Screen actress, born Jeanette Helen Morrison, in Merced, California, on July 6, 1927, to an insurance and real estate agent. Best known for her shower scene in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Psycho, and her marriage to actor Tony Curtis.
Leigh attended grammar and high school in Stockton, California, skipping several grades and graduating at age fifteen. She studied music and psychology at the College of the Pacific. She was married twice at a young age, first in 1942 to John Carlyle (annulled), and to Stanley Reames in 1946, ending in divorce in 1948.
Leigh was discovered by retired MGM actress Norma Shearer who saw a picture of her at a ski resort and recommended her for a screen test. Leigh landed an MGM contract, and her first film was The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947), with Van Johnson.
Leigh was cast in ingenue roles in a number of films in the late 1940s and early 1950s and worked with many leading stars of the time. In 1951, she married actor Tony Curtis and had two daughters, Kelly Lee (1956) and Jamie Lee (1958). Leigh and Curtis appeared in five films together, most notably Houdini (1953). In 1962, she divorced Curtis and married director Robert Brandt.
Her most successful movies included Little Women (1949), Angels in the Outfield (1951), Scaramouche (1952), The Black Shield of Falworth (1954), and Orson Welles’s film noir Touch of Evil (1958). But she is best known for her shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) -- one of the most terrifying moments ever committed to film. For her performance, Leigh won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award.
Her career began to wane in the 1960s. She co-starred opposite Frank Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate (1962), and with Paul Newman in Harper (1966). Since then she has appeared in a sprinkling of made-for-television movies and minor feature films.
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