"And like any other save-the-marriage baby, I failed," Jamie Lee Curtis said.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on March 2, 2022. It has since been updated.
Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh were considered to be the epitome of love. As an attractive couple, they were the center of attention. In fact, their relationship even flowed over into their professional lives, as they appeared in five movies together.
After welcoming their first child, Kelly, the couple soon realized they no longer had the spark between them. Later on, they welcomed their daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, in a bid to save what was left of their union, but in vain. Unable to handle the pressure, their relationship ended in a divorce.
Speaking of her experience with her embattled parents, Jamie told HuffPost, "By the time I came along… my parents' bond had deteriorated precipitously as their stardom grew. And like any other save-the-marriage baby, I failed." The family was divided after Tony filed for divorce in 1962.
While there were many reasons behind their separation, the most pertinent was Tony's jealousy of his wife's relationship with other men, though platonic, according to Nine.com.au.
He also felt that she bossed him around, given her stardom and educational background. "I could see signs in myself that I was becoming subservient," Tony recalled. "Janet and I would go to a party together, and if I lit my cigarette without offering to light the cigarette of the person I was talking to, Janet would poke me with her elbow."
This caused the couple to grow increasingly distant. Speaking of the state of their marriage, Tony shared, "We settled into a functional but unromantic marriage, the kind of life that was less unusual in Hollywood than you might think."
He eventually left her, and went on to date Christine Kaufmann, a 17-year-old actress, but the couple separated in 1968. Before his death in 2010 from congestive heart failure, the actor married four more women.
As for Jamie Curtis, being raised by famous parents did her more harm than good. Curtis along with her sister grew up in a home of resentment, competition, and jealousy. The actress often referred to herself as a "product of 13 divorces." The 63-year-old confessed that her parents' split affected her and made it difficult to believe in true love, per ET Canada. “As the product of 13 divorces in my immediate family I have often struggled with the idea of love, what happens to it?" she said.
Curtis once also shared how being born to famous parents meant that there were constant comparisons and expectations from the public. "I was born to famous parents. My birth and subsequent growing up was documented for public consumption. My parent's fame and beauty preceded me. The comparing. The measuring up. Everywhere I went. Everything I did," she once wrote on Instagram.
Despite the tough times, she recalls her parents with fondness, especially for their roles in her career. Just like her parents, the Freaky Friday star has enjoyed a successful career in the industry. She bagged some notable awards for the high-ranking movies in which she was featured.
Even after years since their death, Tony and Janet's legacy has been kept very much alive by their kids, and that's all that matters, ultimately.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photos By (L) Frazer Harrison (R) Keystone