Friday, October 29, 2010

"Gal" Friday & Classic Cutie: Janet Leigh

The well-known theatrical term for wishing a performer good luck is "go break a leg" and when she showed up with a broken arm, Janet Leigh may have had to pull out every trick in the book to do it, but she was still able to play her role opposite Charlton Heston in Touch of Evil (1958). Janet's arm was in a cast when she showed up for production on that crime noir thriller by Orson Welles, so they were forced to take her arm out of the cast for filming purposes. That's the mark of a true professional.

Despite efforts like that, a famous shower scene is what she will always be remembered for, and although Janet was unfortunately killed off early in the picture, she was nominated for an Academy Award and earned a Golden Globe for her iconic performance in director Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 horror classic, PSYCHO.

Leigh enjoyed a long dramatic career in films like Little Women (1949), Angels in the Outfield (1951), Scaramouche (1952), Houdini (opposite then husband, Tony Curtis;1953), The Black Shield of Falworth (1954), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Night of the Lepus (1972), plus she filmed two late career genre appearances with her daughter Jaime Lee Curtis - The Fog (1980) and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) - and finally, Bad Girls From Valley High (2005).

Leigh was also the author of four books and served on the board of directors of the Motion Picture and Television Foundation, a medical-services provider for actors. She passed away in 2004 at the age of 77. The Catacombs is proud to induct her as this weeks "Gal" Friday selection in honor of our "Strange Terrors" celebration. [Pictured above with "Psycho" co-stars Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin and lower right, director Alfred Hitchcock.]

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