Tony curtis wiki

Tony curtis wiki DEFAULT

From 'Some Like It Hot' to 'The Defiant Ones,' Tony Curtis was the reigning Hollywood heartthrob of the 1950s. He is also known as actress Jamie Lee Curtis's dad.

Who Was Tony Curtis?

Tony Curtis's piercing blue eyes and good looks gained him a great deal of attention at a young age. After enlisting in the U.S. Navy and serving in World War II, the aspiring actor moved to Hollywood, California. His career took off following his high-profile marriage to Janet Leigh in 1951, which produced daughters Kelly Lee and Jamie Lee Curtis. In the late 1950s and 1960s, Curtis starred in films like Houdini, Operation Petticoat, Some Like It Hot, The Defiant Ones and Spartacus. He later appeared in a variety of low-profile films and on various television shows.

Early Life

Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz on June 3, 1925, in the Bronx, New York, to Hungarian Jewish immigrants Helen and Emanuel Schwartz. Curtis's father owned a tailor shop, and he and his family lived behind the business in a cramped apartment. His parents slept in one room, and Curtis shared the other with his two brothers, Julius and Robert. Curtis's mother suffered from schizophrenia and often beat the boys.

In 1933, during the economic struggles of the Great Depression, Curtis's parents could no longer care for the boys financially. Curtis and Julius were placed in a state institution, where the boys were frequently involved in conflicts with anti-Semitic youngsters who often threw stones and started fistfights with the brothers. In 1938, Julius was hit by a truck and killed. He was 12 years old.

Shaken by the loss, Curtis was determined to make a better life for himself and began attending Seward Park High School on Manhattan's Lower East Side. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in World War II aboard the submarine U.S.S. Proteus. Following his honorable discharge from the military, Curtis began acting lessons in New York at the New School for Social Research, where his classmates included fellow Seward Park alumnus Walter Matthau.

Career Highlights

Curtis's boyish good looks helped him to land a contract with Universal Pictures in 1948. During this time, he settled on the name Anthony Curtis and began a series of small movie roles, including Criss Cross (1949), Francis (1950) and No Room for the Groom (1952).

Thanks in large part to his high-profile marriage to Hollywood beauty Janet Leigh in 1951, Curtis went on to star in a string of successful roles in the late 1950s and 1960s, including Houdini (1953), in which Leigh was his co-star. Other films include the military comedy Operation Petticoat (1959); the famed romantic comedy Some Like It Hot, with co-star Marilyn Monroe; and the Stanley Kubrick historical epic Spartacus (1960) which he co-starred along with Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier.

Personal Life

The star's career all but collapsed in 1962, however, when he divorced Leigh after having an affair with 17-year-old German actress Christine Kaufmann. By then, he and Leigh had two children: Kelly Lee and Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis and Kaufmann married in 1963 and divorced in 1967. Shortly thereafter, in 1968, the actor married 23-year-old model Leslie Allen. Following their 1982 divorce, he would have three more marriages—to Andrea Savio (1984-1992), Lisa Deutsch (1993-1994) and Jill Vandenberg (from 1998 until his death in 2010). In addition to six different marriages, Curtis engaged in several high-profile romances with icons such as Monroe and Natalie Wood.

By the 1970s, Curtis was struggling with an addiction to alcohol and drugs. In his later career, he appeared in a variety of low-profile films and on various TV shows, but eventually headed to rehab in 1982 and reinvented himself as a fine art painter. He also wrote published two autobiographies during this time: Tony Curtis: The Autobiography (1994) and American Prince: A Memoir. In 2002, he toured in a musical adaptation of Some Like It Hot. His final film was David & Fatima (2008). By then he was struggling with frequent health issues, which included heart bypass surgery in 1994 and a recurring battle with obstructive pulmonary disease.

Curtis died on September 30, 2010, at the age of 85, in Henderson, Nevada, of cardiac arrest. He was survived by his sixth wife, Jill Vandenberg, his daughters Kelly Lee, Jamie Lee, Alexandra and Allegra and his son, Benjamin.


Janet Leigh

American actress, singer, dancer and author

Janet Leigh (born Jeanette Helen Morrison; July 6, 1927 – October 3, 2004), was an American actress, singer, dancer, and author, whose career spanned over five decades. Raised in Stockton, California by working-class parents, Leigh was discovered at 18 by actress Norma Shearer, who helped her secure a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Leigh appeared in radio programs before her first formal foray into acting, making her film debut in the drama The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947). With MGM, she appeared in many films which spanned a wide variety of genres, which include the crime-drama Act of Violence (1948), the drama Little Women (1949), the comedy Angels in the Outfield (1951), the romance Scaramouche (1952) and the western drama The Naked Spur (1953). She played dramatic roles during the late 1950s, in such films as Safari (1956) and Orson Welles's film noir Touch of Evil (1958).

Leigh achieved her biggest success starring as Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock's jarring psychological thriller Psycho (1960). For her performance, Leigh won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Intermittently, she continued to appear in films, including Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Harper (1966), Night of the Lepus (1972), and Boardwalk (1979). She made her Broadway debut in 1975 in a production of Murder Among Friends. She would also go on to appear in two horror films with her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis: The Fog (1980) and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998).

In addition to her work as an actress, Leigh also wrote four books between 1984 and 2002, two of which were novels. Leigh had two brief marriages as a teenager (one of which was annulled) before marrying actor Tony Curtis in 1951. The pair's highly publicized union ended in divorce in 1962, and after starring in The Manchurian Candidate that same year, Leigh remarried and scaled back her career. She died in October 2004 at age 77, following a year-long battle with vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels.

