Another Film Legend Passes Away

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Another Film Legend Passes Away

Post  El Guapo on Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:42 am

HOLLYWOOD legend Tony Curtis has died at the age of 85.

The death of the Oscar-nominated actor who appeared in more than 140 movies was confirmed by a family spokesman today.

The actor - who had heart bypass surgery in 1994 - died last night at his Las Vegas home from a cardiac arrest.

Sir Roger Moore led tributes to him, telling Sky News: "He was a fine actor".

The James Bond actor, who starred alongside Curtis in TV hit The Persuaders, added: "I shall miss him."

Curtis appeared in Billy Wilder's classic Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon.

And he received an Oscar nomination in 1959 for The Defiant Ones in which he starred with Sidney Poitier.

The dashing star took a break from acting as he battled drug and alcohol abuse.

But he later returned to the screen as a character actor.

Curtis also became a painter whose canvasses sold for as much as $20,000.

Aged 60, he said: "I'm not ready to settle down like an elderly Jewish gentleman, sitting on a bench and leaning on a cane. I've got a helluva lot of living to do."

Curtis was married five times.

His first wife was Psycho star Janet Leigh. They married in 1951 when they were both up-and-coming Hollywood actors and had two daughters including the actress Jamie Leigh Curtis before divorcing in 1963.

He had another two daughters with his second wife, Christine Kaufmann, and two sons with his third wife, Leslie Allen.

He married for the fourth time in 1993 but divorced Lisa Deutsch a year later and then married Jill Vandenberg in 1998.

His journey to Hollywood stardom began in the Bronx, a tough neighbourhood in New York, where he was born Bernard Schwartz.

His parents were Hungarian Jews who had emigrated to the United States after the First World War.

Curtis joined the Navy and served in the Pacific during the Second World War, where he was wounded in action, before returning to New York to study acting.

He got his big break in 1948 when he signed up with a Hollywood studio and they soon started to smooth over his rough edges.

First to go was his name and he became first Anthony Curtis, then plain Tony, but getting rid of his New York accent proved a tougher job.

But it did not stop his career going from strength to strength and in 1960 he appeared in Stanley Kubrick's epic Spartacus.

Eight years later he won plaudits after he was cast against type in the Boston Strangler as a deranged killer.

Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz in New York City on June 3, 1925.

He grew up as the son of a tailor in the city's Bronx area.



RIP Tony Sad


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