Jennifer Jason Leigh Biography

Biography by Published on Updated on 16 Apr, 2018
Facts of Jennifer Jason Leigh
Date of Birth: 1962 , February-5
Age: 59 years old
Birth Nation: United States of America
Height: 5 Feet 3 Inch
Name Jennifer Jason Leigh
Birth Name Jennifer Leigh Morrow
Nick Name JJL
Father Vic Morrow
Mother Barbara Turner
Nationality American
Birth Place/City in Hollywood, Los Angeles
Ethnicity Caucasian
Profession Actress, Producer
Net Worth $5 million
Eye Color Brown
Hair Color Light Brown
Face Color Fair
Famous for Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Hateful Wight, Backdraft
Affair with David Dukes
Children Rohmer Emmanuel
Divorce Noah Baumbach
Education Palisades Charter High School, Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center
Awards MTV Movie Awards, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, New York Film Critics' Circle Awards
Movies Death of a Stanger, Miami Blues, Single White Female, Backdraft
TV Show Baretta, Thaks of a Grateful Nation, Weeds, Revenge, Atypical 
Sisters Carrie Ann Morrow, Mina Badie
Siblings Carrie Ann Morrow, Mina Badie
View more / View Less Facts of Jennifer Jason Leigh

Academy Award-nominated American actress and producer, Jennifer Jason Leigh is critically acclaimed for her roles in the number of movies, TV series and Theater plays. Leigh is well recognized for her roles in the movies, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle and The Hateful Eight. She is also popular for her prominent role in the TV series, Thanks of a Grateful Nation, Weeds and Atypical.

From the early age of 9, Leigh made her Hollywood debut as the main cast in 1981 from the film, Eyes of a Stranger. Her breakthrough came in 1982 when she played the role of Stacy Hamilton in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

She worked in a number of TV series and movies for which she has been nominated for several awards including Academy Awards, Satellite Awards, Drama Desk Awards, Lucille Lortel Awards and Golden Globe Awards. As of 2018, she is working in the movies, White Boy Rick, Vox Lux and the TV series, Atypical and Patrick MelroseActive in the industry from last 40 years, she has earned an impressive net worth.

Leigh is a divorcee. She was married to a film director, Noah Baumbach in 2005. The couple shares a child, Rohmer Emmanuel. The pair separated in 2013 citing irreconcilable differences.

Early Life And Education Of Jennifer Jason Leigh

Jennifer Jason Leigh was born Jennifer Leigh Morrow on 5th February 1962 in Hollywood, Los Angeles under the birth sign Aquarius. Leigh is American as per nationality and ethnicity-wise, she is Caucasian as her parents were from Austria and Russia.

Leigh is the daughter of actor, Vic Morrow and screenwriter, Barbara Turner. When she was two, her parents divorced. She has an older sister, Carrie Ann Morrow and a half-sister, Mina Badie (from her mother’s second marriage with the director, Reza Badiyi).

CAPTION: Jennifer with her father and mother. SOURCE: IMDb

Leigh is a high school (Palisades Charter High School) drop out. At the age of 14, she attended an acting workshop at the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in New York. She was taught acting by Lee Strasberg. At the early stage of her career, she changed her surname, taking the middle name, Jason in the honor of family friend actor, Jason Robards.

Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Career


Leigh made her debut as the main cast in 1981 in the slasher film, Eyes of a Stranger directed by Ken Wiederhorn. The same year, she worked as Casey Powell in the TV film, The Best Girl in the World.


Back to back, she appeared in a number of movies like Wrong Is Right, Easy Money, The Hitcher, Under Cover, Miami Blues, Kansas City, In the Cut, Rag Tale, The Moment, Morgan and Good Time among others. Particularly, she is popular for:

Movies Role IMDB Rating Cast Members
Miami Blues (1990) Susie Waggoner 6.4 Alec Baldwin, Fred Ward, Charles Napier and Nora Dunn.
Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989) Tralala 6.8 Alexis Arquette, Stephen Lang, Burt Young and Peter Dobson.
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) Amy Archer 7.3 Tim Robbins, Paul Newman, Sam Raini and Charles Durning.
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994) Dorothy Parker 6.4 Matthew Broderick, Gwyneth Paltrow, Campbell Scott and Andrew McCarthy.
Margot at the Wedding (2007) Pauline 6.1 Nicole Kidman, Jack Black, John Turturro, and Zane Pais.

Leigh is also popular for her roles in The Hateful EightBackdraftSingle White Female, and The Anniversary Party.  In 1995, she made her debut as a producer from the movie, Georgia. She also appeared as a writer for the movie, Greenberg.

CAPTION: Jennifer in one of the scenes of movie, The Hateful Eight. SOURCE: Indie Wire

As of 2018, she worked as Dr. Ventress in Annihilation and is also working in the upcoming movies, White Biy Rick and Vox Lux.

TV Series

Leigh made her TV debut in 1977 from detective TV series, Baretta. She then worked in several TV series, such as Family, The Waltons, Angel City, ABC After school Special, The Love Letter, and Tracey Takes On..., playing minor roles.