Life and career[edit]

1927–1946: Childhood[edit]

9 month-old Janet Leigh, c. April 1928

Jeanette Helen Morrison was born on July 6, 1927, in Merced, California, the only child of Helen Lita (née Westergaard) and Frederick Robert Morrison. Her maternal grandparents were immigrants from Denmark, and her father had Scots-Irish and German ancestry.[3] Shortly after Leigh's birth, the family relocated to Stockton, where she spent her early life. She was brought up in poverty, as her father struggled to support the family with his factory employment, and he took various additional jobs after the Great Depression.

Leigh was raised Presbyterian and sang in the local church choir throughout her childhood. In 1941, when her paternal grandfather became terminally ill, the family relocated to Merced, where they moved into her grandparents' home. She attended Weber Grammar School in Stockton, and later Stockton High School. Leigh excelled in academics and graduated from high school at age sixteen.

1946–1948: Discovery and early roles[edit]

Leigh pictured at age eighteen, c. 1945; actress Norma Shearerhelped facilitate her contract with MGM based on this photo

In February 1946, actress Norma Shearer was vacationing at Sugar Bowl, a ski resort in the Sierra Nevada mountains where Leigh's parents were working at the time.[10] In the resort lobby, Shearer noticed a photograph of Leigh taken by the ski club photographer over the Christmas holiday, which he had printed and placed in a photo album available for guests to browse.

Upon returning to Los Angeles, Shearer showed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) talent agent Lew Wasserman the photograph of the then-eighteen-year-old Leigh (Shearer's late husband Irving Thalberg had been a senior executive at MGM). She would later recall that "that smile made it the most fascinating face I had seen in years. I felt I had to show that face to somebody at the studio."[12] Through her association with MGM, Shearer was able to facilitate screen tests for Leigh with Selena Royle, after which Wasserman negotiated a contract for her, despite her having no acting experience. Leigh dropped out of college that year, and was soon placed under the tutelage of drama coach Lillian Burns.[15]

Prior to beginning her film career, Leigh was a guest star on the radio dramatic anthology The Cresta Blanca Hollywood Players. Her initial appearance on radio[16] at age 19[17] was in the program's production "All Through the House," a Christmas special that aired on December 24, 1946. She made her film debut in the big-budget Civil War film The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947), as the romantic interest of box office star Van Johnson's character. She got the role when performing Phyllis Thaxter's long speech in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo for the head of the studio talent department.[15] During the shooting, Leigh's name was first changed to "Jeanette Reames", then to "Janet Leigh" and finally back to her birth name "Jeanette Morrison", as the studio felt "Janet Leigh" might cause confusion with actress Vivien Leigh.[19] However, Johnson did not like the name and it was ultimately changed back to "Janet Leigh" (pronounced "Lee").[19][

Janet Leigh posing for a publicity photo, c. 1948

Immediately after the release of The Romance of Rosy Ridge, Leigh was cast opposite Walter Pidgeon and Deborah Kerr in the drama If Winter Comes (1947), playing a young pregnant woman in an English village. By early 1948, Leigh was occupied with the shooting of the Lassie film Hills of Home (1948), her third feature and the first in which she received star billing.[21] She played the young wife of composer Richard Rodgers in MGM's all-star musical, Words and Music (1948). In late 1948, she was hailed the "No. 1 glamour girl" of Hollywood, although known for her polite, generous and down-to-earth persona.[22]

1949–1958: Contract with MGM and independent films[edit]

Leigh appeared in a number of films in 1949, including the thriller, Act of Violence (1949), with Van Heflin and Robert Ryan, directed by Fred Zinnemann. Though a financial failure, it was well received by critics. She also had a significant hit with MGM's version of Little Women, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, in which she portrayed Meg March, alongside June Allyson and Elizabeth Taylor. The film was generally well received by critics. Also in 1949, Leigh appeared as a nun in the anti-communist drama The Red Danube, which earned her critical acclaim, followed by a role as Glenn Ford's love interest in The Doctor and the Girl. Other credits from 1949 include as June Forsyte in That Forsyte Woman (1949) opposite Greer Garson and Errol Flynn, and as Robert Mitchum's leading co-star in the RKO-produced Holiday Affair (1949). That December, she started work on Josef von Sternberg's adventure-drama film Jet Pilot, in which she starred as the female lead opposite John Wayne. Producer Howard Hughes' constant re-editing would cause the film to be delayed almost eight years before being released.

At MGM she appeared in Strictly Dishonorable (1951), a comedy with Ezio Pinza, based on a play by Preston Sturges. The film received mild critical acclaim. Leigh then appeared in the baseball-themed fantasy farce Angels in the Outfield (1951), which was a significant commercial success. The same year, RKO borrowed Leigh to appear in the musical Two Tickets to Broadway (1951), which was a box-office success. She was one of many stars in the anthology film It's a Big Country: An American Anthology (1952) and appeared in a romantic comedy with Peter Lawford, Just This Once (1952). Leigh had a significant commercial success with the swashbuckler-themed Scaramouche (1952), in which she starred as Aline de Gavrillac opposite Stewart Granger and Eleanor Parker. Next, she received top-billing in the critically acclaimed comedy Fearless Fagan (1952), about a clown drafted into the military, followed by a role opposite James Stewart in the Western The Naked Spur (1953). The latter, though a low-budget feature, was one of the top-grossing films of the year, and noted by several critics for its psychological components. Less well received was the comedy Confidentially Connie (1953), in which Leigh starred opposite Van Johnson as a pregnant housewife who helps trigger a price war at a local butcher shop.

