Tony Curtis


Actor
Tony Curtis

About

Also Known As
Anthony Curtis, Bernard Schwartz, James Curtis
Birth Place
Bronx, New York, USA
Born
June 03, 1925
Died
September 29, 2010
Cause of Death
Cardiac Arrest

Biography

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." (1...

Photos & Videos

Operation Petticoat - Movie Posters
Kings Go Forth - Movie Posters
Don't Make Waves - Scene Stills

Family & Companions

Janet Leigh
Wife
Actor. Married in 1951; divorced in 1962.
Christine Kaufman
Wife
Actor. Married in 1963; divorced in 1967.
Lisa Allen
Wife
Married in 1968; divorced.
Lisa Deutsch
Wife
Lawyer. Married in February 1993; filed for divorce after 17 months of marriage; born c. 1962.

Bibliography

"Tony Curtis: The Autobiography"
Tony Curtis and Barry Paris, William Morrow (1993)
"Kid Andrew Cody & Julie Sparrow"
Tony Curtis, Doubleday (1977)

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.

Biography

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). By the late 1960s, Curtis was maintaining 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.

Born Bernard Schwartz in The Bronx, NY on June 3, 1925, Curtis was born to a Hungarian immigrant family and endured a miserable childhood that would affect future relationships with both his wives and his own children. His mother was schizophrenic and frequently beat him and his brothers Julius and Robert (who was later diagnosed with the same disease). Sadly, at the age of eight, Curtis was placed in an orphanage because of his parents' extreme poverty, and later, after his brother Julius was killed in a traffic accident in 1938, Curtis was sent to identify the body. He finally got a whiff of a better life when he landed his first acting role (as a girl) in a neighborhood play about King Arthur's adventures. After serving in the Navy during World War II - where he witnessed the surrender of Japan in Tokyo Bay in 1945 - Curtis returned to civilian life and studied acting at New York's Dramatic Workshop, while practicing his craft in the "Borscht Belt" circuit in the Catskills. He was discovered by casting director and talent agent Joyce Selznick (the niece of famed "Gone with the Wind" producer David O. Selznick), and headed for Hollywood in 1948. Billed initially as James Curtis and later as Anthony Curtis, he was signed to a contract with Universal and began appearing in bit and supporting roles in a string of largely forgettable dramas and genre pictures - save for the Western classic "Winchester '73" (1950) - which capitalized on his darkly handsome features.

In 1951, he married Janet Leigh, an attractive starlet on the rise, and their photogenic qualities made them popular news items in the Hollywood gossip magazines. With Leigh, Curtis scored his first success as a leading man in "Houdini" (1953), a fictionalized biopic of the famed magician; he also became a father to two daughters, Kelly Curtis (born 1956) and Jamie Lee Curtis (born 1958), both of whom would go on to enjoy acting careers of their own. Though Curtis and Leigh appeared the idyllic picture of an attractive married couple, the gossip columns frequently whispered about or hinted at the true nature of his sexuality.

Curtis had become exceptionally popular by the mid-1950s - so much so, in fact, that Elvis Presley borrowed his signature ducktail hairstyle from him, but he yearned for more substantial work than lightweight fare and costume dramas like "The Black Shield of Farnsworth" (1954). It was this film which was erroneously credited as the one in which he said, "Yonder lies the castle of my father" in his thick New York accent; Curtis, in fact, never uttered any such line of dialogue. Despite posing shirtless for pin-ups and being regarded by studio suits as their resident dark-haired pretty boy, his determination began to pay off by the late 1950s; first with the circus drama "Trapeze" (1956) and later with "Sweet Smell of Success" (1957), an acidic take on the vagaries of show business life which cast Curtis as a desperate and morally questionable press agent. Both pictures starred and were produced by Burt Lancaster, who shared production credit with Curtis on "Sweet Smell." Critics took notice of Curtis' burst of dramatic talent, and began affording him greater respect.

