Jennifer Jason Leigh Bio: Greenberg Actor

release date:March 26, 2010
Tuesday July 13, 2010 (dvd)
genre:Drama
running time:107 min.
director:Noah Baumbach
studio:Alliance Films
producer(s):Scott Rudin
screenplay:Noah Baumbach
cast:Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brie Larson, Mark Duplass
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Jennifer Jason Leigh Biography

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Date of Birth: February 5, 1962

Jennifer Jason Leigh was literally born into the film industry: the daughter of the late actor Vic Morrow and screenwriter Barbara Turner, she made her film debut in the extremely obscure Death of a Stranger when she was only fourteen. A few years later, Leigh dropped out of high school to study acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute.

Her first important TV role was as the anorexic heroine of The Best Little Girl in the World (1981), for which she voluntarily went down to 86 pounds before the cameras turned. This "method" approach was typical of Leigh, who, even after obtaining stardom, indulged in intense subtextual preparation, such as writing a diary in the style of whichever character she happened to be playing. A lighter excursion followed with Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982), which cast her as Phoebe Cates' sexually curious best friend. But just as Leigh's career was building and she was becoming a star, tragedy struck when her father, who was shooting a role in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), was killed during an accident on the set.

It wasn't until 1990 that Leigh began to win true critical respect —as well as a reputation for taking on dark, difficult roles—as that was the year she starred in both Miami Blues and Last Exit to Brooklyn. Playing ex-con Alec Baldwin's prostitute lover in the former and yet another lady of the night in the latter, Leigh was rewarded with a New York Film Critics Circle Award for her powerful performances.

More acclaim followed, first for her work as a drug-addicted narcotics agent in Rush (1991) and then for her portrayal of a phone sex worker in Robert Altman's 1993 Short Cuts. As part of the film's ensemble cast, she won a Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival for her performance. In later efforts, Leigh demonstrated a fondness for flamboyant, curiously accented characterizations, notably her maniacal "roommate from hell" in Single White Female (1991), her Katharine Hepburn-style comic turn in The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) and her deliberately artifice-laden portrayal of writer Dorothy Parker in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994).

After turns as a deeply troubled, angry young daughter in the moody Dolores Claiborne and then as a deeply troubled, angry young musician in Georgia (both 1995), Leigh again worked with Altman in his tribute to jazz music and his boyhood home, Kansas City (1996). Leigh then donned petticoats for Agnieszka Holland's adaptation of Washington Square (1997). Her role as Albert Finney's plain and withdrawn daughter was far from that in her other film that year, A Thousand Acres. As family patriarch Jason Robards' youngest daughter, Leigh returned to her tradition of playing forthright, outspoken characters. However, whatever kinds of character she had played in the past, very few of them were anything like Allegra Geller, the computer game designer she played in David Cronenberg's eXistenZ (1999).

Although she filmed a role in Eyes Wide Shut (1999), when director Stanley Kubrick decided to do some reshoots, she was unavailable. He reshot all of her scenes with another actress.

Leigh co-wrote her first screenplay, the anniversary party (2001), with actor Alan Cumming. They also co-directed the film, which starred many of their friends, including Phoebe Cates, Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly and Parker Posey. The small budget movie earned Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay.

In 2005, she won a Best Supporting Actress Genie award for her role as the mother of a child actor in the Canadian film Childstar (2004).

On September 3, 2005, she married director Noah Baumbach, whom she'd been dating for four years. It is the first marriage for both.

Filmography:

Greenberg(2010)
Synecdoche, New York(2008)
Margot at the Wedding(2007)
Rag Tale (2005)
Easter Sunday (2005)
The Jacket(2005)
Childstar(2004)
Palindromes(2004)
The Machinist(2004)
In the Cut(2003)
The Road to Perdition (2002)
Hey Arnold! The Movie (2002) (voice)
The Quickie (2001)
the anniversary party(2001)
Beautiful View (2000)
Skipped Parts (2000)
The King Is Alive (2000)
eXistenZ(1999)
A Thousand Acres (1997)
Washington Square (1997)
Bastard Out of Carolina (1996)
Kansas City (1996)
Dolores Claiborne (1995)
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
Short Cuts(1993)
Luck, Trust & Ketchup: Robert Altman In Carver Country (1993)
The Prom (1992)
Single White Female (1992)
Backdraft(1991)
Crooked Hearts (1991)
Rush(1991)
Miami Blues (1990)
Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989)
The Big Picture(1989)
Heart of Midnight (1988)
Sister, Sister (1987)
Under Cover (1987)
The Hitcher(1986)
The Men's Club(1986)
Flesh & Blood (1985)
Grandview, U.S.A. (1984)
Easy Money(1983)
Wrong Is Right (1982)
Fast Times At Ridgemont High(1982)
Eyes of a Stranger (1981)

Filmography

ActorHateship Loveship (2014)
ActorKill Your Darlings (2013)
ActorGreenberg (2010)
ActorChildstar (2005)
ActorThe Jacket (2005)
ActorPalindromes (2005)
ActorThe Machinist (2004)
ActorIn the Cut (2003)
ActorRoad To Perdition (2002)
Producerthe anniversary party (2001)
ActoreXistenZ (1999)