Janet Leigh died at 77

Janet Leigh, the wholesome beauty whose shocking murder in the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller "Psycho" was credited with making generations of film fans think twice about stepping into a motel room shower, died Sunday at her home in Beverly Hills home, her daughter's publicist said Monday. She was 77.

Leigh had suffered from vasculitis, an inflammation of the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/379/11941_blood.html ' target=_blank>blood vessels, for the past year.

Her husband, Robert Brandt, and her daughters, the actresses Kelly Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis, were at their mother's side when she died, said Heidi Schaeffer, a spokeswoman for Jamie Lee Curtis.

Leigh appeared in such films as "The Manchurian Candidate" in 1962 and in Orson Welles's 1958 film noir classic, "Touch of Evil.", informs International Herald Tribune.

Yet the shower scene in "Psycho" became Leigh's defining moment, the role earning her an Academy Award nomination for supporting actress.

Leigh played embezzling office worker Marion Crane, who checks into the Bates Motel and never checks out. Dressed as his own mother, psychotic hotel clerk Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) repeatedly stabs Marion in the harrowing sequence, which was accompanied by the shrieking violins of composer Bernard Herrmann's score.

"Psycho' scared the hell out of me when I saw it finished. Making it and seeing it are two different things," Leigh told The Associated Press in 2001, when "Psycho" was picked No. 1 on the American Film Institute's top 100 list of most thrilling U.S. movies. "That staccato music and the knife flashing. You'd swear it's going into the body. I still don't take showers, and that's the truth."

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