Curtis surpassed these successes with "The Defiant Ones" (1958), a poignant drama about two chain gang escapees (Curtis and Sidney Poitier) who must overcome their own prejudices while evading the law. The film received several Academy Award nominations, including one for Curtis as Best Actor; also receiving nods from the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes. And he scored again a year later in Billy Wilder's sparkling comedy, "Some Like It Hot" (1959), starring opposite Jack Lemmon as Depression-era jazz musicians who masquerade as members of an all-female band (led by Marilyn Monroe) to evade Chicago-land gangsters after they witness the fabled Valentine's Day Massacre. Because of the troubles she stirred up on set - mainly causing delays for seemingly endless takes - Curtis was widely quoted as stating that kissing Monroe was like "kissing Hitler," but refuted the statement in a 2001 interview, possibly realizing it seemed callous in light of what later happened to the troubled star. He was definitely on a roll, and Curtis' string of hits led him to be cast in the small but significant role of Antoninus, slave to Roman general Crassus (Laurence Olivier) and eventual soldier under Kirk Douglas' Spartacus in the Stanley Kubrick epic of the same name (1960). A scene in which Crassus attempts to seduce Antoninus was cut from the original release, but restored for its 1991 reissue. Curtis was enlisted to re-record his dialogue - the original track had gone missing - and Anthony Hopkins was tapped to provide a note-perfect imitation of Olivier.

After 1960, Curtis divided his time between dramas and light comic fare, both of which yielded a string of solid hits for the actor. Among his better films during this period were "The Outsider" (1961), about Ira Hayes, the Native American who helped to raise the Iwo Jima flag during World War II; "The Great Imposter" (1961), about the real-life imposter Fred De Mara; the Oscar-nominated "Captain Newman, M.D." (1963), as a streetwise officer who makes life difficult for military doctor Gregory Peck), and Blake Edwards' Oscar-winning slapstick comedy "The Great Race" (1965), which later became a cult hit, thanks to repeated TV airings. There was also the surreal sight of an animated, Stone Age version of Curtis - named, naturally enough, Stony Curtis - in a 1965 episode of "The Flintstones" (ABC, 1960-66). But by the mid-sixties, Curtis' career was beginning to show signs of a slowdown. Now entering his forties, Curtis' matinee idol looks were changing - most notably, his lush head of hair - and he was losing ground as a leading man to younger actors. His personal life was undergoing changes as well; after carrying on an affair with 17-year-old German actress Christina Kauffman, his co-star in the costume drama "Taras Bulba" (1962), he split from Leigh and married Kauffman in 1963. The union produced two daughters, Alexandra (born 1966) and Allegra (born 1968) before they divorced in 1968.

Curtis fell back on his comic chops to essay middle-aged cads and the like in lightweight comedies like "Don't Make Waves" (1967) with Sharon Tate and "Not with My Wife, You Don't" (1966). He also began turning up in European features - mostly forgettable fare like "Monte Carlo or Bust" (1969) - and even on episodic television. Curtis did, however, manage to remind moviegoers of his talent with a chilling performance as real-life killer Albert De Salvo in Richard Fleischer's bleak police procedural "The Boston Stranger" (1968). He was widely praised for his performance as the psychologically damaged De Salvo, and for his efforts, earned a Golden Globe nomination, but the film did not prevent his career from continuing its slow descent from the limelight. In 1968, Curtis married for the third time to Leslie Allen, who later gave him his first sons, Benjamin and Nicholas.

Despite the fact that he no longer commanded box office respect as he once did, Curtis was exceptionally busy in the 1970s, starring in the breezy British adventure drama "The Persuaders!" (ITC, 1971-72), which cast him alongside Roger Moore as two roguish millionaires who enjoyed hijinks and expensive fun across Europe. An American attempt to recreate its charm came with "McCoy" (ABC, 1975-76), with Curtis as a good-natured con man, but the series failed to earn a viewership. Curtis was also fairly active in film during the 1970s, most notably in Elia Kazan's "The Last Tycoon" (1976), an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel about 1930s-era Hollywood, which gave him second billing opposite Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson. But for the most part, Curtis floundered in second-rate productions (or worse) like the ill-advised Mae West comeback vehicle "Sextette" (1978) or the unnecessary "Bad News Bears Go to Japan" (1978). In 1977, Curtis published a novel, Kid Andrew Cody and Julie Sparrow.

