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 straightlaced teenage baby sitter 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 parts did come along, notably her roles in A Fish Called Wanda (1988) and My Girl (1991), she proved she was an actress of range and stature and not just another "movie star's kid." Taking a potentially humiliating role as the unknowing wife of a secret agent in the megabucks Schwarzenegger adventure True Lies (1994), Curtis delivered a sparkling performance, emerging as the only truly likable character in a very loud and extremely misogynistic melodrama. In 1997, she was reunited with the cast of A Fish Called Wanda (Kevin Kline, John Cleese, and Michael Palin) for Fierce Creatures, another comedy/farce in the same vein as Wanda. Unfortunately, the film was largely disappointing, but the following year, Curtis rebounded with a return to familiar territory in Halloween: H2O. The slasher flick, though less than a critical favorite, proved to be popular with audiences. In 1999, Curtis again ventured into the big-budget realm with the action thriller Virus, and had a supporting role in Daddy and Them, Billy Bob Thornton's sophomore writing/directorial effort. She could then be seen in Drowning Mona, a black comedy in which she played a waitress caught up in an affair with the husband of her town's most infamous dead woman.
Jamie is now returning in a 7th sequel to the 1979 hit Halloween and will also be reprising her role as Helen Tasker in True Lies 2. Both are out late 2002.
Married to actor Christopher Guest since 1984, Curtis became a Baroness, Lady Haden-Guest, when her husband inherited the Barony in 1996.