The daughter of film stars Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis launched her film career as a “scream queen.” After a nondescript supporting role on the TV series Operation Petticoat, Curtis rose to cult stardom playing the straight-laced teenage babysitter imperiled by an unknown slasher in Halloween (1978). Upon appearing in the film’s sequel and in such spookers as The Fog (1979) and Prom Night (1980), she seemed in danger of being limited to blood-splattered horror films. But Curtis wasn’t about to be typed this early in the game: with a meaty secondary role as a prostitute — featuring several well-publicized nude scenes — in the big-budget comedy Trading Places (1983), she made the transition from imperiled teen type to knowing adult with nary a hitch.
Curtis didn’t exactly have a string of box-office smashes after Trading Places, but she was always worth watching even when the films weren’t. And when the good… read more