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Home seven-facts From Auditioning for Major Roles to Turning Down Popular Films: 7 Facts of Atypical Star Jennifer Jason Leigh

From Auditioning for Major Roles to Turning Down Popular Films: 7 Facts of Atypical Star Jennifer Jason Leigh

Dahlia Published On Sun Apr 05 2020   Modified On Sun Apr 05 2020
From Auditioning for Major Roles to Turning Down Popular Films: 7 Facts of Atypical Star Jennifer Jason Leigh

American actress Jennifer Jason Leigh began her career on television during the 1970s. Her breakthrough came after she appeared in the teen coming-of-age comedy-drama film Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Since then, Leigh has appeared in movies as Miami Blues, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Backdraft, Single White Female, and Short Cuts for which she has earned critical acclaims. 

The veteran actress currently plays as Elsa Gardner in the Netflix's coming-of-age television series Atypical alongside Keir Gilchrist, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Amy Okuda, and Michael Rapaport. Let's learn seven exciting facts of the phenomenal actress.

7. Her Parents Were Active in the Showbiz

Jennifer Leigh is the daughter of Vic Morrow and Barbara Turner. Her father, Vic Morrow, was an actor and director whose notable movies include  Blackboard Jungle, King Creole, God's Little Acre, Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, and The Bad News Bears. 

Jennifer Jason Leigh
Jennifer Jason Leigh at the Golden Globe awards. Source: Daily Mail 

Morrow died during the filming of the Twilight Zone: The Movie due to a helicopter accident. Leigh was estranged from her father at the time of his death, who had left her $100 in his will. Leigh's mother, Gloria Rose "Barbara" Turner, worked as a screenwriter and actress. Her notable works include Petulia, Georgi, and Pollock.

6. How tall is Jennifer Jason Leigh?

Jennifer Jason Leigh is 5 feet and 3 inches tall (1.6 m). Born on February 5, 1962, she is 58 years old as of 2020. 

Leigh is the younger sister of Carrie Ann Morrow, who worked as a technical advisor on the film Georgia. She is also the half-sister of actress Mina Badie.

5. Leigh is of Ashkenazi Jewish Descent

The 58 years old actress is of entirely Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Leigh paternal grandparents, Harry Morozoff and Jean Kress were emigrants from Russia. 

Moreover, Jennifer's maternal grandfather, Alexander Turner, emigrated from Austria while her maternal grandmother, Pearl Pauline Zises, parents were Austrian who gave birth to Zises in New York. 

4. Was Contender for the Role of Sarah Connor

Leigh had auditioned for the character Sarah Connor in the 1984 science fiction film The Terminator, according to E! News. However, the director James Cameron considered Leigh too young for the part, and eventually, actress Linda Hamilton ended up playing as Sarah Connor.

In an interview with the MTV, Hamilton stated, 

"I won the part outright with one screen test after another. I think Jennifer Jason Leigh was the other contender. In the beginning, I wasn't as sure about the script as others were. It was only about halfway through that I thought it was turning into something special."

Moreover, Leigh also did a trial performance for Suzanne Stone-Maretto in the movie To Die For for which actress Nicole Kidman won a Golden Globe Award. Additionally, the 58 years old actress had also auditioned for the role of Violet in Pretty Baby, and the role of Catwoman in Batman Returns. Later, the part went to actress Brooke Shields and Michelle Pfeiffer.

3. Has a Net Worth of $5 Million

The 58 years old actress worked in her first film at the age of nine in the movie Death of a Stranger. Since then, Leigh has appeared in dozens of television shows, movies, and stage productions. In addition to her acting career, she has also worked as a screenwriter and director. In 2001, Leigh co-wrote and co-directed the film The Anniversary Party.

Jennifer Jason Leigh
Jennifer Jason Leigh at the premiere of 'Annihilation.' Source: Pinterest

Besides playing a primary character, Leigh had a recurring role in the comedy-drama series Weeds, where she appeared as Jill Price-Gray. Moreover, the 58 years old actress earned Golden Globe and Academy Award in the category of best supporting actress for her performance in Quentin Tarantino's film The Hateful Eight. All of this has helped Leigh in amassing the net worth of $5 million.

2. Was Married to Filmmaker Noah Baumbach

Leigh met the Academy nominated film director, producer, and screenwriter Noah Baumbach in 2001 while working in the stage play Proof. After dating for years, Leigh tied the knot with Noah on September 2, 2005. They have a son, Rohmer Emmanuel Baumbach, born on March 17, 2010. 

Jennifer Jason Leigh and Noah Baumbach
Jennifer Jason Leigh with ex-husband Noah Baumbach at the Academy Awards. Source: NewsLocker

The same year, on November 15, 2010, Leigh filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split, which became finalized on September 2013. According to E! News, Baumbach reportedly dated actress Greta Gerwig amid the divorce. 

1. Turned Down Roles That Went on to Be Popular

Leigh is quite famous for turning down roles in some popular movies. The 58 years old actress had been approached to play as Elizabeth "Libby" Smith in the television series Lost, but actress Cynthia Watros ended up playing the role instead. 

She also turned down the role of Bree for the television series Desperate Housewives and eventually actress Marcia Cross stepped in to portray the character. 

Leigh had been offered the female lead in Dario Argento's commercially successful Italian horror film The Stendhal Syndrome. However, the 58 years old actress declined the offer, and Argento's daughter Asia Argento played as the female lead.