TCM Star of The Month: Janet Leigh


Janet Leigh: Not just Psycho 

janet leighJanet Leigh

Turner Classic Movie’s Star of the Month, Janet Leigh, has a very interesting place in the lexicon of film history. Although she never truly reached the highest echelons of Hollywood stardom, her image is one of the most studied in all of film history and theory. Yes, we all know the image I’m talking about. A little film you might have watched at some point in your life called Psycho. Leigh’s grizzly death in the film’s most infamous ‘shower scene’ has been viewed, reviewed, studied, picked-apart, dissected, analyzed, and theorized more times than probably any other film this side of Citizen Kane. And in all that scholarly research and all that academic analyzation, what gets lost is the fact that we are watching one of Hollywood’s greatest natural talents giving one of her best performances.

Yes, Leigh may be mostly remembered for her doomed role in one of Hitchcock’s greatest masterpieces, but her true Hollywood legacy is far more than just the one scene. She began her career like most other MGM starlets with little to no formal acting training, playing the beautiful ingénue in films such as The Romance of Rosy Ridge, Little Women, Scaramouch, and Safari. However, unlike many of the young MGM starlets who came and went, Leigh managed to develop her natural skill as an actress and graduate into more demanding roles in darker films such as Touch of Evil and The Manchurian Candidate. Despite these great performances and an almost 6-decade career, it is still hard for many viewers to disassociate Leigh with her most famous of roles. So this month, loyal readers I ask you to do just that. If you’re not sure what films to watch, might I offer a few suggestions below.



Janet Leigh stars with Van Johnson in The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947, Roy Rowland director) airing Wednesday October 1st at 8:00PM on TCM.

…..the naked spur

Janet Leigh stars with James Stewart in The Naked Spur (1953, Anthony Mann director) airing Wednesday October 15th at 10:00PM on Turner Classic Movies.


touch of evil

Janet Leigh stars with Charlton Heston and Orson Welles in Touch of Evil (1958, Orson Welles director)


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2 Responses to TCM Star of The Month: Janet Leigh

  1. Janet Leigh could do it all, and do it all in style.

  2. Pingback: #118 The Naked Spur – 1000 Films Blog

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