Tony Curtis (June 3, 1925 – September 29, 2010)

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Some Like It Hot tells the story of two struggling musicians, Joe and Jerry (Curtis and Lemmon), who are on the run from a Chicago gang after witnessing the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre of 1929. Spats Columbo (Raft), the gangster in charge, orders the execution of Jerry and Joe. They escape in the confusion and decide to leave town, but the only out-of-town job they can find is in an all-girl band. The two disguise themselves as women and call themselves Josephine and Geraldine (later Jerry changes it to Daphne). They join the band and go to Florida by train. Joe and Jerry both fall for “Sugar Kane” Kowalczyk (Monroe), the band’s sexy Polish-American vocalist and ukulele player, and fight for her affection while maintaining their disguises.

Director: Billy Wilder
Writer: Billy Wilder
Studio: MGM
Cast: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon

Release: March 29, 1959.

The Unforgettable Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis (June 3, 1925 – September 29, 2010)

Most people in Nigeria knew Tony Curtis from the two romantic adventurers of 1970s British TV series “The Persuaders” he played alongside Roger Moore of the James Bond 007 fame. And I also remember him in the 1958 classic film “The Defiant Ones” as a bigoted escaped convict chained to Sidney Poitier the most celebrated African American actor and that got him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Acting with the legendary Hollywood sex symbol Marilyn Monroe made Tony Curtis one of the most sought after male sex symbols in Hollywood.

Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz in the Bronx, New York, to Hungarian Jewish immigrants from Mátészalka, Hungary. He joined the US Navy during World War 2 and served aboard USS Proteus.

His film career took off in 1949 when he acted the role of a rumba dancer in “Criss Cross”.
Curtis acted over 108 films and many TV roles. He was one of the shining icons of the silver screen in the Golden Age of Hollywood with Kirk Douglas, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen among other stars.

Curtis died of cardiac arrest on Thursday September 29, 2010, at his Home in Henderson, Nevada.

The Daily Mirror of UK called Tony Curtis the Elvis of Tinsel Town who brought “grease and danger of the new music to Hollywood” and “getting the girls to swoon and the boys to spend hours in front of the mirror, trying to get that peacock’s plume just so.”

“Yet Tony Curtis was always cool. Not just when he was a post-war sex symbol but even in middle age and beyond.
He had been there, done that, slept with Marilyn Monroe and got the T-shirt. He made it all look easy, and fun. Perhaps that is why the critics detested him.
Although he made some of the greatest films in history he made film seem like entertainment, rather than an art form. If there were agonies in him, and if he was riddled with self-doubt, he hid it well.
He was better than he was given credit for, and he was perhaps better than he knew. But he always seemed pleased – with life, with himself, with whatever phenomenal beauty happened to be hanging on his arms. He always looked as though he knew he could have got stuck in the Bronx for 85 years.
~ Daily Mirror, October 1, 2010.

“My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages. He leaves behind children and their families who loved him and respected him and a wife and in-laws who were devoted to him. He also leaves behind fans all over the world. He will be greatly missed.”
~ Jamie Lee Curtis, the daughter

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