Curtis launched the 1980s with an Emmy-nominated turn with a touch of nostalgia, in which he played David O. Selznick, whose niece had discovered him some three decades prior, in "The Scarlett O'Hara War" (1980). He also enjoyed a choice role as Kim Novak's producer husband in a camped-up film adaptation of Agatha Christie's "The Mirror Crack'd" (1980), and appeared on stage in a production of Neil Simon's "I Oughta Be in Pictures" that same year. Like many older stars, Curtis remained a regular presence on television as well, most notably in a recurring role as Robert Urich's casino owner boss on "Vega$" (ABC, 1978-1981), and later as real-life mobster Sam Giancana in the Susan Lucci starrer, "Mafia Princess" (1986). But Curtis began to develop interests outside of acting during this decade. After a stint at the Betty Ford Clinic in 1984 for drug and alcohol dependency, he began experimenting with painting, and displayed a particular knack for portraits, including those of his former co-stars, like Marilyn Monroe. Eventually, his artwork began fetching top prices among collectors, and was featured in major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Curtis' personal life remained tumultuous; he divorced Leslie Allen in 1983, and married his fourth wife, Lisa Deutsch, in 1993. The marriage lasted only a year.

Eventually, art replaced movies as Curtis' primary creative outlet, though he remained active in features throughout the 1990s. Few were consequential, and his last projects of any substance came in 1986 as a Joseph McCarthy-esque senator in Nicolas Roeg's experimental comedy-drama "Insignificance," and later in a cameo for the indie-minded romance "Naked in New York" (1993). Otherwise, he could be seen in countless low-budget action and comedy features, as well on television in episodes of "Roseanne" (ABC, 1988-1997) and "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (ABC, 1993-97). He also dished the dirt about many of his famous co-stars on the tawdry documentary series "Hollywood Babylon" (syndicated, 1992). But Curtis was best utilized as the voice of experience in several quality documentaries about the movie business, including "The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal" (1985), "Hugh Hefner: Once Upon a Time" (1992), and "The Celluloid Closet" (1995), which explored homosexuality in Hollywood. Curtis was also the subject of television biographies, including a 1999 retrospective on Turner Classic Movies' "Private Screenings" (TCM, 1996- ), and a 2001 episode of "Biography" (A&E, 1987- ), as well as penning an eponymous autobiography (with Barry Paris) in 1993. Curtis' long and storied career received several significant awards during the late 1990s and early 2000s, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and recognition for lifetime achievement from the Empire Awards UK, but Curtis was vocal about his disappointment at never receiving an Oscar for his efforts.

The peace and success afforded to him by his art career and the celebration of his movie work by the international filmmaking community was shattered by the 1994 death of his son Nicholas from a drug overdose. In interviews, Curtis commented that he had suffered terribly after the loss. In 1998, he married his fifth wife, horse trainer Jill Vanderburg, who was some 42 years younger than him. In 2002, Curtis revisited one of his most enduring features in a musical version of "Some Like It Hot" at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, GA. In the play, he played eccentric millionaire Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown's role in the film), who delivers the picture's memorable closing line: "Nobody's perfect." The actor passed away on Sept. 29, 2010 of cardiac arrest.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

