Friday, April 24, 2009

Jennifer Jason Leigh Mini Biography

A professional actor since the age of nine, Jennifer Jason Leigh earned her Screen Actors Guild card at 16 and dropped out of high school to study at the Lee Strasberg Institute and star in seedy made-for-TV movies. Born to actor Vic Morrow and writer/actress Barbara Turner in Hollywood, CA, Jennifer picked up the middle name Jason from family friend Jason Robards Jr. Throughout her career, she has made a name for herself portraying helpless, damaged, or mentally unsound characters, often performing at a higher level than the material.

Never one to shy away from touchy subject matter, her breakthrough role came in 1982 as the naïve high school girl who gets an abortion in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. After playing an angry daughter in Dolores Claiborne, a spitfire kidnapper in Kansas City, and a domestic violence survivor in Bastard out of Carolina, she took another dramatic turn toward a period film. In Agnieszka Holland's Washington Square, Leigh proved her range by portraying a shy, clumsy girl as she evolves into adulthood. She returned to more showy roles for two films dealing with Shakespeare's King Lear: A Thousand Acres with Jason Robards Jr. and the fourth Dogme 95 film, The King Is Alive. Around that time, she also appeared on-stage in Broadway and off-Broadway plays, most notably as dancer Sally Bowles in Cabaret. Testing out new ground in 2001, she and fellow Cabaret star Alan Cumming wrote, directed, and starred in the ensemble comedy The Anniversary Party, a digital video project inspired by Dogme 95. Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide.

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