Paramount borrowed Leigh and Curtis for the biographical feature Houdini (1953)–the couple's first film together–with the two appearing as Harry and Bess Houdini, respectively. The couple also appeared as guests on Martin and Lewis' Colgate Comedy Hour before Leigh was loaned to Universal to appear in the musical Walking My Baby Back Home (1953). Leigh was cast as Robert Wagner's love interest in the Fox-produced adventure film Prince Valiant (1954), a Viking-themed feature based on Hal Foster's comic of the same name. Also in 1954, Leigh had a supporting role in the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy Living It Up (1954) for Paramount, followed by Universal's swashbuckler film The Black Shield of Falworth (1954), in which she appeared opposite Curtis, marking their second feature together. Leigh also starred opposite Robert Taylor in MGM's film noir Rogue Cop (1954), portraying a femme fatale lounge singer.Variety deemed her performance in the film "satisfactory," but faulted the screenplay for being illogical. Following that film, Leigh ended her contract with MGM after eight years.[42]

In April 1954 Leigh signed a 4-picture contract with Universal, where her husband was based.[42] She also signed a contract with Columbia to make one film a year for five years.[43] Leigh appeared in Pete Kelly's Blues (1954) with Jack Webb (who also directed), and subsequently starred in her first feature under the deal with Columbia: the title role in the musical comedy My Sister Eileen (1955), co-starring Jack Lemmon, Betty Garrett and Dick York, and based on a series of New Yorker stories about two sisters living in New York City. In early 1955, Leigh and Curtis formed their own independent film production company, Curtleigh Productions.[45][46] Columbia cast Leigh in Safari (1956) opposite Victor Mature, shot in Kenya for Warwick Pictures. The same year, Leigh and Curtis gave birth to their first child, daughter Kelly. She subsequently made her television debut in an episode of Schlitz Playhouse, "Carriage from Britain". In 1957, the film Jet Pilot, which Leigh had filmed in 1949, was finally released.

1958–1969: Critical acclaim and hiatus[edit]

In 1958, Leigh starred as Susan Vargas in the Orson Wellesfilm noir classic Touch of Evil (1958), done at Universal with Charlton Heston, a film with numerous similarities to Alfred Hitchcock's later film Psycho, which was produced two years later; in it, she plays a newlywed tormented in a Mexican border town. Leigh would later describe shooting the film as a "great experience," but added: "Universal just couldn't understand it, so they recut it. Gone was the undisciplined but brilliant film Orson had made."[10] Next, Leigh co-starred in her fourth film with Curtis, The Vikings (1958), produced by and co-starring Kirk Douglas, and released in June 1958. Distributed by United Artists, the film had one of the most expensive marketing campaigns of the 1950s. It was ultimately a blockbuster, grossing over $13 million internationally. Leigh's next film, The Perfect Furlough, was released in early 1959, in which she again co-starred with Curtis, playing a psychiatrist lieutenant in Paris.

Leigh was a lifelong Democrat and appeared alongside Curtis at the 1960 Democratic National Convention in support of John F. Kennedy. She also served on the board of directors of the Motion Picture and Television Foundation, a medical-services provider for actors.[54] Leigh and Curtis next co-starred in the Columbia Pictures farce Who Was That Lady? (released in early 1960), in which Leigh portrayed a wife who catches her professor husband (Curtis) cheating on her, triggering a series of mishaps.

Also in 1960, Leigh was cast in her most iconic role, as the morally conflicted murder victim Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, co-starring with John Gavin and Anthony Perkins, and released by Universal. Leigh was reportedly so traumatized by filming her character's shower murder scene that she went to great lengths to avoid showers for the rest of her life.[57] Released in June 1960, Psycho was a major critical and commercial success. For her performance, Leigh received a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Leigh's role in Psycho became career-defining and she later commented: "I've been in a great many films, but I suppose if an actor can be remembered for one role then they're very fortunate. And in that sense I'm fortunate."[57] Her character's death early in the film has been noted as historically relevant by film scholars as it violated narrative conventions of the time,[61] while her murder scene itself is considered among both critics and film scholars to be one of the most iconic scenes in film history.[62][63]

Leigh and Curtis both had cameos in Columbia's all-star Pepe (1960), marking their last film together. In 1962, while Leigh was filming the thriller The Manchurian Candidate, Curtis filed for divorce.[65] The divorce was finalized in Juarez, Mexico on September 14, 1962; the following day, Leigh married stockbroker Robert Brandt (1927–2009) in a private ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada.[67] Leigh would later comment that their divorce was the result of "outside problems", which included the death of Curtis's father.[68] Next, Leigh appeared in the musical comedy Bye Bye Birdie (1963), based on the hit Broadway show. She was also in the comedy Wives and Lovers (1963) for director Hal Wallis at Paramount.

Leigh took a three-year break from her acting career, turning down several roles, including the role of Simone Clouseau in The Pink Panther, because she did not want to go on location and be separated from her young daughters. She returned to film in 1966, appearing in multiple films: first, the western Kid Rodelo (1966), followed by the private detective story Harper (1966), in which she played Paul Newman's estranged wife opposite Lauren Bacall. She next portrayed a psychiatrist opposite Jerry Lewis in the comedy Three on a Couch, followed by a lead role in An American Dream, based on the Norman Mailernovel of the same name; the latter film received critical backlash.

1970–2005: Other endeavors and final years[edit]

Leigh's initial television appearances were on anthology programs such as Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre and The Red Skelton Hour. She also starred in several made-for-TV films, most notably the off-length (135 minutes instead of the usual 100) The House on Greenapple Road, which premiered on ABC in January 1970 to high ratings. In 1972, Leigh starred in the science fiction film Night of the Lepus with Stuart Whitman, as well as the drama One Is a Lonely Number with Trish Van Devere. In 1975, she played an ex-Hollywood song and dance star opposite Peter Falk and John Payne in the Columbo episode Forgotten Lady. The episode utilizes footage of Leigh from the film Walking My Baby Back Home (1953). Her many guest appearances on television series include The Man from U.N.C.L.E. two-part episode, "The Concrete Overcoat Affair", in which she played a sadistic Thrush agent named Miss Dyketon, a highly provocative role for mainstream television at the time. The two-part episode was released in Europe as a feature film entitled The Spy in the Green Hat (1967). She also appeared in the title role in The Virginian episode "Jenny" (1970). In 1973, she appeared in the episode "Beginner's Luck" of the romantic anthology series Love Story.

