Monday, October 04, 2004

Janet Leigh, R.I.P.

From The Age: Janet Leigh, whose shocking murder in the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller Psycho was credited with making generations of film fans think twice about stepping into a motel room shower, has died at her Beverly Hills home. She was 77.

The actress' husband, Robert Brandt, and her daughters, actresses Kelly Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis, were at their mother's side when she died yesterday, said Heidi Schaeffer, a spokeswoman for Jamie. "She died peacefully at home," Schaeffer said.

Leigh had suffered from vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels, for the past year.

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

But she gained her most lasting fame in 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 Oscar nomination as best supporting actress.

Among her films: Act of Violence (with Van Heflin), Little Women, Holiday Affair (Robert Mitchum), Strictly Dishonorable (Ezio Pinza), The Naked Spur (James Stewart), Living It Up (Martin and Lewis), Jet Pilot (John Wayne), Bye Bye Birdie (Dick Van Dyke), Safari (Victor Mature).

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