I can’t believe that we lost another legend this week. Actor Tony Curtis died 29 September at the age of 85 in Las Vegas. One surely can’t say that he didn’t live a long and prosperous life. However, it wasn’t without it’s turmoil.
Tony was born Bernard Schwatz in the Bronx. After serving in the military, he used his GI Bill to attend acting school. He was married to Janet Leigh for 11 years and they had 2 children. One their children is Jamie Lee Curtis, whom he was estranged from for many years, but they were able to reconcile. Tony was married 5 other times after that.
Tony Curtis had small roles in movies like Winchester ’73, but he was also in memorable roles in movies like The Defiant Ones, Spartacus, and The Vikings. One of my favorite movies that Tony was in was Captain Newman, M.D., while kiddo prefers him in The Great Race with Natalie Wood and Jack Lemmon. He’s also unforgettable opposite Cary Grant (his favorite actor) in Operation Petticoat and playing a girl along with Jack Lemmon in Some Like It Hot.
Although he had a long career, Tony abused drugs and alcohol when his roles became fewer and far between. He was still able to overcome it and it’s even been said that he helped Roger Moore and Michael Caine quit smoking. Tony was an avid non-smoker for about the last 30 years or so.
So much can be said about Tony Curtis and what he added to the Hollywood of old. He’ll surely be missed, but his mark will forever remain.