David & Fatima (2008)
Play it to the Bone (1999)
Hardball (1998)
Wald
Star Games (1998)
Elvis Meets Nixon (1997)
Himself
Louis and Frank (1997)
Lenny Star Springer
The Continued Adventures of Reptile Man (And His Faithful Sidekick Tadpole) (1996)
Jack Steele
Roger Moore: A Matter of Class (1995)
Interviewee
The Celluloid Closet (1995)
Himself
The Immortals (1995)
Naked in New York (1994)
A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Grimacing Governor (1994)
The Mummy Lives (1994)
Center of the Web (1992)
Stephen Moore
Christmas In Connecticut (TNT) (1992)
Prime Target (1991)
Marrietta Copella
Thanksgiving Day (1990)
Lobster Man From Mars (1989)
Walter og Carlo i New York (1989)
Tarzan in Manhattan (1989)
Welcome to Germany (1988)
Mr Cornfield
Midnight (1988)
Mafia Princess (1986)
Agatha Christie's Murder In Three Acts (1986)
Charles Cartwright
The Last of Philip Banter (1986)
Charles Foster
The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (1985)
Where Is Parsifal? (1984)
Parsifal Katzanella-Boden
Othello (1982)
Iago
Balboa (1982)
Portrait of a Showgirl (1982)
BrainWaves (1982)
The Million Dollar Face (1981)
Chester Masterson
Inmates: A Love Story (1981)
Little Miss Marker (1980)
Blackie Ryan
The Mirror Crack'd (1980)
The Scarlett O'Hara War (1980)
Title Shot (1979)
Frank Renzetti
The Manitou (1978)
Harry Erskine
The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (1978)
The Users (1978)
Vega$ (1978)
Bernie Roth
Sextette (1978)
Casanova & Co. (1977)
Giacomino; Giacomo Casanova
The Last Tycoon (1976)
Lepke (1975)
Louis "Lepke" Buchalter
The Big Ripoff (1975)
The Count of Monte Cristo (1975)
Mondego
The Third Girl From the Left (1973)
Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came (1970)
Shannon Gambroni
You Can't Win 'Em All (1970)
Adam Dyer
On My Way to the Crusades, I Met a Girl Who ... (1969)
Guerrando da Montone
Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies (1969)
Chester Schofield
The Boston Strangler (1968)
Albert DeSalvo
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Voice of Donald Baumgart
Don't Make Waves (1967)
Carlo Cofield
Arrivederci, Baby! (1966)
Nick Johnson
Not With My Wife, You Don't! (1966)
Tom Ferris
Chamber of Horrors (1966)
Mr. Julian
Boeing Boeing (1965)
Bernard Lawrence
The Great Race (1965)
The Great Leslie
Paris When It Sizzles (1964)
Second policeman
Goodbye Charlie (1964)
George Tracy
Wild and Wonderful (1964)
Terry Williams
Sex and the Single Girl (1964)
Bob Weston
Captain Newman, M. D. (1963)
Corp. Jackson Laibowitz
Forty Pounds of Trouble (1963)
Steve McCluskey
The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)
Taras Bulba (1962)
Andrei Bulba
The Outsider (1961)
Ira Hamilton Hayes
The Great Impostor (1961)
Ferdinand Waldo Demara, Jr., and various aliases
Pepe (1961)
The Rat Race (1960)
Pete Hammond, Jr.
Who Was That Lady? (1960)
David Wilson
Spartacus (1960)
Antoninus as
The Perfect Furlough (1959)
Corp. Paul Hodges
Operation Petticoat (1959)
Nick Holden
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Joe, also known as Josephine and Shell Oil, Junior
The Defiant Ones (1958)
John "Joker" Jackson
Kings Go Forth (1958)
Britt Harris
The Vikings (1958)
Eric
The Midnight Story (1957)
Joe Martini
Mister Cory (1957)
Cory
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Sidney Falco
The Square Jungle (1956)
Eddie Quaid [also known as] Packy Glennon
The Rawhide Years (1956)
Ben [Matthews aka Ben Martin]
Trapeze (1956)
Tino Orsini
The Purple Mask (1955)
[Count] Rene [de Treviere]
So This Is Paris (1955)
Joe Maxwell
Six Bridges to Cross (1955)
Jerry Florea
Beachhead (1954)
Burke
Johnny Dark (1954)
Johnny Dark
The Black Shield of Falworth (1954)
Myles
All American (1953)
Nick Bonelli
Forbidden (1953)
Eddie [Darrow]
Houdini (1953)
Harry Houdini
Flesh and Fury (1952)
Paul Callan
Meet Danny Wilson (1952)
Nightclub patron
Son of Ali Baba (1952)
Kashma Baba
No Room for the Groom (1952)
Alvah Morrell
The Prince Who Was a Thief (1951)
Julna [also known as Hussein]
Kansas Raiders (1950)
Kit Dalton
Francis (1950)
Captain Jones
Winchester '73 (1950)
Doan
Sierra (1950)
Brent Coulter
I Was a Shoplifter (1950)
Pepe
The Lady Gambles (1949)
Bellboy
Criss Cross (1949)
Dance partner
Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949)
Joey Hyatt
Take One False Step (1949)
Hot rod driver
City Across the River (1949)
Mitch

Producer (Feature Film)

Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Executive Producer

Music (Feature Film)

The Third Girl From the Left (1973)
Song Performer

Art Director (Feature Film)

Tales from the Crypt (1972)
Art Director
Thank You All Very Much (1969)
Art Director
The Tomcat (1968)
Art Director
The Sorcerers (1967)
Art Director

Special Thanks (Feature Film)

Jackie Brown (1997)
Special Thanks To

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

The Celluloid Closet (1995)
Other

Cast (Special)