Leigh made her stage debut opposite Jack Cassidy in the original Broadway production of Murder Among Friends, which opened at the Biltmore Theatre on December 28, 1975.[77] The play ran for seventeen performances, closing on January 10, 1976.[77] The play received varied reviews, with some critics who attended preview performances disliking the show. In 1979, Leigh appeared in a supporting role in Boardwalk opposite Ruth Gordon and Lee Strasberg, and received critical praise, with Vincent Canby of The New York Times lauding it as her "best role in years". In addition to her work as an actress, Leigh also authored four books. Her first, the memoir There Really Was a Hollywood (1984), became a New York Times bestseller. In 1995, she published the non-fiction book Psycho: Behind the Scenes of the Classic Thriller. In 1996, she published her first novel, House of Destiny, which explored the lives of two friends who forged an empire that would change the course of Hollywood's history. The book's success spawned a follow-up novel, The Dream Factory (2002), which was set in Hollywood during the height of the studio system.

Leigh subsequently appeared opposite her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, in John Carpenter's supernatural horror film The Fog (1980), in which a phantom schooner unleashes ghosts on a small coastal community. Leigh would appear opposite her daughter once again in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), playing the secretary of Laurie Strode. On television, Leigh acted in the Murder, She Wrote episode "Doom with a View" (1987), as Barbara LeMay in an episode of The Twilight Zone ("Rendezvous in a dark place", 1989) and the Touched by an Angel episode "Charade" (1997). She guest-starred twice as different characters on both Fantasy Island and The Love Boat, as well as Tales of the Unexpected. Leigh continued to grant interviews and appear at red carpet events through the early 2000s. Her final film credit was in the teen film Bad Girls from Valley High (2005), opposite Christopher Lloyd.

Personal life[edit]

During her final year of high school, Leigh married eighteen-year-old John Kenneth Carlisle in Reno, Nevada, on August 1, 1942.[a] The marriage was annulled five months later on December 28, 1942.[82] After a tenure at Stockton College (now San Joaquin Delta College),[83] Leigh enrolled at the College of the Pacific (now University of the Pacific) in September 1943, where she majored in music and psychology. While in college, she joined the Alpha Theta Tau sorority, and also sang with the college's a cappella choir. In order to help support her family, she spent Christmas and summer vacations working at retail shops and dime stores, as well as working at the college's information desk during her studies. While a university student, Leigh met Stanley Reames, a U.S. Navy sailor who was enrolled at a nearby V-12 Program. Leigh and Reames married on October 6, 1945, when she was eighteen; their marriage, however, was also short-lived, and they divorced less than three years later.[86][87]

Though Leigh initially left college to pursue her film career, she re-enrolled in night classes at the University of Southern California in early 1947.[88]

On June 4, 1951, Leigh married actor Tony Curtis in a private ceremony in Greenwich, Connecticut. Their romance and marriage was a frequent topic in gossip columns and film tabloids. From 1951 to 1954 Leigh and Curtis appeared in numerous home movies directed by their friend Jerry Lewis. Leigh credited the experimental and informal nature of these films for allowing her to stretch her acting ability and attempt new roles.[91] On November 22, 1958, Leigh gave birth to her second daughter with Curtis, Jamie Lee. Curtis and Leigh divorced in 1962. She married businessman Robert Brandt later that year.


Leigh's crypt in Westwood

Leigh died at her home in Beverly Hills on October 3, 2004, at age 77, after a protracted battle with vasculitis.[93] Her death surprised many, as she had not disclosed her illness to the public. She was survived by her daughters, Kelly and Jamie and her husband of 42 years, Robert Brandt.[10] Leigh was cremated and her ashes were entombed at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in the Westwood Village neighborhood of Los Angeles.[94][95]


Main article: List of Janet Leigh performances


Awards and honors[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]


Leigh was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, on May 14, 2004, where she had attended college. At the time, Leigh's health was compromised by vasculitis, and she delivered a speech at the ceremony from a wheelchair. On October 13, 2006, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kelly Curtis unveiled a bronze plaque of their mother to honor her early life in Stockton. The memorial is located in the downtown Stockton plaza adjacent to the City Center Cinemas, since renamed "Janet Leigh Plaza".

Leigh was honored posthumously by University of the Pacific with the naming of the "Janet Leigh Theatre" on the Stockton campus on June 25, 2010. The plaque at the theatre reads as follows:

Pacific's Janet Leigh Theatre - Made possible by a generous gift from the Robert Brandt and Janet Leigh Brandt Estate. The Janet Leigh Theatre was created to bind the experiences and friendships that Janet Leigh valued while a student at Pacific. This memorial is a tribute to her life and career in the Stockton region as well as her magnificent contributions to the Hollywood film industry as an actress, wife, mother and humanitarian. Dedicated Friday, June 25, 2010.[97]


  1. ^For dramatic reasons, an article "Janet Leigh's Own Story—″I Was a Child Bride at 14!″", in the December 1960 issue of Motion Picture Magazine, wrongly stated the marriage occurred in 1941, while she was only fourteen years old.[82]



