Long-standing rumor holds the actress Jamie Lee Curtis recognized in an interview the she to be born through both male and also female sex organs.

You are watching: Jamie lee curtis is a hermaphrodite

Barbara MikkelsonPublished6 April 2001

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Actress Jamie Lee Curtis recognized in an interview that she to be born through both male and female sex organs.
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What to do of the child of 2 successful and also famous actors who grows up to attain an equal measure of reputation in the exact same field? What if this gal has actually a boyish-sounding name and adopts kids rather than bears her own? A rumor, apparently. And one she would fairly not comment on at all:

One story the keeps top top circulating about Hollywood is the Jamie Lee Curtis was born one hermaphrodite and also had to undergo surgical procedure after birth in order to come to be legally female! This has actually been told to me by civilization who have operated on films with Jamie and also by one medical professional who claims to have seen the documents at Cedars Sinai.

According come an oft-repeated whisper, Jamie Lee Curtis recognized that she was born intersex (the wanted medical term because that persons of ambiguous gender, instead of the outdated “hermaphrodite”).

So? Is she, or isn’t she?

No one however Ms. Curtis, she parents, and her doctors has actually the critical answer come this question, and also none of lock is talking. Contrary to typical assertion, Ms. Curtis never ever made together a revelation during an interview or windy appearance and has repeatedly declined deigning to administer a an answer to this rumor, and her doctors — also if they had actually something come say and also wanted come say that — room bound by laws regarding doctor-patient confidentiality.


This rumor is frequently lent credibility by human being who have actually heard it repeated as reality by their college professors (especially those v specialties relating come intersexuality). Neither the hearer nor the teller ever seems to it is in able to carry out a credible explanation of just how he to know this piece of information to be true, the chain that transmission always tracing back to the notoriously unreliable “Someone rather told me about it.” as happens over and also over, even the many trusted of sources can sometimes take a extensive rumor at face value, climate parrot it together fact.

Okay, for this reason we simply don’t know. Why, then, is this rumor for this reason widespread?

Jamie Lee is the daughter of Tony Curtis and also Janet Leigh. At the time of Jamie Lee’s arrival right into this world, she father to be a roguishly good-looking top man, an actor female moviegoers couldn’t help but swoon over. Her mother was a beauty and a famous actress. Your union produced two daughters, Kelly Lee in 1956 and also Jamie Lee in 1958.

In your day, Curtis and also Leigh were among Hollywood’s up-and-coming couples, two successful, ambitious, famous civilization who showed up to have actually it all, through that “all” including a happy marriage and two fine children. (As is frequently the case, appearances to be deceiving: Curtis and Leigh divorce in 1962 after 11 years of marriage, and also there to be more challenging times ahead because that both of them.) that thus possible that the present rumor around Jamie Lee tribe from an old backlash versus her parents, long-ago envy expressed together a slander around what the union of two “perfect” civilization had produced. Simply as the fox decries together sour the grapes that hang out of his reach, so might meanspirited folks fed up v hearing around the beautiful world spread a rumor that, in your minds, in ~ least, cuts these stars down to size.

Two facts lend an aura that credence come the rumor the Jamie Lee to be born through both male and also female body parts. The first is she two-way name: follow to the rumor, a boyish appellation to be bestowed upon she by parents that hadn’t yet decided whether to have actually a young or a girl “made” of your baby and wanted come be all set to walk either way, however that wasn’t the instance of it. Janet Leigh defined how she concerned choose the name:

At that time, we didn’t understand ahead the time if it would be a girl or a boy, so once I was pregnant v Kelly, my best friend Jackie Gershwin said, “Why nothing you contact the infant Kelly, so if that a girl, that works, and also if the a boy, that works?” and also she thought the same thing with Jamie. The babies were named before they to be born since Jackie said, “This way, us won’t need to worry around it!”

If the names to be truly chosen prior to the children arrived, that puts paid to the id that “Jamie Lee” was so christened in response to a medical problem that would only have actually been uncovered after her delivery. (Jamie Lee Curtis was born long prior to the breakthrough of medical modern technology that can identify dual-sexed fetuses.)

The second fact the supports the rumor is Ms. Curtis’ own children: lock adopted. Though couples opt for adoptive youngsters over herbal progeny because that any variety of reasons, it is true the operation essential to “correct” intersex attributes in a mrs infant would leave her unable to bear children.


Degrees of intersexuality differ in intensity from presence of second Y chromosome to gift born v a mixed collection of genitals. Therapy of instances of blatant intersexuality is normally (but not always) surgical in nature, with reconstruction performed on the infant patient to include or remove body components so regarding end up v a child fully male or female in physics appearance. Hormone are additionally given in the direction of this end, however there is a border to what can be transformed medically. Though an illustration of much less ambiguous sexual traits deserve to be constructed, totally functional reproductive guts cannot.

According to Dr. Ann Fausto-Sterling, a recognized expert in this field of study, 1-1/2 come 2% of all births do not autumn strictly in ~ the tight an interpretation of all-male or all-female, also if the kid looks “normal.” In getting to her numbers, Dr. Fausto-Sterling count all events of intersexuality, from mild to extreme. The incidence of children with mixed genitalia is pegged at 1 in 2,000 come 1 in 3,000, or 0.033 come 0.05 percent of all births.

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(Many technological names have actually been assigned to explain sexual ambiguity, including testicular feminization, transgendered, and also androgen insensitivity syndrome. Fairly than obtain bogged down right here in explanation of them, we straight readers to monitor the link in the “Additional Information” section of this page for further conversation of the subject.)

Intersexuality is a reality; some kids are ambiguously sexed in ~ birth. However, one certain point demands to it is in made, and made rather vehemently: The existence of such anatomical sport is not factor in chin to suppose that Jamie Lee Curtis has any type of of them. Making use of the one to bolster id in the 2nd is akin to claiming the presence of the Atlantic ocean somehow proves a details ship sank in it.

It is a telling commentary top top the skewed prominence we give any kind of matter relating to sexuality the this rumor exists at all. 

Additional information: Intersex: The Body, The me (Harvard Medicine, Winter 2020)