July 6th, 1927 On this day in Horror History, the late Janet Leigh (Jeanette Helen Morrison) was born. With her parents constantly relocating and being an only child, Janet spent most of her adolescence without friends and frequenting movie theaters. However, this was not her inspiration for her acting career. Graduating early from high school at the age of 15 and studying music and psychology at the University of Pacific, she was only "discovered" by a photograph that her father kept at his desk while working at a ski resort in Northern California, by retired MGM actress Norma Shearer, who thought she had the perfect look for a "young and naive, country girl." After a few screen tests, Janet landed a starring role in The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947) of which commenced her life long acting career. Starring in a variety of widely successful films from westerns to comedies to musicals, Janet would be known for her roles in such films as Act of Violence (1948), Little Women (1949), Angels in the Outfield (1951), Houdini (1953), Touch of Evil (1958) and many others before landing her iconic role in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960). When reflecting on her experience working with Hitchcock she said: "Hitch relished scaring me. When we were making Psycho, he experimented with the mother's corpse, using me as his gauge. I would return from lunch, open the door to the dressing room and propped up in my chair would be this hideous monstrosity. The horror in my scream, registered on his Richter scale, decided which dummy he'd use as the Madame." Janet would later appear in The Fog (1980), and in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) alongside one of her daughters also in the film industry, horror icon Jamie Lee Curtis. Janet Leigh died at age 77 in her home in Beverly Hills, California on October 3, 2004 but will be forever etched in time with her sparkling blue eyes, sultry voice and long lasting influence on the horror genre. Happy Birthday Janet! Horror Central
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