Hollywood legend Tony Curtis has died, aged 85.
A star of silver screen, Curtis’s health had been failing for a number of years and he went to hospital in July after suffering an asthma attack.
The death, reportedly of cardiac arrest, was confirmed by a representative of his daughter, actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
Curtis became famous in the 1957 film The Sweet Smell of Success. It was the first of more than 100 movies including The Outsider, The Defiant Ones, The Vikings, Spartacus, The Boston Strangler, The Great Race and The Mirror Crack’d.
But it was his role alongside Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe in Billy Wilder’s classic comedy Some Like it Hot (1959) that he will be best remembered. Curtis donned drag alongside Lemmon in the gangster farce, mimicking Cary Grant. The film was named by the American Film Institute as the greatest American comedy film of all time.
Curtis did make some television appearances as far back as 1954 in Red Skelton Revue. It was followed by appearances in both series and telemovies including The Persuaders, The Count of Monte Cristo, McCoy, The Fall Guy, Murder in Three Acts, Christmas in Connecticut, Beauty and the Bandit, Hope and Faith, Roseanne and Suddenly Susan. He also had a regular role in 1978’s Vega$ as well as voicing ‘Stony Curtis’ in The Flintstones. He died the day before The Flintstones 50th Anniversary.
Frank Sinatra once remarked that Curtis was his favourite Hollywood actor, “because he beat the odds”. In old age, the actor looked back delightedly on a career that had carried him from the impoverished neighbourhoods of New York to a high-life as a Hollywood superstar. “I’ve made 122 movies and I daresay there’s a picture of mine showing somewhere in the world every day of the week,” he said proudly.
His final role was in 2008’s David and Fatima, a drama film about a Palestinian woman and Israeli man from Jerusalem who fall in love.
He was married six times, most famously to actress Janet Leigh.
Appearing on stage in the UK in 2008, Curtis was asked by an audience member what he would like to have written on his gravestone. He quoted the final line of Some Like it Hot , and one that didn’t belong to his character: “Nobody’s perfect!”
Source: The Guardian,