The year was 1996, and I was working on a national newspaper when the opportunity came in to interview Janet Leigh, perhaps best known for her role as the who who gets stabbed in the shower in Hitchcock’s Psycho.
She had written a book, House of Destiny – a romantic novel – and I was invited to meet her at her suite at the Dorchester. She would have been about 69, but she was still very beautiful, although incredibly tiny, like a bird.
We talked about everything: Hitchcock (whom she said she liked working with enormously), her ex-husband Tony Curtis, their daughter Jamie Lee Curtis, The Vikings, Little Women (one of my favourite movies of all time), love,sex and marriage. She was lovely, very open. I’ve interviewed many film stars, actors and actresses, but it made me laugh that here was a genuine Hollywood legend and yet we were left completely alone for the interview – no publicist breathing down our necks. I’ve met TV ‘stars’ whose agents have been more controlling.
Halfway through our interview the doorbell to the suite rang and in came a waiter with a glass of green goop on a sliver tray, which she drank straight down. ‘This is my health drink,’ she said. Who knows what was in it, but she sure looked good on it.
At the end of the interview she autographed a copy of the novel for me (which was actually very good). It was an honour to meet her, and I’ll never forget my interview with Janet Leigh.