Jamie Lee Curtis is a true movie star who has come a long way from starring in cult-classic horror films to winning an Oscar, and has expressed her pride in her Hungarian heritage a number of times.
After five decades spent in the business, she finally triumphed at the Academy Awards this year, becoming the Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once”. After receiving the award, she sang Hungarian song backstage and even proclaimed that she loves her Hungarian heritage.
Her father, a certain man named Tony Curtis who was himself an acting legend starring in movies such as “Some Like It Hot” alongside Marilyn Monroe, was born in 1925 to Hungarian Jewish immigrant parents in New York City. His parents, Emanuel Schwartz and Ilona Klein emigrated to the United States in the early 20th century from Hungary. Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother, Janet Leigh, of Danish-German descent, was also an A-list star, who played in movies like Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”.
While Curtis was a real “Hollywood kid”, she is always quick to point out that her career has not been defined by her connections or her origins. Even though she is the goddaughter of studio executive Lew Wasserman, and the wife of successful actor, director, musician and baron Christopher Guest, she did not set out to become an actress. In 1977, she left her university studies to star in an episode of Columbo as a waitress, and only a year later, she was cast as Laurie Strode in the slasher horror flick “Halloween”, giving her a breakthrough and earning her the title of “Scream Queen” among critics. She would go on to appear in numerous Halloween sequels, and over the next few decades she starred in several notable movies, such as “Trading Places” alongside Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, and “True Lies” with Arnold Schwarzenegger, before she landed her role as IRS inspector Deirdre Beaubeirdre in “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once”.
The next big movie she is set to star in is “Borderlands”, a video game adaptation shot in Hungary, at Origo Studios. During the shooting she visited the Hungarian countryside town of Mátészalka, from where her paternal grandparents emigrated to New York City about 100 years ago. Furthermore, she even attended the pre-opening of the Tony Curtis Memorial Museum and Café in the town, and also announced that she will help turn the synagogue where her grandparents once worshipped into a “community center for celebrations and art and music”.
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