Vic Morrow’s Only Daughter Was Estranged From Late Dad but Follows in His Footsteps as Famous Actress
Jason Leigh was estranged from her actor father, Vic Morrow, for most of her life until his death in 1982, and yet her successful career in acting began as a means of trying to understand him.
Jeniffer Jason Leigh was born to actor Vic Morrow and screenwriter and actress Barbara Turner in 1962, but they split when she was only two.
Her father featured in movies such as the 1973 "Police Story," the 1974 "Dirty Mary Crazy Larry," "Treasure of Matecumbe," and "The Bad News Bears." Feeling like he was stuck doing B picture movies, he turned to the bottle to drain his woes.
He would, however, make a promising comeback when he featured in the 1983 movie "Twilight Zone." Her mother, on the other hand, wrote and acted in several films. Her best works were seen in the 1983 " Cujo," "Pollock" in 2000, and "Gellhorn" in 2012.
Morrow and Turner married in 1958 and had two daughters, Carrie Ann and Jeniffer Leigh, but their marriage only lasted seven years.
In 1965, they called it quits and went their separate ways. Morrow married Gale Lester but separated in 1979, only three years before he met his fateful death.
The actor was filming the "Twilight Zone" when a low-flying helicopter they were using for a scene lost control and crashed into him and two kids, aged six and seven. The movie was released in 1983.
After her parents separated, Leigh became distant from her father and even dropped her surname, Morrow. They remained estranged until his passing in 1982. Speaking to The Guardian on her relationship with her father, she says:
"We were not close. It’s hard. I don’t really talk about my father publicly, because there are a lot of people that really love him very, very much – his work as an actor. I don’t want to disabuse them [of] their admiration."
At only 9, Leigh landed her first role in "Death of a Stranger" then in the 1978 film "The Magical World of Disney: The Young Runaways."
Three years later, Leigh dropped out of High School to feature in " Eyes of a Stranger." At the time, she was only six weeks shy of her graduation. The following year, she finally hit her major success in the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
Leigh started acting in an attempt to understand her father and sister's substance use habits. She says her sister was a drug addict. Growing up, she experienced the downs of seeing her sister and partly her father dealing with substance abuse.
Carrie was the sole beneficiary of her father's estate while Leigh received only $100.
This, she says, is what pushed her to play most of the roles she's known for, some of which depict her as a drunk. These roles gave her a kind of release and freedom, to be able to experience their life, albeit safely because it was all acting.
Even though she's featured in quite a number of comedy and romantic roles, most of her movies have been of torment and grit.
In the 1995 "Georgia," written by her mom, she played a drug-addicted rocker whose successful sister always overshadowed her. Her sister, Carrie, was an adviser for the movie.
Unfortunately, Carrie passed on in 2016 at the age of 58. She was the sole beneficiary of her father's estate, while Leigh received only $100. Turner got nothing.
During her final years, Turner moved to Los Angeles to live with Leigh before passing on in 2016 after a long battle with cancer. She was 79.
With all of her loved ones gone, Leigh's only living close family is her son, Rohmer Emmanuel Baumbach, whom she shares with ex-husband Noah Baumbach.
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