as I did not even know until tonight watching the Oscar program. She was a true lady and a great actress. She was also a fantatstic mother. My sincere condolences to the members of her immediate family.
    Sincerely and respectfully
    Kombiz Salehi
    Livermore, CA

  12. Sylvia

    Janet Leigh – the first time I saw her onscreen was in The Vikings – loved that movie I wanted her and kirk Douglas to be together. I read her book and I hope there will be many more books written about her. She was the greatest actress and should be remembered for eternity!!!

  13. Gustavo Alvarez

    I love the ’50, I born in that times and when an actor of those years die I reall feel sad.
    She was great, her filmography excellent. We lost a part of us, a part of our lives… .
    Rest in peace Janet.

  14. GINA FOSTER

    JANET — YOU WERE TRULY ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ACTRESSES EVER — SO ELEGANT AND ALWAYS A LADY — THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR GREAT PERFORMANCES — THANKS ALSO FOR YOUR TALENTED DAUGHTER JAMIE — SHE’S GREAT!!! REST IN PEACE.

  15. Mandy Biggs

    Via a commercial for ET, I just learned tonite that Janet Leigh passed away. Thinking it must have been just recently, I went to the web. You cannot begin to imagine my shock to learn it was over a year ago! I saw some of her movies (yes Psycho included) on the big screen, on tape and on television and enjoyed them all. Her daughter Jamie is also an excellent actress. And, based on Jamie’s remarks on Janet as a mother, she must have been an awesome mom as well. Rest in peace Janet and hopefully you have found the peace in heaven that you didn’t have on earth. And may Janet’s ‘earth’ family find an inner peace that will sustain them for years to come.

  16. Geoff Brandner

    Well she was a great actress and bye the way I dont take baths anymore with a shower curtain at least. You can guess why.

  17. Marsha Bittle

    As a teen in the 50s, Janet Leigh was one of my very favorite actresses. I remember collecting photos of her and wishing I could be that beautiful. There was one photograph of her that I still try to find to this day and I think it was one of those full-page B&W pictures in a Hollywood Reporter Anniversary book, but I am not certain. To think all these years later, I still remember that photograph and how awesome it was. I loved her in “A Holliday Affair” with Robert Mitchum. I think I went to see “Psycho” without my parents knowing and I was terrified by that famous shower scene. Though I have been aware that she died since the day she died and it was on the news, I have only now found this blog and have posted my wishes that she is resting in peace and that her family is still blessed by the glow of her memory. I heard that she was as nice in person as one would imagine her to be.

  18. Tarl

    Yes, very sorry to this day of her passing. In my opinion one of the most beautiful actresses ever. Very talented actress and what a body!! Hers put even today’s starlets to shame. I still love seeing all her movies on TV.

  19. Richard Rodman

    Ms. Leigh was a fine actress and a classsic beauty. Her performance in ‘Psycho’
    will never be forgotten. She did of course perform in a number of other movies which have become favorites among her fans. She will be sorely missed.

  20. Charles Hoker

    I adore Janet Leigh, her movies were very entertaining. She was blessed with beauty and grace without the slightest trace of Ego. May she forever live in our hearts. Charles Hoker

  21. wesley harvey

    she is one the greats of all times! and yet i was born in the late fiftys i love her very much they dont make them like her no more!. wesley 08/27/08

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