She is Hollywood royalty, the daughter of two legendary actors. She became a scream queen for ages in the movie “Halloween” and did sexy stripes for Arnold Schwarzenegger in “True Lies”. Now, Jamie Lee Curtis is an Oscar winner.
The 64-year-old Curtis took home his first Academy Award nomination on Sunday for his role as a sensitive tax collector investigating laundromat owner Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) in “Everything Together.”
After almost 50 years on the big and small screen, it was certainly a crowning moment, and one that her famous parents – namely Janet Leigh (“Psycho”) and Tony Curtis (“Defiant Ones”) – never achieved.
“He just won an Oscar!” he said mournfully at the end of his speech, in which he paid tribute to his parents, husbands and children, fans and colleagues.
Curtis is a notable non-Asian star in a feature film and one of four Academy Award nominees along with Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu, who was also in the Curtis category. Quan was also the winner on Sunday.
As IRS agent Deirdre Beaubeirdre (Curtis) uncovers all the mistakes Evelyn made on her taxes, the characters are all drawn into an epic battle across multiple universes to save a man from a powerful villain.
Curtis, who earlier in her life was known as “The Body” for her slender body, turns this image into “Everything” as the gray haired Deirdre, who sports a frumpy bob, a mustard turtleneck and a lemon yellow vest.
“You sucked my belly when I was 11, when you start to be aware of boys and bodies, and super tight jeans,” he wrote on Instagram in 2012.
“I very much decided to let go and let go of every muscle that I had been using to hide the truth. This was my goal. I have never felt more creative and physically free.”
During the course of the movie, the lone IRS agent has a heroic fight scene with Yeoh’s character, sprouts a dog with glowing fingers, and ends up in one world as Yeoh’s lover.
It’s a gonzo, no-holds-barred performance by an actor who’s worked with her since she was a teenager.
“I loved Deirdre because I know how lonely she is and I know how forgotten she is. I understood what the garden is inside,” Curtis told The Washington Post.
Curtis beat out a field of nominees that included Golden Globe winner Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”), Kerry Condon (“Banshees of Inisherin”), Hong Chau (“The Whale”) and his co-star Hsu.
Curtis won the Actors Guild in the run-up to the Oscars.
– From ‘Halloween’ to ‘Everything’ –
Curtis was born in the Los Angeles area in November 1958, but her parents divorced a few years later, and she was raised by her mother and stepfather.
After the high school life of a journeyman who boarded at an elite East Coast school ended, Curtis managed just one semester in college before dropping out to pursue acting.
Her film debut came as the heroine of Laurie Strode in the 1978 horror film “Halloween” – a major box office success that spawned multiple sequels.
Producer Debra Hill admitted that she hired Curtis because her mother, who had starred in Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” had died at the hands of Norman Bates in a rain-swept scene.
But while it may have been a bit of a minor loss, it would go on to become one of Curtis’ most iconic roles, one that most recently starred in the 2022 film “Halloween Ends.”
Since then, he has appeared in dozens of film and television roles, from the 1983 comedy “Trading Places” to the 1988 “A Fish Wanda” opposite Kevin Kline, to the 1994 detective flick “True Lies” with Schwarzenegger to TV’s “Scream Queens”.
She recently starred in the all-star whodunit “Knives Out.”
In 2003, she starred with Lindsay Lohan in the popular remake of “Freaky Friday,” in which the bodies of mother and daughter were magically switched. Curtis said a sequel is potentially on the cards.
For upcoming projects, Curtis has been cast in the feature film “Borderland” with Cate Blanchett, and in the television series based on the Kay Scarpetta mysteries by Patricia Cornwell.
Curtis has been married to Oscar-nominated actor/director/writer Christopher Guest (“This Is Spinal Tap”) since 1984. The couple have two children, Annie and Ruby.