skip navigation
Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (3)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Tony Curtis - NOT AVAILABLE

Find what your looking for faster use the search field below to shop for titles.

SEARCH TCM.COM/SHOP


OR ... Click here to VOTE > for this person to be released on Home Video

Also Known As: Anthony Curtis, Bernard Schwartz, James Curtis, Anthony Curtis Died: September 29, 2010
Born: June 3, 1925 Cause of Death: cardiac arrest
Birth Place: Bronx, New York, USA Profession: actor, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Dismissed in the early stages of his career for his "pretty boy" features, Hollywood heartthrob Tony Curtis soon developed into one of the most versatile leading men in movies of the 1950s and 1960s. He brought tremendous charisma and energy to both his comic and dramatic projects, including "Sweet Smell of Success" (1957), "The Defiant Ones" (1958) - which earned him an Oscar nomination - "Some Like It Hot" (1959), "Spartacus" (1960), "Captain Newman, M.D." (1963), and "The Great Race" (1965). As with any sex symbol, the time in the sun is fleeting, so by the late 1960s, Curtis' profile began to fade, but he maintained a busy schedule in European features and on television, playing against type as the title role in "The Boston Strangler" (1968). In later years, he enjoyed a successful second career as an artist, while lending his comments and experience to television shows and documentaries about the Golden Age of Hollywood - particularly when it came to remembering his "Some Like it Hot" co-star, Marilyn Monroe. Having been one-half of one of the most beloved off-screen couplings of the 1950s - the other half being actress Janet Leigh - Curtis enjoyed watching his daughter Jamie Lee Curtis blossom...

Dismissed in the early stages of his career for his "pretty boy" features, Hollywood heartthrob Tony Curtis soon developed into one of the most versatile leading men in movies of the 1950s and 1960s. He brought tremendous charisma and energy to both his comic and dramatic projects, including "Sweet Smell of Success" (1957), "The Defiant Ones" (1958) - which earned him an Oscar nomination - "Some Like It Hot" (1959), "Spartacus" (1960), "Captain Newman, M.D." (1963), and "The Great Race" (1965). As with any sex symbol, the time in the sun is fleeting, so by the late 1960s, Curtis' profile began to fade, but he maintained a busy schedule in European features and on television, playing against type as the title role in "The Boston Strangler" (1968). In later years, he enjoyed a successful second career as an artist, while lending his comments and experience to television shows and documentaries about the Golden Age of Hollywood - particularly when it came to remembering his "Some Like it Hot" co-star, Marilyn Monroe. Having been one-half of one of the most beloved off-screen couplings of the 1950s - the other half being actress Janet Leigh - Curtis enjoyed watching his daughter Jamie Lee Curtis blossom into an actress of great skill herself, proving the apple did not fall from the Curtis/Leigh family tree.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 David & Fatima (2008)
2.
 Funny Money (2006)
3.
 Play it to the Bone (1999) Himself--Ringside Fan
4.
 Star Games (1998)
5.
 Hardball (1998) Wald
6.
 Elvis Meets Nixon (1997) Himself
7.
 Louis and Frank (1997) Lenny Star Springer
9.
 Roger Moore: A Matter of Class (1995) Interviewee
10.
 Celluloid Closet, The (1995) Himself
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Served in the Navy during WWII; was wounded while serving in Guam
:
First professional stage work with the Stanley Woolf Players
1949:
First film appearance, had a bit part dancing with Yvonne De Carlo in "Criss Cross"
1949:
Made film acting debut in "City Across the River"
:
Signed to a contract by Universal Studios in the early 1950s
1953:
First major success, playing the title role of "Houdini"; co-starred with then-wife Janet Leigh
:
Formed first of three production companies, Curtleigh Productions
1957:
Made his TV acting debut in "Cornada," an episode of "General Electric Theater" (CBS)
1957:
Surprised critics with his performance in Alexander Mackendrick's "Sweet Smell of Success"; film produced through Curtleigh Productions
1958:
Co-starred with Sidney Poitier in "The Defiant Ones"; film produced through Curtleigh Productions; earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination
1959:
Most memorable role was in Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot," co-starring Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon
1959:
Teamed with Cary Grant in Blake Edwards' "Operation Petticoat"
1960:
Portrayed chronically flexible Ferdinand Demara in Robert Mulligan's "The Great Imposter"
1960:
Starred with Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier in the swashbuckling "Spartacus"; directed by Stanley Kubrick
1962:
Met second wife Christine Kaufmann on the set of "Taras Bulba"
:
Formed Curtis Enterprises in the 1960s
1963:
Played a neurotic orderly in "Captain Newman, M.D."
1965:
Cast as the white-suited daredevil in "The Great Race"
1968:
Played title role in "The Boston Strangler"
:
Formed Reynard Productions
1971:
TV series debut, co-starring with Roger Moore in "The Persuaders" (ABC)
1976:
Co-starred with Robert De Niro in "The Last Tycoon"
1977:
Published first novel, <i>Kid Andrew Cody & Julie Sparrow</i>
1980:
Played David O. Selznick in the NBC miniseries, "Moviola"
1980:
Performed onstage in a production of Neil Simon's "I Ought to Be in Pictures"
:
Developed skills as an artist; paintings, especially portraits of Marilyn Monroe portraits, fetched considerable sums
1991:
Appeared in a restored version of Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus" (1960); included additional footage of the notorious bath scene with Laurence Olivier
1992:
Hosted the short-lived syndicated series "Hollywood Babylon"
1993:
Co-starred in the ensemble romantic comedy "Naked in New York"
1993:
Published <i>Tony Curtis: The Autobiography</i>
1995:
Appeared as himself in "The Celluloid Closet," a documentary based on Vito Russo's groundbreaking book about Hollywood's portrayal of homosexuality
1996:
Played a ballroom dance instructor in an episode of "Roseanne" (ABC)
1999:
Had a cameo role in "Play It to the Bone," starring Antonio Banderas and Woody Harrelson
2007:
His painting "The Red Table" was on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
2008:
Featured with wife in the documentary "The Jill & Tony Curtis Story," about their efforts to rescue horses from slaughterhouses
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Seward Park High School: New York , New York -
City College of New York: New York , New York -
Dramatic Workshop of the New School for Social Research: New York , New York -

