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Jamie Lee Curtis won her first Oscar — and gave a shoutout to her legendary parents

Here’s a look at Curtis’ parents, who inspired her to follow in their footsteps but also carve out her own successful path

SHARE Jamie Lee Curtis won her first Oscar — and gave a shoutout to her legendary parents
Jamie Lee Curtis attends the Governors Ball after the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Jamie Lee Curtis, winner of the award for best performance by an actress in a supporting role for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” attends the Governors Ball after the Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

John Locher, Invision, Associated Press

Jamie Lee Curtis has won her first Academy Award for her performance in “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” which dominated at the Oscars with seven wins, including for best picture and best director.

The 64-year-old actress accepted her golden Oscar statuette through blissful sobs.

“I know it looks like I’m standing up here by myself, but I am not. I am hundreds of people,” Curtis said. “To all of the people who have supported the genre movies that I have made for all these years, the thousands and hundreds of thousands of people, we just won an Oscar together.”

Curtis concluded her acceptance speech with a shout-out to her late parents, Hollywood legends Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.

“And my mother and my father were both nominated for Oscars in different categories — I just won an Oscar,” she said.

Here’s a look at Curtis’ parents, who inspired her to follow in their footsteps but also carve out her own successful path.

A look at Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis worked in the film industry for six decades, starring in over 100 movies, per Turner Classic Movies. Some of his notable films included “Some Like It Hot,” “Spartacus” and “The Boston Strangler.” He received an Oscar nomination in 1959 for his performance in “Some Like It Hot.”

Curtis was born in the Bronx, New York, to Jewish Hungarian immigrants in 1925. His mother, Helen Curtis, suffered from schizophrenia, and due to his parents’ extreme poverty, he was sent to live in an orphanage when he was eight years old, per The New York Times.

Curtis served in the Navy in World War II, and upon his return to New York, he enrolled in acting classes. From there, his career rapidly took off. He married Janet Leigh in 1951, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1962.

Although the number of his roles began to decline in the mid-1960s, Curtis starred in movies throughout his life. He died from cardiac arrest at the age of 85 in 2010, per The New York Times.

A look at Janet Leigh

Well-known as Alfred Hitchcock’s heroine in “Psycho,” Janet Leigh was a famous actress, dancer and author. She was also known for her roles in “Little Women,” “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Angels in the Outfield.”

Leigh was born to Dutch immigrants in California in 1927. She was discovered by actress Norma Shearer during the late 1940s and soon after signed a contract with MGM, per Biography.

For her iconic performance in “Psycho,” Leigh received her one and only Academy Award nomination. Although she did not take home the Oscar, the performance did earn her the Golden Globe award in 1961.

The infamous shower sequence — Leigh’s character is stabbed in the shower — followed Leigh throughout her personal and professional life.

“I stopped taking showers and I only take baths,” Leigh said more than two decades after “Psycho,” per Looper. “And when I’m someplace where I can only take a shower, I make sure the doors and windows of the house are locked. I also leave the bathroom door open and shower curtain open.”

“I’ve been in a great many films, but I suppose if an actor can be remembered for one role then they’re very fortunate,” she said. “And in that sense, I’m fortunate.”

‘OG Nepo Baby’ Jamie Lee Curtis outperforms her parents

Jamie Lee Curtis — whose acting career took off at 19 in “Halloween” — is the daughter of Hollywood royalty. Curtis’ celebrity roots earned her a place in the “nepo baby” universe — a title she received with mixed emotion.

Nepo babies, derived from “nepotism,” are successful actors, musicians, comedians and others with famous and successful parents or relatives. In a nutshell, they got dealt a really good hand and they are making the most of it.

When nepo baby mania took off last year, Curtis was at the center of it. At first, she seemed annoyed by the term but still labeled herself an “OG nepo baby.”

“There’s not a day in my professional life that goes by without my being reminded that I am the daughter of movie stars,” Curtis wrote on Instagram with a childhood family photo. “It’s curious how we immediately make assumptions and snide remarks that someone related to someone else who is famous in their field for their art, would somehow have no talent whatsoever. I have come to learn that is simply not true.”

In recent weeks, Curtis has taken to embracing her nepo baby status — referencing the term at award shows and during recent interviews.

“I know you look at me and think, well, nepo baby, that’s why she’s there, and I totally get it,” Curtis recently said while accepting her SAG Award, per Vanity Fair. “But the truth of the matter is: I’m 64 years old, and this is just amazing.”

During an interview with Vanity Fair’s David Canfield for an episode of the “Little Gold Men” podcast, Curtis relayed the similarities between her own career and her mother’s.

“I have followed — nepo baby! —in my parents’ footsteps. In my mother’s case, literally followed her,” Curtis told Canfield. “Yet their fame and success was always — to me, their stardom at the time was so ginormous that even though I’ve had fantastic success, I never thought I would reach their level.”