Actress Jamie Lee Curtis breaks with her dark family past
There's no rose-coloured story to be told about Jamie Lee Curtis's childhood. The renowned actress, and daughter of two older heavyweights of Hollywood (Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis), has revealed at various occasions that her life as a child and adolescent was very difficult.
The outside world viewed the Curtis family as a clear example of happiness and professional success. However, Jamie Lee Curtis recalled on The View (ABC), "I think my parents hated each other for their entire lives. I grew up in a house filled with hatred."
Jamie Lee Curtis was Tony Curtis's second daughter from his first marriage. The actor, known for the movie 'Some Like It Hot', married a total of six times.
Jamie Lee confesses that her dad was not a good example for anyone. "He was never interested in being a father," she told The View. "He did what he was supposed to do from an economic viewpoint, but he was never a father who really engaged with his children."
According to various biographies, Tony Curtis was a man troubled by his past as the child of poor immigrants. He also suffered from great anxieties, which he tried to obscure by using drugs and alcohol. His substance abuse drove him away from his family, especially from his daughter Jamie Lee Curtis with whom he never had an ideal relationship.
"Jamie and my father, Tony Curtis, always competed to see who could be more notorious," Jamie Lee's step-sister Allegra revealed in her book 'Me and My Father.' The memoir came out after the actor had died. "I never considered myself a victim of my childhood; my father could entertain masses of people but was not able to talk about his feelings in private."
The relationship between Tony and Jamie Lee was different from the ones he had with his other children. It was stormy at first, but closer near the end of his life. "There was a time when I was the only child that was talking to him," Jamie Lee revealed to Variety.
After confessing that she had been addicted to the painkiller Vicodin for ten years, Jamie Lee made some surprising statements in Variety. "I knew my dad had an issue because I had an issue ... I shared drugs with my dad. I did cocaine and freebased once with my dad. But that was the only time I did that, and I did that with him."
Addiction did not only plague Jamie Lee and her father, but also her brother Nicholas. He's pictured here as the third from the right. The son of Tony Curtis and his third wife, Leslie Allen, Nicholas died at age 21 of an overdosis.
Despite her difficult personal life, Jamie Lee Curtis had much professional success. After becoming something of a horror queen thanks to 'Halloween' in 1978, she soon got other great parts. For her acting in the movie 'Trading Places,' for example, she earned a BAFTA award.
Another classic with Jamie Lee Curtis is 'A Fish Called Wanda.' It got the actress her first Golden Globe nomination.
More great productions ensued, like the movie 'My Girl' and the TV show 'Anything But Love,' for which she won the Golden Globe for Best TV Actress in a Comedy or Musical.
A year later, in 1995, her brilliant performance in 'True Lies' gained Jamie Lee Curtis a second Golden Globe.
On September 29, 2010, Tony Curtis passed away in Las Vegas at the age of 85. "He was not a good father," Jamie Lee Curtis said on ABC. "He was not an engaged father, and for that reason, I see him from the same perspective as everyone else... as a fan."
In the photo, Jamie Lee Curtis says a last farewell to Tony with her sister Kelly Curtis by her side.
In spite of these family problems, Jamie Lee Curtis has one of the best relationships in Hollywood herself. She married the multi-disciplinary artist Christopher Guest in december 1984 and they have been happily together ever since.
They live together in Santa Monica, California, and have two children: Annie and Thomas Haden.
Contrary to her father, Jamie Lee Curtis is a proud and caring mother. It is not unusual to see the actress on the red carpet accompanied by one of her two children. In the photo, it's her daughter Annie.
"I am breaking the cycle that destroyed generations and generations of my family," Jamie Lee Curtis declared to People in 2018.
"Staying sober continues to be, perhaps, my biggest achievement in life. Even more than the relation with my husband, my children, or any of the professional successes I have had."