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The Other Horror Icon You Never Knew Jamie Lee Curtis Almost Played

Who knows what the horror film genre would look like if it weren't for the impact left by Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis is a mainstay in Hollywood, taking on roles in everything from rom-coms to slasher flicks. She's best known for her longtime role as Laurie Strode in the "Halloween" franchise, a character that has become a blueprint for the now quintessential final girl horror movie trope. Curtis' extensive filmography also includes roles in projects like "Scream Queens," "Freaky Friday," "Prom Night," and "The Fog." 

All in all, Curtis will forever be characterized by her decades-long embodiment of Strode in "Halloween." It's hard to imagine the long-running franchise without her as the protagonist. It's possible that horror films are in her blood — she is the daughter of "Psycho" star Janet Leigh, so it's part of her family legacy. But according to Curtis, there's one horror role she passed on as a child that still haunts her to this day. In fact, the role is so legendary that it would've probably increased Curtis' already massive impact on the genre. 

Curtis almost starred in The Exorcist

There's no denying that "Halloween" has been a career-defining franchise for Curtis, but it almost wasn't the first. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Curtis recalled a story when she was invited to audition for the role of Regan MacNeil in 1973's "The Exorcist" — which is widely considered one of the best horror films of all time. 

Curtis was 13 years old at the time. She said that "[A producer] called my mother and said, 'Will you let Jamie audition for a movie. My mother said, 'No.' The movie was 'The Exorcist.'" The role of Regan ended up being filled by Linda Blair. Despite not getting the part, Curtis said that she's always been a fan of "The Exorcist." In fact, in celebration of her 15th birthday, she had a screening of the film at her house. "It scared me so badly that my friends would taunt me in school," she added.

In recent years, Curtis has expressed interest in joining "The Exorcist" reboot trilogy, potentially as the voice of Mercedes McCambridge. McCambridge passed away in 2004, but she is well-known for providing the grating voice of the demon Pazuzu in the original "The Exorcist" film (Insider). While nothing about Curtis' possible involvement in the reboot has been confirmed, it does seem like a natural fit for the "Halloween" legend to be a part of another extremely impactful franchise.