Playboy's 50th Anniversary Special (2003)
Inside the Playboy Mansion (2002)
Tony Curtis: Tony of the Movies (2001)
Ernest Borgnine: Hollywood's Uncommon Character (2000)
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs (2000)
Private Screenings: Tony Curtis (1999)
The Rat Pack (1999)
Burt Lancaster (1997)
The GI Bill: The Law That Changed America (1997)
Sidney Poitier: The Defiant One (1997)
Hugh Hefner: American Playboy (1996)
AFI Salute to Sidney Poitier (1992)
Performer
Charlie (1990)
The American Film Institute Salute to Billy Wilder (1986)
Performer
Circus of the Stars (1983)
Magic With the Stars (1982)
Playboy's 25th Anniversary Celebration (1979)
Annie and the Hoods (1974)
Super Comedy Bowl 2 (1972)
The Red Skelton Revue (1954)

Cast (Short)

World News - 1954 (1954)
Himself

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Bandit: Beauty And The Bandit (1994)

Life Events

1949

Made film acting debut in "City Across the River"

1949

First film appearance, had a bit part dancing with Yvonne De Carlo in "Criss Cross"

1953

First major success, playing the title role of "Houdini"; co-starred with then-wife Janet Leigh

1957

Surprised critics with his performance in Alexander Mackendrick's "Sweet Smell of Success"; film produced through Curtleigh Productions

1957

Made his TV acting debut in "Cornada," an episode of "General Electric Theater" (CBS)

1958

Co-starred with Sidney Poitier in "The Defiant Ones"; film produced through Curtleigh Productions; earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination

1959

Teamed with Cary Grant in Blake Edwards' "Operation Petticoat"

1959

Most memorable role was in Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot," co-starring Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon

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"

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"

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

Performed onstage in a production of Neil Simon's "I Ought to Be in Pictures"

1980

Played David O. Selznick in the NBC miniseries, "Moviola"

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

Published <i>Tony Curtis: The Autobiography</i>

1993

Co-starred in the ensemble romantic comedy "Naked in New York"

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

Photo Collections

Operation Petticoat - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release American movie posters for Operation Petticoat (1959), starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis.
Kings Go Forth - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release American movie posters for Kings Go Forth (1958), starring Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, and Natalie Wood.
Don't Make Waves - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from Don't Make Waves (1967), starring Tony Curtis, Sharon Tate, and Claudia Cardinale.