  1. ^"German ancestry Politicians in California". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  2. ^ abcMuskal, Michael (October 4, 2004). "Actress Janet Leigh Dies at 77". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  3. ^"'Luckiest' Photograph Changed Whole Life for a College Girl", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 16, 1947, p. 1
  4. ^ ab"A Fairy Tale That Came True" by Victor Gunson, The Daily Times, October 3, 1946, p. 14
  5. ^Dunning, John. (1976). Tune in Yesterday: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, 1925–1976. Prentice-Hall, Inc. ISBN 0-13-932616-2. pp. 283–284.
  6. ^Molyneaux, Gerard (1995), Gregory Peck: A Bio-bibliography. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-28668-X. p. 214.
  7. ^ abGraham, Sheilah (December 2, 1946). "Hayward And Bacall Bid For Novel, 'Ronnie Harper'". The Miami News. p. 11.
  8. ^"Janet Leigh Wins Star Billing". Deseret News. January 26, 1948. p. 14.
  9. ^MacPherson, Virginia (November 22, 1948). "MGM Convinces All Except Janet Leigh Of Her Glamor". The Modesto Bee. p. 20.
  10. ^ abPryor, Thomas M. (April 17, 1954). "Janet Leigh Signs Contract at U.–I: Actress, Leaving M-G-M After 8 Years, to Make 4 Films – Also Seeks Columbia Pact". The New York Times. p. 7.
  11. ^Schallert, Edwin (April 19, 1954). "Warners to Launch Huge Cinerama Film; Ireland, Leigh, Falkenburg Sign". Los Angeles Times. p. A13.
  12. ^"Elmira Advertiser from Elmira, New York on May 28, 1955 · 7". Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  13. ^"Mirror News from Los Angeles, California on August 6, 1955 · 19". Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  14. ^Herdoon, Dalit (October 4, 2004). "'Psycho' star Janet Leigh dies". CNN. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  15. ^ abWeinraub, Bernard (May 1, 1995). "'Psycho' in Janet Leigh's Psyche". The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  16. ^Martin, Joel (1995). Ostwalt, Conrad E. Jr. (ed.). Screening The Sacred: Religion, Myth, And Ideology In Popular American Film. Avalon Publishing. pp. 19–21. ISBN .
  17. ^Nordine, Michael (October 22, 2017). "'Psycho': The Iconic Shower Scene Gets Dissected by Janet Leigh's Body Double". Indiewire. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  18. ^Hodgkinson, Will (March 29, 2010). "Secrets of the Psycho shower". The Guardian. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  19. ^"Tony Curtis biography". A&E Television Networks. Archived from the original on September 7, 2011. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  20. ^"Janet Leigh". The Independent.
  21. ^Campbell, Caren Weiner (May 30, 1997). "Flashback: Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh marry". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  22. ^ ab"Murder Among Friends". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  23. ^ ab"Carlisle v. Fawcett Publications, Inc., 201 Cal.App.2d 733". Archived from the original on October 29, 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2017 – via Justia.
  24. ^McCoy, Brian (January 9, 2011). "Janet Leigh 1927-2004". USA Today. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  25. ^College Romance Ends In Divorce For Janet Leigh. Santa Cruz Sentinel. July 21, 1948.
  26. ^Holley, Joe (October 5, 2004). "'Psycho' Slashing Star Janet Leigh Dies at Age 77". Washington Post. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  27. ^"Van's Leading Lady Returns to School". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. March 2, 1947.
  28. ^"Janet Leight 1995 Interview Part 1". soapboxprod – via Youtube.
  29. ^Ebert, Roger (October 5, 2004). "Janet Leigh Dies at 77". Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  30. ^Jones, Kinsey. "Janet Leigh – Her Marriages and More!". Very celeb. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  31. ^"101 Things to Do in LA: Westwood Village Memorial Park". annaboudinot. June 12, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  32. ^"Janet Leigh Theatre". University of the Pacific. Archived from the original on December 10, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2017.


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Tony Curtis

For other people named Tony Curtis, see Tony Curtis (disambiguation).

American actor (1925–2010)

Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis 1958.jpg

Curtis in 1958


Bernard Schwartz

(1925-06-03)June 3, 1925

New York City, New York, U.S.

DiedSeptember 29, 2010(2010-09-29) (aged 85)

Henderson, Nevada, U.S.

Resting placePalm Memorial Park (Green Valley), Las Vegas, Nevada
EducationCity College of New York
Alma materThe New School
Years active1948–2008
Political partyDemocratic

Janet Leigh

(m. 1951; div. 1962)​

Christine Kaufmann

(m. 1963; div. 1968)​

Leslie Allen

(m. 1968; div. 1982)​

Andrea Savio

(m. 1984; div. 1992)​

Lisa Deutsch

(m. 1993; div. 1994)​

Jill Vandenberg

(m. 1998)​
Children6, including Kelly, Jamie Lee, and Allegra Curtis
Allegiance United States
Service/branchFlag of the United States Navy.svgUnited States Navy
Years of service1943–1945
RankPO3 NOGC, winter.svgSignalman3rd Class
UnitUSS Proteus (AS-19)
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsAmerican Campaign Medal ribbon.svgAmerican Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal ribbon.svgAsiatic–Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svgWorld War II Victory Medal

Tony Curtis (born Bernard Schwartz; June 3, 1925 – September 29, 2010) was an American actor whose career spanned six decades, achieving the height of his popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s. He acted in more than 100 films in roles covering a wide range of genres, from light comedy to serious drama. In his later years, Curtis made numerous television appearances.