CAPTION: Jennifer with Mary-Louise Parker in the TV series,Weeds. SOURCE: Pinterest

Some of her popular TV series are:

TV Series Role IMDB Rating Cast Members
Thaks of a Grateful Nation (1998) Teri Small 6.0 Marg Helgenberger, Brian Dennehy, Ted Danson and Steven Weber.
Weeds (2009-2012) Jill Price-Gray 8.0 Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Justin Kirk and Alexander Gould.
Revenge (2012) Kara Clarke-Murphy 7.9 Emily VanCamp, Josh Bowman, Gabriel Mann and Madeleine Stowe.
Atypical (2017-present) Elsa Gardner 8.3 Keir Gilchrist, Michael Rapaport, and Brigette Lundy-Paine.

As of 2018, she is working as Elsa Garner in a coming-of-age TV series,  Atypical and Patrick Melrose.


In 1986, Leigh performed as Madge Owens in the theater play, Picnic at Ahmanson Theatre. Three years later, she acted in Sunshine at the Circle Repertory Theater. 

CAPTION: Jennifer in her early days. SOURCE: Instagram

She then appeared in numbers of theatre plays, however, is popular for her acting as Beverly in Abigail's Party at Acorn Theater. For her acting in the play, she has been nominated for Drama Desk Awards and Lucille Lortel Awards.

Jennifer Jason Leigh's Awards and Nominations

Jennifer Jason Leigh has been nominated for several prestigious awards and won some of them as well. She has the following awards to her name:

  • 1992 = Won MTV Movie Awards for Single White Female.
  • 1994 = Won Chicago Film Critics Association Awards for Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle.
  • 1994 = Won National Society of Film Critics Awards for Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle.
  • 1995 = Won New York Film Critics Circle Awards for Georgia.
  • 1995 = Won Montreal World Film Festival Awards for Georgia.

Some of her nominated awards are Academy Awards, Satellite AwardsDrama Desk AwardsLucille Lotrel Awards, and BAFTA Awards.

Jennifer Jason Leigh's Net Worth

Jennifer Jason Leigh has an estimated net worth of $5 million. Leigh worked in numbers of movies that made a good collection at the box office.

Here is the list of her commercially successful movies:

Movies Budget Box Office Collection IMDB Rating Awards and Nominations Cast Members
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) $4.5 million $27.1 million 7.2   Phoebe Cates, Sean Penn, Judge Reinhold and Nicholas Cage
Backdraft (1991) $75 million $152.3 million 6.7
  • Nominated for Academy Awards.
Kurt Russell, Robert De Niro, William Baldwin and Donald Sutherland.
Single White Female (1992) $16 million $48,017,402 6.3   Bridget Fonda, Steven Weber, Stephen Tobolowsky and Peter Friedman.
Dolores Claiborne (1995) $13 million $46.4 million 7.4
  • Won Tokyo International Film Festival Awards.
  • Nominated for Saturn Awards.
Kathy Bates, Christopher Plummer, Judy Parfitt and David Strathairn.
Road to Perdition (2002) $80 million $181 million 7.7
  • Won BAFTA Awards.
  • Nominated for Academy AwardsGolden Globe Awards, and Critics' Choice Awards.
Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Tyler Hoechlin and Jude Law.
The Hateful Eight (2015) $54 million $155.8 million 7.8
  • Won Golden Globe Awards.
  • Nominated for Academy Awards.
Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, and Micahel Madsen.

Leigh owns a house in New York City which she bought for $813k in 1995. She owns a Lincoln MKT worth $43530.

Jennifer Jason Leigh's Personal Life

Jennifer Jason Leigh is a divorcee. Leigh married film writer and director, Noah Baumbach on 2nd September 2005. The couple met for the first time in 2001 while starring on Broadway in Proof. Eventually, the couple fell for one another and started dating. In the premiere of The Squid and the Whale, her husband told,

''I expect to be with (Leigh) for the rest of my life.''

On 17th March 2010, the couple welcomed a child, Rohmer Emmanuel. Due to irreconcilable differences, Leigh filed for divorce in 2010 in Los Angeles Superior Court. She also filed for the custody of the child and spousal support. Later, the couple figured out and equally divided all the assets and liabilities.

CAPTION: Jennifer with her husband, Noah Baumbach. SOURCE: Romper

In 1989, Harper’s Bazaar selected her as one of ''America’s 10 Most Beautiful Women''. In 2000, she severed as a jury at the 57th Venice International Film Festival.

Jennifer Leigh’s Relation With Her Dad

When Leigh was two years old, her parents separated. During the time, she had not seen or talked to her father for years. At the early phase of her career, she gave up the name, Morrow which hurt her father.

CAPTION: Jennifer with her dad, Vic Morrow. SOURCE: Pinterest

In 1982, her father, Vic Morrow was accidentally killed along with two child actors during the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie when a helicopter stunt went wrong. After hearing about her father’s death, she recalls going into shock. She said,

‘’I went into shock for four or five hours. I didn’t know what to feel.’’

Later, Leigh along with her sister filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Steven Spielberg, Warner Bros, and John Landis. It was also rumored that she filed a $100 million lawsuit against the parties involved in her father’s death which later turned to be false. A year later, they made a settlement but the facts of the agreement were not made public.

After the death of her father, she found two wills, the first will was of $1 and second of $100. She was not expecting the will for her. She stated,

‘’I didn't expect to be left a thing. But I’m feeling pain, guilt, and rage. I loved him. I have a picture of him taken when he was 16, and he looks like me.’’

Here is the video, where Jennifer Jason Leigh talks about her life and career: