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Goodbye Janet Leigh

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Janet Leigh, famous for her screaming battle with a knife-wielding madman in Psycho, passed away yesterday in Beverly Hills. She was 77.

"Leigh's portrayal of Marion Crane in the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock thriller Psycho earned her a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. The experience of watching the final cut of the famous shower scene made Leigh take baths for the rest of her life.

Born Jeanette Helen Morrison in Merced, Calif., Leigh was studying music and psychology at the College of the Pacific when actress Norma Shearer saw her picture. Shearer urged Leigh to contact talent agent Lew Wasserman and ask for a job in show business. He, in turn, negotiated her first contract with MGM Studios.

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Leigh was only 19 years old when she appeared in the 1947 movie, The Romance of Rosy Ridge. Within two years, she became one of Hollywood's busiest starlets, acting in films opposite Robert Mitchum, Ezio Pinza, James Stewart, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne and Dick Van Dyke. The beautiful blonde actress eventually made more than 60 pictures, including The Manchurian Candidate and Touch of Evil, but it was her death scene in the Bates Motel that earned her lasting fame.

Leigh married four times, first to John K. Carlyle and Stanley Reames, then to actor Tony Curtis and businessman Robert Brandt. In the final years of her life, she penned the novels Dream Factory and House of Destiny. Her autobiography, There Really Was a Hollywood, was published in 1984.

She is survived by Brandt and her daughters, actresses Kelly Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis."