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Tony Curtis

Tony CurtisAKA Bernard Schwartz

Born: 3-Jun-1925
Birthplace: New York City
Died: 29-Sep-2010
Location of death: Las Vegas, NV
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Remains: Buried, Palm Mortuary & Cemetery, Las Vegas, NV

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Bisexual [1]
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Some Like It Hot

Military service: US Navy (WWII)

After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Tony Curtis took advantage of the GI Bill to study drama. He earned good reviews in an off-Broadway production of Golden Boy, and was almost immediately offered a contract with Universal Studios.

His first film was the 1949 noir classic Criss Cross with Burt Lancaster and Yvonne De Carlo, and his first leading role was The Prince Who Was a Thief with Piper Laurie. Classic films include Sweet Smell of Success with Lancaster again, The Defiant Ones with Sidney Poitier, Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, and Spartacus with Kirk Douglas. Curtis played Albert DeSalvo in The Boston Strangler and Harry Houdini in Houdini with Janet Leigh (his first wife). On TV, he starred in The Persuaders with Roger Moore, and Vega$ with Robert Urich.

In 1970, he was arrested at Heathrow Airport with a small amount of marijuana, and in later years he snorted cocaine with his daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis. In subsequent decades he said he was clean and sober, and there were no further arrests.

In 1981, Curtis was paid a $50,000 advance by Doubleday Books to write a novel, but when he turned in the manuscript in 1984 they declared it unreadable and sued to recover the advance. Curtis argued that Doubleday had provided next to no editorial assistance -- just one comment from any of the company's editors over four years, and the comment had been favorable. Curtis won, but Doubleday appealed and won back the advance in a higher court.

[1] Catherine Shoard, "Tony Curtis: Marilyn Monroe Carried My Baby", The Guardian, 7 August 2009: "In 2002, Curtis told gay magazine Attitude that when he first arrived in Hollywood in 1948: I had more action than Mount Vesuvius; men, women, animals!" NNDB has been unable to verify the underlying quote, which purportedly reads in its entirety: "I was 22 when I arrived in Hollywood in 1948. I had more action than Mount Vesuvius: men, women, animals! I loved it too. I participated where I wanted to and didn't where I didn't. I've always been open about it."

Father: Emanuel Schwartz (tailor)
Mother: Helen Schwartz (shopkeeper)
Brother: Julius Schwartz (b. 1929, d. 1938 run over by a truck)
Brother: Robert Schwartz (b. 1940, d. 1992)
Janet Leigh (actress, m. 4-Jun-1951, div. Jun-1962, two daughters)
Daughter: Kelly Curtis (actress, b. 17-Jun-1956)
Daughter: Jamie Lee Curtis (actress, b. 22-Nov-1958)
Mistress: Marilyn Monroe (1958, during filming of Some Like It Hot)
Wife: Christine Kaufmann (Austrian actress, m. 8-Feb-1963, div. 1967, two children)
Daughter: Alexandra Kaufmann-Curtis (b. 1964)
Daughter: Allegra Kaufmann-Curtis (b. 1966)
Wife: Leslie Allen (model, m. 20-Apr-1968, div. 1982, two sons)
Son: Nicholas Curtis (b. 1971, d. 2-Jul-1994 heroin overdose)
Son: Benjamin Curtis (b. 1973)
Wife: Andrea Savio (actress, m. 1984, div. 1992)
Wife: Lisa Deutsch (attorney, m. 28-Feb-1993, div. 1994)
Wife: Jill Vandenberg (m. 6-Nov-1998 until his death)

    Hollywood Walk of Fame 6817 Hollywood Blvd (motion pictures)
    Endorsement of R. J. Reynolds Camel cigarettes (1953)
    Left at Orphanage
    Drug Possession: Marijuana Heathrow airport, 1970
    Betty Ford Center 1984
    Prostate Surgery 2003
    Sgt. Pepper Lonely Heart
    Hungarian Ancestry
    Risk Factors: Alcoholism, Marijuana, Cocaine, Asthma

    Vega$ Philip Roth (1978-81)
    The Persuaders Danny Wilde (1971-72)

