Tony Curtis (1925-2010)

Longtime film and television actor Tony Curtis (“Some Like It Hot,” “Spartacus”), father of actress Jamie Lee Curtis, passed away from a heart attack in his Las Vegas home yesterday. He was 85.

Born Bernard Schwartz, he was raised in poverty as the child of Jewish immigrants. His life was even tougher early as his brother  Julius was killed in a traffic accident when Curtis was just 13.

After joining the marines, he was honorably discharged and attended acting school with the money he was entitled to from the GI bill. He caught the eye of the niece of producer David Selznick and found Hollywood at just 23 years of age.

Curtis’ breakout role didn’t come for almost 10 years in 1957’s “The Sweet Smell of Success.” He had an Oscar-nominated turn alongside Sidney Poitier in “The Defiant Ones” the following year. He then jumped to comedy co-starring with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe in his most memorable film, “Some Like it Hot.”

After some more daring roles in the ’60s including Antoninus in the Stanley Kubrick-directed “Spartacus” alongside, Curtis turned to television in the ’70s. He was well-known for dating (or being married to) famous actresses, including Monroe and Natalie Wood. His most famous marriage (that produced Jamie Lee) was with Janet Leigh.

(Source: imdb)


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