18 Things to Know About Jewish Actress Jamie Lee Curtis

The iconic scream queen is godmother to actors Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal!

There are plenty of fabulous Jewish scream queens. Neve Campbell, who has Jewish ancestry, delivers a notable Sidney Prescott in the campy “Scream” movies. Victoria Pedretti is both sympathetic and creepy as Nell Crain in “The Haunting of Hill House.” And Sarah Michelle Gellar was a breakout star in “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”

But the undeniable queen of all scream queens, Jewish or otherwise, is Jamie Lee Curtis. Time and again (six times, to be exact!) she’s captured viewers in the “Halloween” franchise. What’s more, Jamie has also starred in horror movies “The Fog,” “Prom Night,” “Terror Train” and “Virus.”

When she’s not screaming, however, the actress has a rich connection to her Jewishness.

Here are 18 things to know about Jamie Lee Curtis.

1. Jamie Lee Curtis was born in 1958 in Santa Monica, California.

2. Please enjoy this photo of her as a baby:

3. Her father was actor Tony Curtis (born Bernard Schwartz), the son of Hungarian Jewish immigrants. Her mother was actress Janet Leigh, who is best known for starring in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller “Psycho.”

4. Jamie attended Harvard-Westlake School (like fellow Jewish actors Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt), Beverly Hills High School and Choate Rosemary Hall, eventually graduating from the latter in 1976.

Afterwards, she attended the University of the Pacific for one semester before dropping out to pursue acting!

5. Jamie made her feature film debut in the 1978 horror movie “Halloween.”

 

6. She married comedian Christopher Guest in 1984. Together they have two daughters, Annie and Ruby.

7. Jamie has been sober since 1999.

“I bring sobriety with me. I have attended recovery meetings all over this world,” Jamie told Variety in 2019.

Mazel tov, Jamie! L’chaim!

8. Some of her iconic filmography includes “Trading Places,” “A Fish Called Wanda,” “Freaky Friday” and “Knives Out.”

Speaking of which, Jamie is interested in doing a “Freaky Friday” sequel!! Lindsay Lohan, please say you’re in!

9. Jamie is a two-time Golden Globe award winner! She snagged the award for Best Actress in a Television Series — Comedy or Musical for “Anything But Love” in 1990 and in 1995 she won Best Actress in a Movie  — Comedy or Musical for “True Lies.”

Here’s her 1990 acceptance speech:

10. In her 50s, Jamie was inspired to change her life by Jewish sage Hillel!

“This ‘great mental migration,’ as Curtis calls it, began in her 50s, after she’d overcome drug addiction, raised her two children and started doing a whole lot of reading. A voice in her head kept asking, If not now, when? If not me, who?

As Kveller writer Maddy Albert notes, “If that phrase sounds at all familiar, well, congrats on paying attention in Hebrew school! ‘If not now, when?’ is part of the famous passage from the Talmud that’s attributed to the Jewish sage Hillel the Elder. The full passage reads ‘If I am not for myself, who is for me? When I am for myself, what am I? If not now, when?’ (Pirkei Avot 1:14)”

11. Her godchildren are fellow Jewish actors Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal!

12. She’s funding the restoration of her grandparents’ synagogue in Mátészalka, Hungary!

Of the synagogue, Jamie wrote on Instagram: “It is empty now, as the entire Jewish population was exterminated but the building stands as a living tribute to those who lived there and continue to live there and I have committed myself to partner with the mayor to raise needed funds from the local corporate and private community to refurbish and retrofit this extraordinary building as a community center for celebrations and art and music.”

13. Jamie is extremely proud of her transgender daughter, Ruby!

In 2021, Jamie and Ruby opened up to People Magazine with a very vulnerable conversation about their relationship.

If one person reads this, sees a picture of Ruby and me and says, ‘I feel free to say this is who I am,’ then it’s worth it,” Jamie told People.

Ruby agreed, saying, “I’m happy to be more visible if it helps others.”

14. Also in 2021, Jamie honored her mother by dressing up as her character from “Psycho” to attend the premiere of “Halloween Kills.”

“Honoring my mother in ALL her gory… I meant glory!” Jamie wrote on Instagram.

15. She officiated her daughter Ruby’s wedding!

Check out this lovely photo from the cosplay ceremony:

And here she is kvelling about the wedding on Jimmy Kimmel:

16. She starred in absurdist comedy-drama film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” as IRS inspector Deirdre Beaubeirdra.

Check out this clip from the movie:

17. Jamie has tearfully denounced Kanye West’s antisemitism, both on “The Today Show” and online:

https://twitter.com/jamieleecurtis/status/1579071323795779584

18. Jamie is once again starring as Laurie Strode in the final installment of the “H40” trilogy of the “Halloween” franchise, “Halloween Ends.” Check out the trailer here:

Read More