‘I thought my life was over’: Jamie Lee Curtis cites ‘nepo baby’ status during SAG Awards speech

At the SAG Awards, the ‘Halloween’ star recalled being fired from a TV series based on a movie that originally starred her father, Tony Curtis

Amber Raiken
New York
Monday 27 February 2023 15:03 GMT
Related: Theo James & Meghann Fahy talk about sitting at the “party table” at SAG Awards | SAG Awards 2023

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Louise Thomas

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Jamie Lee Curtis referred to herself as a “nepo baby” as she revealed the show that she was once fired from during this year’s SAG Awards.

On Sunday, the awards ceremony began with celebrities giving brief monologues to introduce themselves, also referred to as “I am an actor” speeches. Curtis began her speech by reflecting on the first programme she worked on, after she got her “card” as a member of the Screen Actors Guilds, at the age of 19.

“I signed a seven-year contract to Universal Studios and starred in an ABC TV series called Operation Petticoat,” she said. “Which was based on a movie that my father, Tony Curtis (nepo baby) starred in.”

“I was fired from that TV show, a year later, and I thought my life was over,” she continued.

However, Curtis then acknowledged the silver lining in that situation, adding: “If I hadn’t been fired from Operation Petticoat, I would have never had the opportunity to audition for a little tiny, no-budget horror movie called Halloween.”

Later at the awards ceremony, the actor took home the award for Female Actor in a Supporting Role, Motion Picture, for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. During her speech, she praised her father and mother, Janet Leigh, for their acting legacies.

“I’m wearing the wedding ring that my father gave my mother,” she said. “My father was from Hungary and my mother was from Denmark and they had nothing. And they became these monstrous stars in this industry they love so much.”

She went on to note that she also married an actor, Christopher Guest, before expressing how much she loves her career.

Curtis also acknowledged how people have viewed her because of her family’s careers, adding:” I know you look at me and think nepo baby, and I totally get it! But the truth of the matter is I’m 64 years old and this is just amazing!”

(Getty Images)

In December, Curtis shared her candid response to the ongoing debate over the term nepo (nepotism) baby, which has been used to describe an actor who has parents in the industry.

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“I have been a professional actress since I was 19 years old so that makes me an OG Nepo Baby,” she wrote on Instagram at the time. “I’ve never understood, nor will I, what qualities got me hired that day… but there’s not a day in my professional life that goes by without my being reminded that I am the daughter of movie stars.”

“For the record I have navigated 44 years with the advantages my associated and reflected fame brought me, I don’t pretend there aren’t any, that try to tell me that I have no value on my own,” the Freaky Friday star added.

“It’s curious how we immediately make assumptions and snide remarks that someone related to someone else who is famous in their field for their art, would somehow have no talent whatsoever.”

See the full list of SAG Awards winners here.

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