Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tony Curtis: R.I.P.

Sad news, indeed. Actor Tony Curtis died last night the age of 85. I loved him in Some Like it Hot, one of my all time favorite movies. Curtis along with co-star Jack Lemmon disguised themselves as women to escape the Mob in this fabulous 1959 Billy Wilder classic comedy. The movie also starred Marilyn Monroe and was picked by the American Film Institute as the #1 screen comedy ever.

Curtis lived a life that could easily have been made into a movie. Born Bernard Schwartz and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., to Hungarian immigrants, Curtis completed only one year of high school, spent two years in the U.S. Navy, and learned to act on the GI Bill, which led to a contract gig with Universal Studios. Graduating to bigger parts in films like the 1952 Son of Ali Baba and 1953 Houdini, Curtis made a point of working in several genres.

Curtis had an Academy Award nomination for his performance in the 1958 crime drama The Defiant Ones where he portrayed a bigoted escaped convict. He was also in the noir drama Sweet Smell of Success. Curtis starred in the title role of the 1968 Boston Strangler. On TV he starred alongside Roger Moore in the caper series The Persuaders! as well as having a recurring role on Vegas.

He won Golden Globe awards in 1958 and 1961.

He was in many films during his long Hollywood career. He will be missed.

Tony Curtis remembers Some Like it Hot.


Janet A said...

Tony Curtis was my all time crush as a teenager. I saw every movie he made. I didn't care how bad some were. He was so gorgeous, so sexy, he didn't need to be able to act. He did become a good actor in his later years.

le0pard13 said...

A fine tribute, Janet. His work in SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS was a real turning point in his career (and should have garnered an award). Because of his great looks (and joie de vivre), I don't think critics gave him proper credit for his acting talent. Last year, I introduced a couple of his comedies to my kids (OPERATION PETTICOAT and THE GREAT RACE), and they simply loved them. The man was effortless in his charm. He will be sorely missed. May he RIP. Thanks, Janet.

Priscilla said...

He was drop-dead gorgeous but also a much better actor than often given credit. "Some Like It Hot" is one of my all-time fav movies but also loved "Sweet Smell of Success".

Janet Rudolph said...

Totally agree with you all. He will be missed.

Nick said...

I interviewed him a few years ago and only just blogged about it some weeks ago. Fabulous actor and lovely man.

Janet Rudolph said...

Thanks, Nick, great article. Thanks for the link