Jamie Lee Curtis Honors Late Parents Janet Leigh, Tony Curtis in Winning Supporting Actress Oscar

More than 40 years after making her screen debut, Jamie Lee Curtis can add Oscar winner to her résumé. Curtis took home best supporting actress for Everything Everywhere All at Once at the 2023 Oscars.

Her win for playing IRS auditor Deirdre Beaubeirdre is a high mark in the decades-long career for Curtis, who made her feature debut at 19 in Halloween, the 1978 film that made her a star and has defined her trajectory. This is the first nomination and win for Curtis, who is the daughter of late Oscar winner Janet Leigh and late Oscar nominee Tony Curtis.

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Curtis’ win was also an early indicator of a good night for Everything Everywhere All at Once, the indie hit that became an improbable awards season juggernaut. Curtis’ work required her to play multiple characters, including a woman with hotdogs for fingers — not a role that seems tailor-made for Oscar voters.

Indeed, Curtis acknowledged that her career has been in the genre space, and thanked both her fans as well as her collaborators on Everything Everywhere (including Ke Huy Quan, who moments earlier took home supporting actor, and Stephanie Hsu, also nominated for best supporting actress).

“To all of the people who have supported the genre movies I’ve made, the thousands and hundreds of thousands and people, we just won an Oscar together. My mother and father were both nominated for Oscars in different categories,” Curtis said, choking with emotion and looking upwards. “I just won an Oscar.”

In addition to her co-star Hsu, other nominees in the category were Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Hong Chau (The Whale) and Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin).

After her win, when speaking to the press backstage, Curtis said she felt proud to be among the female winners, and would like to see more “so that there’s gender parity in all the areas and all the branches, and I think we’re getting there; we’re not anywhere near there.”

She continued, “And of course, the inclusivity then that involves the bigger question which is, how do you include everyone when there are binary choices? Which is very difficult. And, as the mother of a trans daughter, I completely understand that and yet, to de-gender the category, also, I’m concerned will diminish the opportunities for more women, which is something I also have been working hard to try to promote. So, it’s a complicated question, but I think the most important thing is inclusivity and more women — and basically, just fucking more women, anywhere, anytime, all at once!”

For more from the Academy Awards, see the star-studded Oscars red carpet arrivals.

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