Videos

Movie Clip

Sex And The Single Girl (1964) - Not Because I'm Attractive Tabloid reporter Bob (Tony Curtis) is posing as his married friend Frank Broderick, trying to entrap newly famous sex therapist Dr. Brown (Natalie Wood) in an affair, in their second official session, in Sex And The Single Girl, 1964.
Great Race, The (1965) - The Great Leslie Opening scenes from director Blake Edwards, establishing his live-action cartoon approach, Tony Curtis introduced as "The Great Leslie," Jack Lemmon as his rival "Professor Fate," Peter Falk his aide Max, in The Great Race, 1965.
Great Race, The (1965) - I Never Mix My Pies Jack Lemmon in two roles, first as Professor Fate impersonating the prince, later as the prince, with the general (George MacReady), Leslie (Tony Curtis), Maggie (Natalie Wood), Max (Peter Falk), Hezekiah (Keenan Wynn) et al, in Blake Edwards' famous pie fight, from The Great Race, 1965.
Who Was That Lady? (1960) - That Was My Wife Director George Sidney shooting on location at Columbia University in Manhattan, where Tony Curtis is a chemistry teacher, caught canoodling by his (real) wife Janet Leigh, co-star Dean Martin backing up with an original tune by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen, opening Who Was That Lady?, 1960.
Who Was That Lady? (1960) - In The Performance Of My Duty Columbia professor David (Tony Curtis), with conspiring TV-writer buddy Mike (Dean Martin), ambushes his wife Ann (Janet Leigh, also Mrs. Curtis), who has caught him cheating, and launches their elaborate lie justifying his infidelity, in director George Sidney’s Who Was That Lady?, 1960.
Who Was That Lady? (1960) - You Think The Stork Brings Us? Philandering chemist David (Tony Curtis) at first isn't buying his T-V writer buddy Michael's (Dean Martin) claim that he's an F.B.I. agent in director George Sidney's Who Was That Lady?, 1960.
Don't Make Waves (1967) - California Welcomes You The title song composed to order by Jim McGuinn and Chris Hillman and performed by their band The Byrds (also the flip-side of their single “Have You Seen Her Face”), and director Alexander Mackendrick’s introduction of leads Tony Curtis and, at a distance, Claudia Cardinale, from Don’t Make Waves, 1967.
Don't Make Waves (1967) - Smell The Picture? Evening at the Malibu home of flighty Italian painter Laura (Claudia Cardinale), who earlier in the day destroyed the car (and pants) owned by baffled tourist Carlo (Tony Curtis), she’s supposed to be finding her insurance documents, in the MGM beach farce Don’t Make Waves, 1967.
Paris When it Sizzles (1963) - Rather Like Tony Curtis Screenwriter William Holden and secretary Audrey Hepburn are writing and narrating a screenplay which features a girl who looks like Audrey and an actor who looks like (and is) Tony Curtis, in Paris When it Sizzles, 1963.
Defiant Ones, The (1958) - Open, Long Gone Producer-director Stanley Kramer begins what is perhaps his first altogether topical social-issue film with Sidney Poitier singing a W.C. Handy song, handcuffed to Tony Curtis, events leading to Sheriff Muller (Theodore Bikel) on the radio, in The Defiant Ones, 1958.
Some Like It Hot (1959) - Like Jello On Springs Fleeing the gangland massacre, musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) make the big change and meet Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) on the train platform, in Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot, 1959.
Some Like It Hot (1959) - The Whole Town's Under Water The introduction of musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) in a Chicago speakeasy, where cop Mulligan (Pat O'Brien) faces down proprietor Spats (George Raft) in Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot, 1959.

Trailer

Winchester '73 - (Re-issue Trailer) A man (James Stewart) combs the West in search of his stolen rifle. Co-starring Shelley Winters. Directed by Anthony Mann.
Great Race, The - (Original Trailer) A bumbling villain (Jack Lemmon) plots to win an early 20th-century auto race in Blake Edwards' The Great Race (1965).
Boeing Boeing - (Original Trailer) A playboy (Tony Curtis) uses airline schedules to maintain "exclusive" relationships with three flight attendants at the same time in Boeing Boeing (1965) co-starring Jerry Lewis.
Beachhead - (Original Trailer) Tony Curtis and a group of Marines must find a plantation owner and his daughter on an enemy-held island in Beachhead (1954).
Rosemary's Baby - (Original Trailer) A young woman (Mia Farrow) fears the baby she's carrying is the son of Satan in Rosemary's Baby (1968), directed by Roman Polanski and based on the bestseller by Ira Levin.
Rat Race, The - (Original Trailer) A musician (Tony Curtis) newly arrived in New York takes in a taxi dancer (Debbie Reynolds) in the drama The Rat Race (1960).
Vikings, The - (Original Trailer) Two Vikings (Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis) fight over a throne and a beautiful captive (Janet Leigh) in the epic adventure The Viking (1958).
Criss Cross - (Re-issue Trailer) Burt Lancaster is an armored-car driver pulled into a bank heist in the film noir classic Criss Cross (1949).
Trapeze - (Original Trailer) A trapeze star (Burt Lancaster) loses his grip when he and his partner (Tony Curtis) fall for the same woman (Gina Lollobrigida) in Trapeze, 1956, directed by Carol Reed.
Boston Strangler, The - (Original Trailer) Federal and local law officers try to catch a deadly serial killer (Tony Curtis) in The Boston Strangler (1968).
Kings Go Forth - (Original Trailer) Original Trailer for Kings Go Forth, 1958 in which soldiers Frank Sinatra and Tony Curtis fall in love with the same French girl (Natalie Wood) then discover a family secret.
Sweet Smell Of Success - (Original Trailer) Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in their best roles as a power-mad newspaper columnist and the press agent who supplies him with dirt in Sweet Smell of Success (1957).

Promo

Family

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

Companions

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

Bibliography

"Tony Curtis: The Autobiography"
Tony Curtis and Barry Paris, William Morrow (1993)
"Kid Andrew Cody & Julie Sparrow"
Tony Curtis, Doubleday (1977)

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."