    Birth of the Living Dead (18-Oct-2013) · Himself
    Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel (12-Sep-2009) · Himself
    Reflections of Evil (22-Mar-2002)
    Play It to the Bone (25-Dec-1999)
    Bounty Hunters 2: Hardball (1997) · Wald
    The Immortals (5-Oct-1995)
    The Celluloid Closet (13-Sep-1995) · Himself
    Naked in New York (1993)
    Center of the Web (15-May-1992)
    Christmas in Connecticut (13-Apr-1992)
    Prime Target (27-Sep-1991)
    Walter & Carlo i Amerika (24-Nov-1989)
    Midnight (27-Sep-1989)
    Tarzan in Manhattan (15-Apr-1989)
    Lobster Man from Mars (29-Jan-1989)
    Murder in Three Acts (30-Sep-1986)
    Club Life (20-Feb-1986)
    Balboa (1986)
    Insignificance (2-Aug-1985)
    BrainWaves (1983)
    Where is Parsifal? (1983) · Parsifal Katzenellenbogen
    Portrait of a Showgirl (4-May-1982)
    The Mirror Crack'd (19-Dec-1980)
    The Scarlett O'Hara War (19-May-1980)
    Little Miss Marker (21-Mar-1980) · Blackie
    Title Shot (9-Sep-1979)
    The Users (1-Oct-1978)
    The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (30-Jun-1978) · Marvin Lazar
    The Manitou (9-Jun-1978) · Harry Erskine
    Sextette (3-Mar-1978)
    Casanova & Co. (1-Mar-1977)
    The Last Tycoon (15-Nov-1976) · Rodriguez
    The Count of Monte Cristo (10-Jan-1975)
    Lepke (1975)
    The Third Girl from the Left (16-Oct-1973)
    Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? (11-Sep-1970)
    You Can't Win 'Em All (24-Jul-1970)
    Monte Carlo or Bust (28-May-1969)
    The Boston Strangler (16-Oct-1968) · Albert DeSalvo
    On My Way to the Crusades, I Met a Girl Who... (6-Feb-1968)
    Don't Make Waves (20-Jun-1967)
    Arrivederci, Baby! (28-Dec-1966)
    Not With My Wife, You Don't! (2-Nov-1966) · Tom Ferris
    Boeing Boeing (22-Dec-1965) · Bernard Lawrence
    The Great Race (1-Jul-1965) · The Great Leslie
    Sex and the Single Girl (25-Dec-1964) · Bob Weston
    Goodbye Charlie (18-Nov-1964)
    Wild and Wonderful (May-1964)
    Captain Newman, M.D. (25-Dec-1963)
    The List of Adrian Messenger (29-May-1963)
    40 Pounds of Trouble (31-Dec-1962)
    Taras Bulba (19-Dec-1962) · Andrei Bulba
    The Great Impostor (3-Feb-1961)
    The Outsider (1961)
    Spartacus (6-Oct-1960) · Antoninus
    The Rat Race (10-Jul-1960) · Pete Hammond, Jr.
    Who Was That Lady? (8-Apr-1960)
    Operation Petticoat (5-Dec-1959) · Lt. Nicholas Holden
    Some Like It Hot (29-Mar-1959) · Joe -- Josephine
    The Perfect Furlough (21-Jan-1959)
    The Defiant Ones (14-Aug-1958) · John "Joker" Jackson
    Kings Go Forth (28-Jun-1958) · Cpl. Britt Harris
    The Vikings (11-Jun-1958)
    The Midnight Story (4-Jul-1957)
    Sweet Smell of Success (27-Jun-1957) · Sidney Falco
    Mister Cory (23-Feb-1957)
    Trapeze (30-May-1956) · Tino Orsini
    The Square Jungle (30-Dec-1955)
    The Purple Mask (15-Jun-1955)
    So This Is Paris (11-Feb-1955)
    Six Bridges to Cross (21-Jan-1955)
    The Rawhide Years (1955) · Ben
    The Black Shield of Falworth (2-Sep-1954)
    Johnny Dark (22-Jun-1954)
    Beachhead (5-Feb-1954) · Burke
    Forbidden (2-Dec-1953)
    The All American (23-Sep-1953)
    Houdini (2-Jul-1953) · Houdini
    Son of Ali Baba (15-Aug-1952) · Kashma Baba
    No Room for the Groom (13-Jun-1952) · Alvah Morrell
    Flesh and Fury (27-Mar-1952)
    The Prince Who Was a Thief (3-Jul-1951)
    Kansas Raiders (20-Nov-1950)
    Winchester '73 (12-Jul-1950) · Doan
    Sierra (1-Jun-1950)
    I Was a Shoplifter (27-Apr-1950)
    Francis (Feb-1950)
    Johnny Stool Pigeon (22-Sep-1949)
    The Lady Gambles (20-May-1949)
    City Across the River (7-Apr-1949)

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