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The Essential Jamie Lee Curtis

The multi-tasking actress is an exuberant crusader for aging wisely and well.

On a chilly afternoon in a rustic canyon in Los Angeles, Jamie Lee Curtis's house buzzes with activity. As she makes a pot of tea in the kitchen, 12-year-old son Tommy whizzes by. Upstairs, electric-guitar sounds throb as husband Christopher Guest, the "mockumentary" film director (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind), helps daughter Annie, 21, sing and record a song as a gift for her mother.

"It's a surprise," says Curtis, carrying the tea tray into the living room. "I'm going to have to pretend I haven't heard it." In black slacks, sweater, and high-heeled boots, and wearing a wedding band of tiny diamonds, Curtis is a picture of understated elegance. In Hollywood, where middle-aged actresses are expected to resort to extreme measures to look younger, her short, naturally silver hair is subversive. By local standards Jamie Lee is letting her freak flag fly.

The straight-talking actress and author is embracing her upcoming 50th birthday (November 22) with characteristic zest. "I have not one second of anxiety about turning 50," she says.
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