Tony Curtis has died at age 85 at his home near Las Vegas. He grew up in New York City. He was then known as his birth name of Bernard Schwartz. Tony Curtis had a career in Hollywood that produced many memorable films.
Tony Curtis: WWII Veteran
Curtis was a veteran of the Navy in WWII. He served during the war on the submarine U.S.S. Proteus. The New York Times reports that he was in Tokyo Bay for the surrender of Japan. He wrote “That was one of the great moments in my life.”
Tony Curtis had many other great moments in his life as well. He was a legend in film. He also married Janet Leigh and together they had a famously Hollywood marriage. The marriage lasted 11 years. It ended in divorce in 1962 after Curtis had an affair with his co-star, the actress, Christine Kaufmann, age 17. He later married and divorced Ms. Kaufmann. He eventually had a total of six marriages.
An Acting Career Begins in NYC for Tony Curtis
After the Navy Tony Curtis returned to the U.S. and eventually moved into acting. He started his training for acting at the New School for Social Research workshops. He obtained his first contract in 1948 with Universal Pictures. They paid him $75 a week.
Curtis was savvy in the financial end of the business as his career advanced. He cut a deal to get a percentage of the profits of movies he starred in. That was an unusual deal at that time. Tony Curtis had street smarts and they paid off profitably for him during his long career in Hollywood.
A Hollywood Lothario: Tony Curtis
Curtis notes the wild lifestyle of Hollywood started early in his life. “At these parties thrown by the studio, there’d always be a brand new sweetie for me. I was the king of the hill then. And I didn’t leave a skirt unmoved,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
He had a successful career in film in Hollywood. His first lead role was in “Son of Ali Baba” in 1952. Some might claim his role in “Some Like It Hot” was perhaps the peak of his career. He worked with Marilyn Monroe in that movie.
As the legends of the old Hollywood die it somehow changes America. They brought movies to our nation at a time when the big screen had a glamorous air. The screen legends of the past had wild lives that somehow depicted changes to come in America.
He was also of a generation where military service was the norm. Many of the elder generation in America honed their adulthood early with military service that showed them the world and taught them the discipline of life.
Tony Curtis overcame problems with drug use. He was treated at the Betty Ford Center. One of his sons later died of a drug addiction.
Tony Curtis: A Long Life
Tony Curtis had a long life. He leaves behind the legacy of his films and his family dynasty. Tony Curtis was also a great grandfather. His life that began on June 3, 1925 has left a memorable impression on the world. He is integral to the development of the Hollywood industry that thrives today.
Best wishes to the children, ex-wives and entire family of Tony Curtis as they mourn his loss. He was a Hollywood legend. The world will never forget him.