Although his early film roles mainly took advantage of his good looks, by the latter half of the 1950s he had demonstrated range and depth in numerous dramatic and comedy roles. In his earliest parts he acted in a string of mediocre films, including swashbucklers, westerns, light comedies, sports films and a musical. However, by the time he starred in Houdini (1953) with his wife Janet Leigh, "his first clear success," notes critic David Thomson, his acting had progressed immensely.[1][2]

He achieved his first serious recognition as a dramatic actor in Sweet Smell of Success (1957) with co-star Burt Lancaster. The following year he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in The Defiant Ones (1958) alongside Sidney Poitier (who was also nominated in the same category). Curtis then gave what could arguably be called his best performance: three interrelated roles in the comedy Some Like It Hot (1959). Thomson called it an "outrageous film," and an American Film Institute survey voted it the funniest American film ever made.[3] The film co-starred Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, and was directed by Billy Wilder. That was followed by Blake Edwards’s Operation Petticoat (1959) with Cary Grant. They were both frantic comedies, and displayed his impeccable comic timing.[4] He often collaborated with Edwards on later films. In 1960, Curtis played a supporting role in Spartacus, which became another major hit for him.

His stardom and film career declined considerably after 1960. His most significant dramatic part came in 1968 when he starred in the true-life drama The Boston Strangler, which some consider his last major film role.[4] The part reinforced his reputation as a serious actor with his chilling portrayal of serial killer Albert DeSalvo. Curtis also took on the role of the UkrainianCossack Andrei in the historical action romance epic Taras Bulba in which the lead character was played by Yul Brynner in 1962. He later starred alongside Roger Moore in the ITC TV series The Persuaders!, with Curtis playing American millionaire Danny Wilde. The series ran twenty-four episodes.

Curtis is the father of actresses Kelly Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis by his first wife, actress Janet Leigh.[5]

Early life[edit]

Tony Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz on June 3, 1925, at the Fifth Avenue Hospital corner of East 105th Street in Manhattan, New York City, the first of three boys born to Helen (née Klein) and Emanuel Schwartz.[6][7] Biographies have propagated a misconception that he was born in the Bronx, probably due to the family's moves when he was very young, but Tony pointedly corrected this in a TV interview.[8] His parents were Hungarian-Jewish emigrants from Czechoslovakia and Hungary: his father was born in Ópályi, near Mátészalka, and his mother was a native of Nagymihály (now Michalovce, Slovakia); she later said she arrived in the U.S. from Válykó (now Vaľkovo, Slovakia).[9][10] He spoke only Hungarian until the age of six, delaying his schooling.[11] His father was a tailor and the family lived in the back of the shop—his parents in one corner and Curtis and his brothers Julius and Robert in another. His mother made an appearance as a participant on the television show You Bet Your Life on February 9, 1956, hosted by Groucho Marx.[10] His mother was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. His youngest brother Robert was institutionalized with the same mental illness.

When Curtis was eight, he and his brother Julius were placed in an orphanage for a month because their parents could not afford to feed them. Four years later, Julius was struck and killed by a truck. Curtis joined a neighborhood gang whose main crimes were playing truant from school and minor pilfering at the local dime store. When Curtis was 11, a friendly neighbor saved him from what he felt would have led to a life of delinquency by sending him to a Boy Scout camp, where he was able to work off his energy and settle down. He attended Seward Park High School. At 16, he had his first small acting part in a school stage play.[12]

Military service[edit]

Curtis enlisted in the United States Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Inspired by Cary Grant's role in Destination Tokyo and Tyrone Power's in Crash Dive (1943), he joined the Pacific submarine force.[11] Curtis served aboard a submarine tender, the USS Proteus, until the end of the Second World War. On September 2, 1945, Curtis witnessed the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay from his ship's signal bridge about a mile away.[13]

Following his discharge from the Navy, Curtis attended City College of New York on the G.I. Bill. He then studied acting at The New School in Greenwich Village under the influential German stage director Erwin Piscator. His contemporaries included Elaine Stritch, Harry Belafonte, Walter Matthau, Beatrice Arthur, and Rod Steiger. While still at college, Curtis was discovered by Joyce Selznick, the notable talent agent, casting director, and niece of film producer David O. Selznick.


In 1948, Curtis arrived in Hollywood at age 23. In his autobiography, Curtis described how by chance he met Jack Warner on the plane to California, and also how he briefly dated Marilyn Monroe before either was famous.

Universal as "Anthony Curtis"[edit]

Under contract at Universal Pictures, he changed his name from Bernard Schwartz to Anthony Curtis and met unknown actors Rock Hudson, James Best, Julie Adams and Piper Laurie.[14] The first name was from the novel Anthony Adverse and "Curtis" was from Kurtz, a surname in his mother's family.[15] Although Universal Pictures taught him fencing and riding, in keeping with the cinematic themes of the era, Curtis admitted he was at first interested only in girls and money and was not hopeful of his chances of becoming a major star. Curtis's biggest fear was having to return home to the Bronx as a failure:

I was a million-to-one shot, the least likely to succeed. I wasn't low man on the totem pole, I was under the totem pole, in a sewer, tied to a sack.[12]

Curtis's uncredited screen debut came in Criss Cross (1949) playing a rumba dancer, dancing with Yvonne de Carlo. The male star was Burt Lancaster who would make a number of films with Curtis.

In his second film, City Across the River (also in 1949), he was credited as "Anthony Curtis".[16] He had four lines in The Lady Gambles (1949) and a bigger part in Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949). He could also be spotted in Francis (1950), Woman in Hiding (1950), and I Was a Shoplifter (1950).

He was in three Westerns, Sierra (1950), starring Audie Murphy, one of many names he worked with (including fellow Universal contractee, Rock Hudson), Winchester '73 (1950), starring James Stewart and Shelley Winters, and Kansas Raiders (1951), in which he supported Murphy again, playing Kit Dalton and billed as "Tony Curtis."


Curtis was receiving numerous fan letters, so Universal awarded him the starring role in The Prince Who Was a Thief (1951), a swashbuckler set in the Middle East with Piper Laurie. It was a hit at the box office and Curtis was now established.

