Brown - Light
Hollywood, California, USA
Claim to Fame
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Actor/Actress, Producer, Writer
Has Detailed Data (New)
Palisades High School, Pacific Palisades, California
Full Name at Birth
Jennifer Leigh Morrow
Actress, Writer, Producer, Voice Artist
Vic Morrow (actor)
Barbara Turner (actress/screenwriter)
Carrie Ann Morrow (actress), Mina Badie (half-sister) (actress)
Reza Badiyi (ex-stepfather) (director)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (born Jennifer Leigh Morrow; February 5, 1962) is an American actress. Leigh began her career as a teenager in the 1970s, guest-starring on several television shows. Her film breakthrough came in 1982 for her performance as Stacy Hamilton in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Leigh continued performing past her teen years, receiving critical praise for her roles in the 1990 films Miami Blues and Last Exit to Brooklyn. In 1991, she appeared in Ron Howard's Backdraft, and in 1992 she acted in the drama-thriller Single White Female.
Profile Bio Text
Jennifer Jason Leigh (born February 5, 1962) is an American film and stage actress, best known for her roles in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Single White Female, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Georgia and Short Cuts. She is also the co-writer and co-director of the film The Anniversary Party, made with fellow actor Alan Cumming.
Leigh is known for her emotionally raw and often sexually explicit portrayals of vulnerable and damaged women, and for her intensive method inspired research into her roles.
Leigh was born on February 5, 1962 in Hollywood, California. She is the daughter of actor Vic Morrow and screenwriter Barbara Turner. Leigh's birth name was Jennifer Leigh Morrow. She changed her surname early in her acting career, taking the middle name Jason in honor of actor Jason Robards, a family friend. Leigh's parents were Jewish, of Russian descent on her father's side.
Leigh has an older sister, Carrie Ann Morrow, who was credited as a "technical advisor" in Georgia, and on whom Leigh's character Sadie Flood was reputedly based. Leigh also has a half-sister, actress Mina Badie, from her mother's marriage, who acted alongside Leigh in The Anniversary Party. The director Reza Badiyi was her mother's second husband and was at the time her stepfather.
Leigh worked in her first film at the age of nine, in a nonspeaking role for the film Death of a Stranger (The Execution) (1973). At 14, she attended Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in Loch Sheldrake, New York summer acting workshops given by Lee Strasberg and landed a role in the movie The Young Runaways (1978). She received her Screen Actors Guild membership for an episode of the TV series Baretta (1975) when she was 16.
An episode of The Waltons and several TV movies followed, including a portrayal of an anorexic teenager in The Best Little Girl in the World, for which Leigh dropped to 86 pounds (39 kg) under medical supervision. She made her big screen debut playing a blind, deaf, and mute rape victim in the 1981 slasher film Eyes of a Stranger. In 1982, she played a teenager who gets pregnant in the Cameron Crowe- scripted high school comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which served as a launching pad for several of its young stars, including Sean Penn, Judge Reinhold, Forest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz, Anthony Edwards, Phoebe Cates and Nicolas Cage. In 1983 Leigh had a small role in the Rodney Dangerfield movie Easy Money, playing the eldest of two daughters, who marries a man that Rodney disapproves of.
With the exception of Ridgemont High, Leigh's early film work consisted of playing fragile, damaged, or neurotic characters in low-budget horror or thriller genre films. She played a virginal princess kidnapped and raped by mercenaries in Flesh & Blood (1985), an innocent waitress pursued by the psychotic title character in The Hitcher (1986) (both films pitting her opposite Rutger Hauer), and a young woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown in Heart of Midnight (1989).
In 1990, Leigh made a significant career breakthrough when she was voted the year's Best Supporting Actress by both the New York Film Critics Circle and the Boston Society of Film Critics for her portrayals of two very different prostitutes: the tough streetwalker Tralala who submits to a brutal gang rape in Last Exit to Brooklyn, and Susie, a teenage prostitute who falls in love with ex-con Alec Baldwin in Miami Blues. Reviewers commented on Leigh's raw emotionality and apparent lack of vanity in her performances, especially in Last Exit which controversially featured prolonged scenes of sexual violence.
Leigh was then cast in her first mainstream Hollywood studio film, the firefighter drama Backdraft, in which she played a somewhat more conventional role as the girlfriend of lead actor William Baldwin. Leigh reportedly told director Ron Howard that she wished that she could be the fire because it had the film's best role. In subsequent interviews, Leigh has stated that the role is her least favorite performance: "In mainstream movies, the woman's role is mostly just to prove that the leading man is heterosexual. I'm not good at that, and I'm not interested in that."
Leigh found more success in the gritty crime drama Rush (1991), in which she portrayed an undercover narcotics policewoman who becomes a junkie in the line of duty in and falls in love with her partner Jason Patric. Her next film Single White Female (1992) was a surprise box office success, bringing Leigh to her largest yet mainstream audience. As Hedy, the psychotic "roommate from hell" who steals flatmate Bridget Fonda's identity and boyfriend and commits murder with a stiletto heel, Leigh created a memorably vulnerable and frightening character, and was awarded the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain and nominated by the Chicago Film Critics Association for Best Actress.
In a change of pace from her
Rohmer Emmanuel (son)
Couple Profile Source
Talent Agency (e.g. Modelling)
Print advertisement for The Gap (2001), Print advertisement for Marc Jacobs, photographed by Juergen Teller (2006)
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