Notes

In his autobiography, Curtis wrote of a brief affair with Marilyn Monroe before she had become a star. They would later co-star together in "Some Like It Hot".

"I was the handsomest kid in town," he says, of his early days as a star. "But I happened to be Jewish and I was portrayed as a homosexual when it was something not to be talked about.

"The pain of being ostracised, vilified, denied, not having a relationship, all those feelings we romp through as young people, have subsided. But I don't forget anything. I was driving along in the car the other day and I remembered some girl, Rita, was despicable to me and I got angry and then I wonder what I'm angry about. They're dead. Forget about it." --Curtis on his treatment by Hollywood in the days before he achieved stardom, quoted in London's The Daily Telegraph, March 20, 2001.

On his relationships with his children, Tony Curtis told London's The Daily Telegraph (March 20, 2001): "I did the best job I could; I had to work just to give the money so they could go to fancy schools, but their mothers hated me and that hate permeated through them. When they came for weekends, I could feel their animosity. ... every one of them is realising I did the best I could do when I did it. All I could give them was affection. I never slapped them. I was always on best behavior."

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Janet Leigh. Actor. Married in 1951; divorced in 1962.
wife:
Christine Kaufman. Actor. Married in 1963; divorced in 1967.
wife:
Lisa Allen. Married in 1968; divorced.
wife:
Lisa Deutsch. Lawyer. Married in February 1993; filed for divorce after 17 months of marriage; born c. 1962.
wife:
Jill Vanden Berg. Horse trainer. Born in 1970; announced engagement in summer 1998; married on November 6, 1998 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Emmanuel Schwartz. Tailor. Hungarian immigrant; came to USA in 1921; amateur actor; died at age 58; married Curtis' mother on May 22, 1924.
mother:
Helen Schwartz. Hungarian immigrant; married Curtis' father on May 22, 1924; diagnosed as schizophrenic; died on March 19, 1974 at age 71.
brother:
Julius Schwartz. Born in July 1929; died c. 1938 from injuries sustatined when he was hit by a truck.
brother:
Robert Schwartz. Born in 1940; died on August 22, 1992; diagnosed as schizophrenic.
daughter:
Kelley Lee Curtis. Actor. Born c. 1956; mother, Janet Leigh.
daughter:
Jamie Lee Curtis. Actor, author. Born on November 22, 1958; mother, Janet Leigh; married to Christopher Guest.
daughter:
Alexandra Curtis. Mother, Christine Kaufman.
daughter:
Allegra Curtis. Mother, Christine Kaufman.
son:
Nicholas Curtis. Musician. Mother, Leslie Allen; born c. 1971; died on July 2, 1994 at age 23 after suffering a seizure related to heroin use.
son:
Benjamin Curtis. Mother, Leslie Allen.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Kid Andrew Cody & Julie Sparrow" Doubleday
"Tony Curtis: The Autobiography" William Morrow

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute