September 20, 2021

Hollywood Great, Tony Curtis, Dies at 85

Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis Passes at Age 85

Film star Tony Curtis has died of cardiac arrest at his home near Las Vegas, Nevada.  He was 85.

Throughout his career Curtis played a wide range of roles, from comedy, as in the celebrated Billy Wilder film “Some Like It Hot” with co-stars Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, to substantial dramatic roles, as in “The Defiant Ones”, which resulted in his nomination for an Oscar as  Best Actor. Beginning in 1949, the Bronx, NY native appeared in well over 100 films as well as appearing frequently on television.

Born Bernard Schwartz, Curtis’ matinee idol looks initially helped to boost him to stardom during the 1950s and ’60s. His movie debut came in the film “Criss Cross” where he had a small part as a gigolo.

In addition to “Some Like It Hot” and “The Defiant Ones”, Curtis went on to star in numerous films including “Houdini” (1953), “Sweet Smell of Success” (1957), “Operation Petticoat” (1959),”Spartacus” (1960), “The Outsider” (1961) and “The Boston Strangler: (1968).

He also frequently appeared on television, where he co-starred with Roger Moore in “The Persuaders”.  He also starred in the TV series “McCoy” and had a recurrent role on “Vega$”.

Curtis’ love of painting resulted in a second career as an artist. His work has commanded upwards of $25,000 a canvas. During his later years he stated that he still made movies but that he had come to prefer painting.

Curtis talked about his let-down at never winning an Oscar. However in March 2006, Curtis was honored with the Sony Ericsson Empire Lifetime Achievement Award. He also was awarded the French “Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” and is honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, located at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard.

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