Tony Curtis: 1925-2010

The Academy Award-nominated star of Some Like It Hot and Sweet Smell of Success was 85.

by | September 30, 2010 | Comments

Academy Award-nominated actor Tony Curtis, the star of such classics as Some Like It Hot, Spartacus, and Sweet Smell of Success, died in Los Vegas Wednesday of cardiac arrest. He was 85.

After a stint in the Navy in World War II, Curtis began his Hollywood career as a contract player at Universal, appearing in bit parts before his breakout success in 1957 as an unscrupulous press agent alongside Burt Lancaster in Sweet Smell of Success. The following year, he co-starred with Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones, earning a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a racist chained to a fellow prison escapee who happens to be African American. Curtis soon proved to be equally adept in comedies, co-starring with Jack Lemmon and Marylyn Monroe in Billy Wilder’s classic 1959 farce Some Like it Hot. In 1960, he had a supporting role in Spartacus, though his most memorable scene — loaded with barely concealed gay subtext – would not be seen publicly until a 1991 rerelease.

If Curtis’s heyday was in the 1950s and 1960s, he continued to act in movie and TV roles, though he focused more on painting in recent years. His final credited performance was in 2008’s David & Fatima a drama about a love affair between an Israeli man and a Palestinian woman who fall in love. He can also be seen offering reminisces in the recent documentary Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel.

Curtis’s first wife was actress Janet Leigh, and they had two daughters — actresses Jamie Lee and Kelly Curtis. He was subsequently married four times, and is survived by his wife Jill Vandenberg Curtis.

For more on the career of Tony Curtis, go to his complete RT filmography page here.

Tag Cloud

anthology 24 frames Election sitcom TIFF Writers Guild of America tv talk harry potter dceu Podcast Mary Poppins Returns ratings El Rey dragons zero dark thirty vampires FXX transformers ABC Family toy story Grammys Animation American Society of Cinematographers Reality Competition Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Nominations Pirates CBS Lucasfilm dc children's TV medical drama Logo Winter TV X-Men war Bravo LGBTQ 007 nature Martial Arts 2019 Ellie Kemper Song of Ice and Fire adaptation 45 docudrama Showtime Kids & Family serial killer DC streaming service Country WGN technology 2015 stand-up comedy TV composers Dark Horse Comics historical drama Trailer politics dramedy Thanksgiving zombie Apple CNN Warner Bros. period drama Emmys zombies Ovation Lionsgate Film First Look Sundance psychological thriller DC Universe cops Schedule Valentine's Day Summer Marathons crime thriller Epix SXSW Comic Book Western Elton John talk show justice league Adult Swim BBC Binge Guide Comics on TV Tarantino E! 2016 Calendar Super Bowl Freeform Comedy Central Premiere Dates Pop GIFs Trivia Creative Arts Emmys festivals GoT revenge miniseries Mystery The Arrangement TruTV Stephen King Star Wars DC Comics Cartoon Network binge Pet Sematary Disney Fantasy Acorn TV Masterpiece Interview Food Network Rocky ESPN supernatural PBS true crime Rock natural history based on movie Women's History Month Mary poppins Awards adventure Netflix TBS SDCC MCU Trophy Talk Star Trek Musical boxoffice Shondaland Starz movies Tumblr finale social media LGBT book 21st Century Fox BBC America History Mudbound Film Festival New York Comic Con CW Seed Drama Pixar Brie Larson Nickelodeon award winner Christmas Music singing competition SundanceTV NBC CBS All Access witnail Cannes crime drama thriller Oscars APB The Witch biography anime mockumentary Year in Review Awards Tour Teen robots RT21 USA golden globes comic Video Games elevated horror 2017 Reality President Family TCA hist YA Vudu 20th Century Fox HBO Max YouTube Red Red Carpet Biopics crossover Anna Paquin TNT Emmy Nominations television Action VH1 Ghostbusters Superheroes sports Britbox blaxploitation romance spinoff disaster diversity Tomatazos Universal Columbia Pictures Rocketman richard e. Grant Shudder National Geographic mutant Esquire GLAAD spy thriller MTV Fox News sequel animated discovery cats WarnerMedia Mary Tyler Moore Rom-Com Watching Series E3 Nat Geo green book ITV spider-man quibi aliens Chilling Adventures of Sabrina NYCC The CW Chernobyl Spike series Extras AMC Cosplay Heroines Crackle ghosts Comedy San Diego Comic-Con Infographic what to watch cars TLC Musicals Marvel Sneak Peek Syfy jamie lee curtis Amazon Prime Holidays HBO See It Skip It cooking police drama political drama IFC Films Winners FX ABC Paramount doctor who USA Network crime space Superheroe travel teaser streaming RT History Lifetime comiccon psycho Disney Channel TCA 2017 Polls and Games Sci-Fi 2018 unscripted game show Sundance Now OWN Spring TV Countdown cults BET Black Mirror VICE Disney streaming service A&E CMT PaleyFest Spectrum Originals Captain marvel Best and Worst science fiction DirecTV FOX Paramount Network kids Character Guide Photos TCM Quiz YouTube Premium Amazon Toys cinemax Horror casting Amazon Prime Video Walt Disney Pictures Sony Pictures Mindy Kaling DGA Fall TV facebook Hulu IFC Box Office Set visit Pride Month MSNBC strong female leads Opinion Certified Fresh theme song TV Land