Jamie Lee-Curtis is famous not just for her acting talents, but also as the daughter of screen legends Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. Having battled drink and drug demons and held the throne as queen of horror films with 'Halloween', she has now established herself as a top-class comedy actress in films like a 'Fish Called Wanda', action heroine and best-selling children's author.
The daughter of film stars Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis launched her big screen career in 'Halloween' (1978), a film inspired by her mother's notorious hit 'Psycho' (1960).
The film was a huge success and it propelled Curtis into the limelight - for the first time out of her parent's shadow. For the next few years, she capitalised on the success of 'Halloween' and made more thrillers including 'Terror Train' (1980) and cult-hit 'Prom Night' (1980).
But despite the dollars rolling and acclaim escalating, Curtis was aware that the scream queen tag couldn't last forever and made the decision to break away from blood-splattered horror films and began to accept roles in films which would challenge her acting further. The risk worked, and critics showered applause for her part as 1983's 'Trading Places', the blockbuster comedy also starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy.
As Curtis's career soared, so did her private life, although well-publicised relationships with Adam Ant and production designer J. Michael Riva, grandson of Marlene Dietrich, were long over before they filled regular tabloid space. These relationship failures coincided with a spell of alcohol and cocaine abuse, and it seemed Curtis may have been spiralling into meltdown.
But light at the end of the tunnel came when she met British actor Christopher Guest, who was filming the classic 'mockumentary', 'This is Spinal Tap' (1983). Within four months, they were married and adopted two children, Annie and Thomas. The marriage immediately spurred Curtis to clean up her act and she and her father – who shared a cocaine addiction – were reunited after years of estrangement when they both weaned themselves off their drug problems.
Curtis went on to star in a string of successful films in the 1980s, most notably in 'A Fish Called Wanda' and 'My Girl' (reuniting her with 'Trading Places' co-star, Aykroyd), where 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 big-budget Arnold Schwarzenegger adventure 'True Lies', Curtis delivered a sparkling performance, and, in 1997, she was reunited with the cast of 'A Fish Called Wanda' for 'Fierce Creatures'.
And Curtis received a surprising honour when Guest's father died in 1996. He inherited a barony in the UK, making her the Baroness, Lady Haden-Guest. With their time spent mostly in America, they couldn't take the role too seriously, but Curtis did accompany Guest when he first took his seat in the House Of Lords.
Now approaching 40, Curtis felt it was time to celebrate her landmark birthday by revisiting the role that first propelled her to fame – Laurie Strode. Her plan was for a 20th anniversary Halloween sequel and she contacted director Bob Weinstein, to bounce the idea off him. With his big-budget fright-fest, 'Scream', about to be released, he was too busy so instead Curtis took the script to Scream's writer, Kevin Williamson. And so 'Halloween H20: 20 Years later' was released in 1998. With Williamson able to incorporate some appropriately funny lines, Curtis even managed to persuade her mother to appear as her secretary.
Directed by Steve Miner, who worked with Curtis on 'Forever Young' (1992), as well as the classic 'House' (1986) and a couple of 'Friday The 13ths', 'H20' was a huge smash and she had managed to mirror the success of playing Laurie again, some 20 years later.
Some may have thought they'd seen the last of Halloween franchise but Curtis couldn't resist the chance to say goodbye for the third time in 2002's 'Halloween: Resurrection'. Although she was was actually only contracted for a 30-second cameo, she liked the screenplay so much that her part was radically extended, and she reportedly received $3 million for her time - a far cry from the $8000 she'd earned in the 1978 original.
The same year as the film's release, Curtis also made the headlines internationally when she appeared in More magazine in her underwear, with no make-up or airbrushing. Her message was to make clear that the seemingly perfect photos of models and actors projected in the media shouldn't be idolised, and here she was age 43, prepared to bare her imperfections – for which she was applauded.
Since her success playing the mother of party girl Lindsay Lohan in 2003's 'Freaky Friday', Curtis has keep a relative distance from the big screen, preferring instead to spend time with her family and concentrate on writing children's books.
In 2004, she told a German magazine that 'Christmas with the Kranks', released the same year, would be her last film as an actress. However, in 2005 she appeared in the TV movie 'A Home for the Holidays' as a TV presenter.
Curtis returned to the big screen in 2008 to play Aunt Viv in 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua' - the same year she celebrated her 60th birthday. In 2010, she voiced a character in the animation 'The Little Engine That Could' and was one of the stars of romantic comedy 'You Again', alongside Betty White and Sigourney Weaver. She also appeared in 'Veronica Mars' in 2014.
In 2011, Curtis appeared in two episodes of the popular US show 'NCIS 'but the actress has been focusing on writing children's books in recent years, rather than her acting.
Her first book for children, published by HarperColllins, was released in 1993 and was called 'When I was Little: A Four-Year-Old's Memoir of Her Youth'.
Curtis gave chat show host Jay Leno 'My Friend Jay' in 2009 and her most recent book 'My Mommy Hung The Moon: A Love Story' was published in 2010.