He followed it up with Flesh and Fury (1952), a boxing movie; No Room for the Groom (1952), a comedy with Laurie directed by Douglas Sirk; and Son of Ali Baba (1952), another film set in the Arab world with Laurie.

Curtis then teamed up with then-wife Janet Leigh in Houdini (1953), in which Curtis played the title role. His next movies were more "B" fare: All American (1953), as a footballer; Forbidden (1953), as a criminal; Beachhead (1954), a war film; Johnny Dark (1954), with Laurie, as a racing car driver; and The Black Shield of Falworth (1954), a medieval swashbuckler with Leigh. The box office performances of these films were solid, and Curtis was growing in popularity.

For a change of pace he did a musical, So This Is Paris (1955), then it was back to more typical fare: Six Bridges to Cross (1955), as a bank robber; The Purple Mask (1955), a swashbuckler; The Square Jungle (1955), a boxing film.

Major star[edit]

Curtis graduated to more prestigious projects when he was cast as co-star of Burt Lancaster and Gina Lollobrigida in Hecht-Lancaster Productions' Trapeze (1956). It was one of the biggest hits of the year. Curtis and Leigh formed their own independent film production company, Curtleigh Productions, in early 1955.[17][18]

Curtis made a Western, The Rawhide Years (1957), was a gambler in Mister Cory (1957) and a cop in The Midnight Story (1957). Lancaster asked for him again, to play scheming press agent Sidney Falco in Sweet Smell of Success (1957), starring and co-produced by Lancaster. The film was a box office disappointment, but Curtis, for the first time in his career, received sensational reviews.

Another star-maker, Kirk Douglas, was eager to work with him in The Vikings (1958). Janet Leigh also starred, and the resulting movie was a box office hit. Curtis then co-starred with Frank Sinatra and Natalie Wood in Kings Go Forth (1958), a war story. It was mildly popular, but The Defiant Ones (1958), was a bigger success. Curtis gave an Oscar-nominated performance as a bigoted white escaped convict chained to a black man, Sidney Poitier.

Curtis and Janet Leigh then made a popular comedy for Blake Edwards at Universal, The Perfect Furlough (1958). He co-starred with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe in Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot (1959). It was a huge success and became a classic; equally popular was Operation Petticoat (1959), a military comedy which Curtis made for Edwards alongside Cary Grant.

Curtis and Leigh made one more film together Who Was That Lady? (1960), a comedy with Dean Martin. He and Debbie Reynolds then starred in The Rat Race (1960).

Douglas came calling again, offering Curtis a key role in the former's epic production Spartacus (1960). It was a huge hit and earned Curtis a Golden Globe nomination.

Curtis then made two biopics: The Great Impostor (1961), directed by Robert Mulligan, playing Ferdinand Waldo Demara; and The Outsider (1961), in which he played war hero Ira Hayes. He returned to epics with Taras Bulba (1962), co starring Yul Brynner and Christine Kaufmann, who became Curtis's second wife.

Comedic roles[edit]

On October 6, 1961, Curtis formed a new film production company, Curtis Enterprises, Incorporated.[19] The company would make 40 Pounds of Trouble, which co-starred Curtis, Suzanne Pleshette and Phil Silvers; it was the first motion picture ever filmed at Disneyland.[20][21][22] On August 3, 1962, Curtis formed another new film production company, Reynard Productions, Incorporated.[23]

Curtis was one of many stars who had small roles in The List of Adrian Messenger (1963). He supported Gregory Peck in Captain Newman, M.D. (1963) and had an uncredited dual role in Paris When It Sizzles (1964). He and Kaufman made their third movie together, the comedy Wild and Wonderful (1964). His focus remained on comedies: Goodbye Charlie (1964), with Debbie Reynolds; Sex and the Single Girl (1964), with Natalie Wood; The Great Race (1965), with Wood and Lemmon for Blake Edwards — the most expensive comedy film up till that time, but popular; Boeing Boeing (1965) a sex farce with Jerry Lewis; Not with My Wife, You Don't! (1966) with George C. Scott; Drop Dead Darling (1966), a British comedy; Don't Make Waves (1967), a satire of beach life from director Alexander Mackendrick, with Claudia Cardinale; and On My Way to the Crusades, I Met a Girl Who... (1967), an Italian comedy with Monica Vitti. In the early 1960s, he was a voice-over guest star on The Flintstones as "Stoney Curtis".

The Boston Strangler[edit]

Because of the poor performance of a series of comedies, Curtis fired his agent and took a pay cut to $100,000 to play the title role in The Boston Strangler (1968), his first dramatic film in several years.[24] Response from the critics and public was excellent. He returned to comedy for Monte Carlo or Bust! (1969), an all-star car race film in the vein of The Great Race.

He made some comic adventure tales: You Can't Win 'Em All (1970) with Charles Bronson and Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came (1970).

Curtis decided it was time to turn to television and co-starred with Roger Moore in the TV series The Persuaders!.

He was one of the villains in The Count of Monte Cristo (1975) and had the title role in the gangster film Lepke (1975). Curtis had the lead in a TV series that did not last, McCoy (1975–76). He was one of many names in The Last Tycoon (1976) and had the title role in an Italian comedy Casanova & Co. (1977). Later, Curtis co-starred as a casino owner in the Robert Urich 1978-1981 ABC series Vega$ and was in The Users (1978).

