Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...

updated 11/09/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/09/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

>Janet Leigh

Bathing Beauty

Actress Janet Leigh is retired, but she hasn't played the part well lately. In August she appeared as a weirdly maternal secretary to Jamie Lee Curtis—her real-life daughter with ex-husband Tony Curtis—in Halloween: H20. And she and Charlton Heston have hit the talk shows to promote the rerelease of 1958's Touch of Evil, in which they star as newlyweds. After viewing the new version, reedited according to the wishes of late director Orson Welles, "I cried," says Leigh. "It's the way he wanted it to be."

On breaks from her hectic schedule, Leigh, 71, likes to relax—but never in the shower. She swore off them in 1960, after her notorious scene in Psycho. On Dec. 4 she can watch Anne Heche and Vince Vaughn take a stab at a remake by director Gus Van Sant. Rumors that she disapproves of the project are false, she insists, noting that she has never even seen Heche or Vaughn act. In the end, she says, each version "will have its mark. This will have its own identity."

Meanwhile, Leigh has no plan to restart her career. The actress, who lives in Beverly Hills with stockbroker husband Robert Brandt, only waded into H20 at her daughter's request. "It was interesting to play off a good actress," she says. "The fact that it's my daughter made it icing on the cake."

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