in

Where Are They Now? : Halloween’s Jamie Lee Curtis

wherearetheynow

jamieleeIt goes without saying that Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the most successful female actresses in recent history and one of the most popular in horror cinema. She took a little break from acting in the mid-2000s. I think it was important to do a Where Are They Now for her since she’s currently working in genres we wouldn’t typically look for her in. She was born in California during the month of November 1958 and she is the daughter of scream icon Janet Leigh (Psycho) and famed actor Tony Curtis (The Great Race).

Ms. Curtis is now a 2x Golden Globe Winner, 1x ASFFH Winner, 1x BAFTA Winner, 1x People’s Choice Winner, 1x Emmy Nominee, and 1x Grammy Nominee. A lot of fans think she got her start with John Carpenter’s Halloween, but in reality she started in television. She booked a series of guest appearances in shows including “Quincy M.E.,” “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries,” “Columbo,” and “The Love Boat” in 1978 before she jumped into the world of horror films. In Halloween she plays the lead and central character Laurie Strode, a typical high school girl who ends up babysitting her neighbors on Halloween night. What she doesn’t know is that her secret brother, Michael Myers, has escaped from an asylum and is currently butchering all her friends. When they finally meet face to face, she survives the attack with the help of Dr. Loomis.

Jamie became a hot commodity within the horror universe after Halloween. Her following roles were all leads in horror titles – Elizabeth in The Fog (1980), Kim in Prom Night (1980), Alana in Terror Train (1980), and Pamela in Road Games (1981). She also had a voice cameo in Escape From New York (1981) and a lead in comedy’s She’s in the Army Now (1981). Laurie Strode would return in 1981 with Halloween II. After surviving the initial Michael Myers slayings early in the evening, Laurie is taken to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. She’s in bad shape, but manages to pull through; mostly because she knows that her brother is still alive and is going to keep coming after her. True to her belief, Michael Myers systematically murders all the hospital staff and a huge chase scene ensues with Laurie barely escaping Michael several times. As with the previous encounter, Laurie is able to face down Myers once again with the help of Dr. Loomis.

Although it exists inside the same franchise, Jamie Lee Curtis had a small voice cameo in Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) as a telephone operator. For a long time after, she’d leave the horror genre behind and pursue roles in other types of films. She landed a small role in the Oscar Nominated Trading Places (1983) followed by booking more lead roles in sports drama Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987), Oscar Nominated A Fish Called Wanda (1988), thriller Blue Steel (1989), “Anything but Love” from 1989-1992, My Girl (1991), My Girl II (1994), box office hit and Oscar Nominated True Lies, and comedy star studded House Arrest (1996).

For the last time in her career, Jamie Lee would star in several horror film, one that was recreated by her request – Halloween: H20 (1998). This time around, Laurie Strode – now going by the name Keri Tate – is in hiding from Michael Myers and working as the head mistress at a private prep school in California. She also has a son, 17-year-old John Tate, who she believes is in danger because that’s the age when she was first attacked…and they never found Michael’s body. Her intuition proves true and Michael begins murdering school children, security guards, and other members of the staff. Laurie is able to save John and his girlfriend, Molly, before sending them away…so she can face Michael by herself, once and for all. The two engage in a bitter battle, with Laurie sometimes retaining the upper-hand due to sheer will to survive and the desire to end the nightmare forever. By the end of the movie, Laurie beheads Michael with an axe and supposedly ends his rein of terror.

jamielee3

She took on the lead role in Virus (1999), and comedy Drowning Mona (2000), before closing the chapter of Laurie Strode for good in Halloween: Resurrection (2002). Three years after the last movie, she’s inside an asylum herself – having found out the man she killed was not Michael, but a decoy he used in his place. He finds her on Halloween 2001, 23 years to the date of their first encounter, and again they engage in a quick cat and mouse game. Michael somehow is able to play with Laurie’s now delicate psyche and lures her to the edge of the trap she created to snare him. Michael stabs Laurie in the spine before dropping her three stories to her death. Her last words were, “I’ll see you in Hell.” Jamie Lee Curtis had requested a small role in Halloween: Resurrection because she wanted to close that chapter of her life and she also had no interest of doing a horror film again in her career. This may be why she turned down a cameo in Scream 3 (2000).

So, instead, she returned to the comedy genre and landed lead roles in Freaky Friday (2003) and Christmas with the Kranks (2004). These were some of the last roles she took on before she slowly fazed herself out of the limelight and retired from acting for several years.

So, where is Jamie Lee Curtis now?

She started acting again in the late 2000s, but none of the work is really worth mentioning except the all female comedy, You Again (2010). She also started a recurring role on “NCIS” in 2012 and “New Girl” from 2012-2014. Her latest film role is a small part in the Veronica Mars movie (2014), but she has three films due out in the future – drama Only Human (2014), sports themed Spare Parts (2015), and action-comedy Spychosis (2015).

She is now the spokeswoman for Activia and a blogger for The Huffington Post. She is currently married to Christopher Guest (“Saturday Night Live) and the pair have adopted two children. Her first book, Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day, was a New York Times best-seller. She’s released eleven books in total, with the most recent ones being Is There Really A Human Race in 2006, Big Words for Little People in 2008, My Friend Jay in 2009, and My Mommy Hung the Moon: A Love Story in 2010.

jamielee2

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)