Profile of Jennifer Jason Leigh
Name at birth: Jennifer Leigh MorrowIn the movies, Jennifer Jason Leigh is best known for playing deranged misfits, as in the 1990s thriller Single White Female and in Quentin Tarantino's 2015 western, The Hateful Eight. Born in Los Angeles to screenwriter Barbara Turner and actor Vic Morrow, she quit school to study acting, and began working in TV and films in the late 1970s. Her first big break in the movies came as a pregnant teen in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982, with Phoebe Cates). By the end of that decade, Leigh was known for tough dramatic performances, most notably in Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989) and Miami Blues (1990). Her turn as a twisted villain in Single White Female (1992) returned her to the spotlight for mainstream audiences, and she showed her range in the movies Short Cuts 1993, by Robert Altman), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994, by the Coen brothers), Dolores Claiborne (1995) and Georgia (1995, written by her mother). Since then, Leigh has worked steadily in TV and films, as well as a few turns on Broadway; she also co-wrote, co-directed and starred in the 2001 film The Anniversary Party (with Alan Cumming). Despite her steady career and many performances in film and television, Jennifer Jason Leigh was branded a rediscovered star in 2015 and 2016, thanks to an Oscar nomination for The Hateful Eight and her voice work in Anomalisa. Her other films include Backdraft (1991), David Cronenberg's eXistenZ (1999) and The Machinist (2004, starring Christian Bale).
Her father, Vic Morrow, was killed in an on-set accident during the filming of a segment for The Twilight Zone (1982); Leigh and her sister sued the director, John Landis, who settled out of court.
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