Jamie Lee Curtis is an American actress and author. Although she was initially known as a "scream queen" because of her starring roles in many horror films early in her career such as Halloween, The Fog, Prom Night and Terror Train, Curtis has since compiled a body of work that covers many genres. 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 is married to actor Christopher Guest and, as the wife of a lord, is titled Lady Haden-Guest, but she chooses not to use the title when in the United States. She is currently the spokeswoman for Activia. She is also a blogger for The Huffington Post online newspaper.
Curtis was born in Los Angeles, California, the child of actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. Her paternal grandparents were Hungarian Jewish immigrants. Curtis's parents divorced in 1962 and her mother then married Robert Brandt. Curtis has an older sister, Kelly Curtis, who is also an actress, and several half-siblings, Alexandra, Allegra, Ben, and Nicholas Curtis. Curtis attended both Westlake School in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills High School, but graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall. Returning to California in 1976, Jamie attended the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Jamie considered majoring in social work, but left after a semester in order to pursue a career in acting.
Curtis's film debut was the 1978 horror Halloween, playing the role of Laurie Strode. The film was a major success and was considered the highest grossing independent film of its time, earning status as a classic horror film. Curtis was subsequently cast in several horror films, garnering her the title of a "scream queen".
Her next film following Halloween was the horror film, The Fog, which was directed by Halloween director John Carpenter. The film opened in February 1980 to mixed reviews but strong box office, further cementing 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 active "slasher film" genre. That year, Curtis also starred in Terror Train, which opened in October and met with a negative reaction akin to Prom Night. Both films performed only moderately well at the box office. 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' 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". Curtis later appeared in Halloween II, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later and , as well as giving an uncredited voice role in Halloween III: Season of the Witch.