It’s a tragic week for Hollywood this week. As many people believe, the deaths of famous people come in threes and, boy, were they correct about that this week. Three Hollywood greats have died in the last two days – on Tuesday, legendary Hollywood director, Arthur Penn died at the age of 88. On Wednesday, 94-year-old Oscar-nominated actor, Joe Mantell passed away and, only a few hours later on Wednesday, Hollywood heartthrob and one of Hollywood’s most famous ‘Greats’, 85-year-old Tony Curtis, also died. It’s a sad day in Tinseltown, that’s for sure.
Arthur Penn – The first Hollywood Great to die this week was 88-year-old Arthur Penn. A Hollywood director of immense talent, Arthur Penn directed “Bonnie and Clyde”, “Little Big Man” and “The Miracle Worker”.
Arthur Penn was born in Philadelphia in 1922. He got his start in the movie business by directing quality TV dramas, then moved to Hollywood where his first big feature film was “The Miracle Worker”, the story of Helen Keller, and starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. He directed “The Chase” with Robert Redford, then his most famous movie “Bonnie and Clyde”, which was nominated for eight Oscars, and was one of the first movies to really push movie screen violence for arts sake.
Penn continued directing movies well into the 1980s, then finally left directing to move back to television as an executive producer on such shows as ‘Law & Order’.
Arthur Penn died in Manhattan on Tuesday of congestive heart failure, one day after his 88th birthday.
Joe Mantell – Another Hollywood Great, actor Joe Mantell, known for his role in “Marty” as well as for saying one of the most famous lines in movie history, has also died this week.
Joe Mantell was an Oscar-nominated character actor. One of those guys you’ve never heard of, till you see him on screen and say “Oh….I know him”. Mantell received an Academy Award nomination for his role in “Marty” in 1956, but became even more embedded in Hollywood legend when he uttered the last line of the movie “Chinatown” – “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”
In later years, he appeared in several episodes of “The Twilight Zone” and also in movies like the Hitchcock thriller, “The Birds”. Joe Mantell died on Wednesday at the age of 94, in Tarzana, California.
Tony Curtis – One of the last surviving Hollywood Greats, from the true Golden Era of Hollywood, Tony Curtis died last night of a heart attack. He was 85 years old.
Tony Curtis hit the movie heights in the 1950s becoming famous as one of the most handsome men in Hollywood. Not known for being a great actor in his early career, Curtis shocked people a few years later with his incredible performances in “Some Like It Hot” with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe and “Spartacus”, and was nominated for an Oscar for his role in “The Defiant Ones”. Years later, Curtis said of his not winning the Oscar, “My happiness and privilege is that my audience around the world is supportive of me, so I don’t need the Academy.”
Curtis went on to make more than 140 movies, marry five times and have five children, one of whom is the actress Jamie Lee Curtis. His son Nicholas died of a heroin overdose at the age of 23 in the early 1990s. Curtis said of his son’s death, “As a father you don’t recover from that. There isn’t a moment at night that I don’t remember him.”
In later years, Tony Curtis became a painter, once selling $1 million of his artwork overnight, and a writer with a couple of novels and an autobiography to his name.
Tony Curtis, one of the last of the Hollywood Greats, died on Wednesday night at his home in Las Vegas.
Arthur Penn, director of ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ dies – Yahoo
Actor Mantell of ‘Marty’ and ‘Chinatown’ dies – Yahoo
Tony Curtis dies at Las Vegas home – USA Today