By Jeffrey M. Anderson
Forever known as the "girl in the shower," Janet Leigh brought a new
sensuality to the big screen, teasing John Wayne with a sexy strip in
Jet Pilot, or lounging in her bra in Psycho. Voluptuous and
sleepy-voiced, she was a saucer-eyed girl next door, available to
disappear in many films but to stand out in the few roles that
understood her warmth. She was perfect for The Manchurian Candidate as
"the girl," and the anchor for Frank Sinatra's sanity, and as Charlton
Heston's tormented wife in Orson Welles' Touch of Evil, drawing
attention to herself in Mexico with her milky American-ness.
She was born not far from my hometown, in Merced, California, as
Jeanette Morrison in 1927. Married to Tony Curtis, she gave birth to the
equally talented Jamie Lee Curtis with whom she starred in John
Carpenter's The Fog. She died Sunday, October 3, 2004 at age 77. She
will be missed.
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