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PSYCHO STAR LEIGH DIES

Steven Davies Posted: 4 October, 2004 at 02:56 PM GMT
Author: Steven Davies

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PSYCHO STAR LEIGH DIES

Janet Leigh, star of Psycho and the mother of Jamie Lee Curtis, has died at her Beverly Hills home, aged 77.

The blonde actress starred with James Stewart, John Wayne and Frank Sinatra in films from the 1940s to 1960s and most famously was the victim of a shower slashing in Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Psycho.

Her daughters, Kelly Curtis and actress Jamie Lee Curtis were at their mother's side when she died, Jamie Lee Curtis' spokeswoman, Heidi Schaeffer, said.

Leigh had suffered in recent months from vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels.

A stunning blonde beauty, Leigh enjoyed a long and distinguished career, appearing in such films as The Manchurian Candidate in 1962 and in Orson Welles' 1958 film noir classic Touch of Evil.

But she gained her most lasting fame in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho as the embezzling office worker who is stabbed to death in the shower by cross-dressing madman Anthony Perkins. The role earned her an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actress.

Leigh wrote in her 1995 book Psycho: Behind the Scenes in the Classic Thriller that the filming was easy until the last 20 seconds when she had to express total horror as her character was being slashed to death.

She often said she hadn't been able to take a shower since the movie. 'It's not a hype, not something I thought would be good for publicity,' she insisted. 'Honest to gosh, it's true.'

Her other films included Act of Violence, Little Women, Holiday Affair, Strictly Dishonourable, The Naked Spur, Living It Up, Jet Pilot, Bye Bye Birdie and Safari.

Leigh appeared with daughter Jamie Lee in the 1980 thriller The Fog and made occasional television appearances in her later years. She had married Curtis' father, Tony Curtis, in 1951 when both stars were at the height of their fame. They divorced in 1962.

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Steven Davies Posted: 4 October, 2004 at 02:56 PM GMT
Author: Steven Davies

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