Later career[edit]

Curtis supported Mae West in Sextette (1978) and starred in The Manitou (1978), a horror film, and The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (1978), a comedy. He had good roles in It Rained All Night the Day I Left (1980), Little Miss Marker (1980) and The Scarlett O'Hara War (1980) and was one of many stars in The Mirror Crack'd (1980). On television, he continued to make occasional guest appearances (sometimes playing fictional versions of himself) into the mid-2000s. His final TV series was as host of the documentary-retrospective series "Hollywood Babylon" (adapting Kenneth Anger's book series) in 1992–1993; each episode would include Curtis recalling some anecdotes from his own career. In 2002, Curtis was in the national tour of Some Like it Hot, a modified revival of the 1972 musical Sugar_(musical), itself based on the film in which he starred.[25] Curtis played the supporting role of Osgood Fielding.


Throughout his life, Curtis enjoyed painting and, beginning in the early 1980s, painted as a second career. His work commands more than $25,000 a canvas now. In the last years of his life, he concentrated on painting rather than movies. A surrealist, Curtis claimed Van Gogh, [Paul] Matisse, Picasso, and Magritte as influences.[11] "I still make movies but I'm not that interested in them any more. But I paint all the time." In 2007, his painting The Red Table was on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. His paintings can also be seen at the Tony Vanderploeg Gallery in Carmel, California.

Curtis spoke of his disappointment at never being awarded an Oscar. In March 2006, Curtis received the Sony Ericsson Empire Lifetime Achievement Award. He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame inducted in 1960, and received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France in 1995.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Marriages and children[edit]

Curtis was married six times.[26] His first wife was actress Janet Leigh, to whom he was married from 1951 to 1962, and with whom he fathered actresses Kelly and Jamie Lee. "For a while, we were Hollywood's golden couple," he said. "I was very dedicated and devoted to Janet, and on top of my trade, but in her eyes that goldenness started to wear off. I realized that whatever I was, I wasn't enough for Janet. That hurt me a lot and broke my heart."[26][27]

The studio he was under contract with, Universal-International, generally stayed out of their stars' love lives. However, when they chose to get married, studio executives spent three days trying to talk him out of it, telling him he would be "poisoning himself at the box office." They threatened "banishment" back to the Bronx and the end of his budding career. In response, Curtis and Leigh decided to defy the studio heads and instead eloped and were married by a local judge in Greenwich, Connecticut. Comedian and close friend Jerry Lewis was present as a witness.[12]

The couple divorced in 1962, and the following year Curtis married Christine Kaufmann, the 18-year-old German co-star of his latest film, Taras Bulba. He stated that his marriage with Leigh had effectively ended "a year earlier".[11] Curtis and Kaufmann had two daughters, Alexandra (born July 19, 1964) and Allegra (born July 11, 1966). They divorced in 1968. Kaufmann resumed her career, which she had interrupted during her marriage.

On April 20, 1968, Curtis married Leslie Allen, with whom he had two sons: Nicholas Bernard (December 31, 1970 – July 2, 1994)[28][29] and Benjamin Curtis (born May 2, 1973). The couple divorced in 1982.

Two years later, in 1984, Curtis married Andrea Savio; they divorced in 1992.[30]

The following year, on February 28, 1993, he married Lisa Deutsch. They divorced only a year later in 1994.

His sixth and last wife, Jill Vandenberg, was 45 years his junior. They met in a restaurant in 1993 and married on November 6, 1998.[30] "The age gap doesn't bother us. We laugh a lot. My body is functioning and everything is good. She's the sexiest woman I've ever known. We don't think about time. I don't use Viagra either. There are 50 ways to please your lover."[31]

In 1994, his son Nicholas died of a heroinoverdose at the age of 23. After his son's death, Curtis remarked that it was "a terrible thing when a father loses his son."[32]

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Curtis, who had a problem with alcoholism and drug abuse, went through the treatment center of the Betty Ford Clinic in the mid-1980s, which was successful for him.[30]


Beginning in 1990, Curtis and his daughter Jamie Lee Curtis took a renewed interest in their family's Hungarian Jewish heritage, and helped finance the rebuilding of the Great Synagogue in Budapest, Hungary. The largest synagogue in Europe today, it was originally built in 1859 and suffered damage during World War II.[33] In 1998, he also founded the Emanuel Foundation for Hungarian Culture, and served as honorary chairman. The organization works for the restoration and preservation of synagogues and the 1300 Jewish cemeteries in Hungary and is dedicated to the 600,000 Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Hungary and lands occupied by the Hungarian Army.[34] Curtis also helped promote Hungary's national image in commercials.[35]

Books and appearances[edit]

Curtis in 2009, during a book-signing of his memoir American Prince

In 1965, Tony Curtis was animated in an episode of The Flintstones; he also voiced his character Stoney Curtis. In 1994, a mural featuring his likeness, painted by the artist George Sportelli, was unveiled on the Sunset Boulevard overpass of the Hollywood Freeway Highway 101 in Los Angeles. The mural was relocated to Hollywood Boulevard and Bronson Avenue in September 2011.[36] His face is featured among the celebrities on the cover of the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album by The Beatles.

Also in 1994, the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation awarded its Lone Sailor Award for his naval service and his subsequent acting career.

In 2004, he was inducted into the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Hall of Fame.[37] A street is named after him in the Sun City Anthem development of his adopted hometown, Henderson, Nevada.[38]

In 2008, he was featured in the documentary The Jill & Tony Curtis Story about his efforts with his wife to rescue horses from slaughterhouses.[39]

In October 2008, Curtis's autobiographyAmerican Prince: A Memoir, was published.[40] In it, he describes his encounters with other Hollywood legends of the time including Frank Sinatra and James Dean, as well as his hard-knock childhood and path to success. It was followed by the publication of his next book, The Making of Some Like it Hot: My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Classic American Movie (2009).[41] Curtis shared his memories of the making of the movie, in particular about Marilyn Monroe, whose antics and attitude on the set made everyone miserable.

On May 22, 2009, Curtis apologized to the BBC radio audience after he used three profanities in a six-minute interview with BBC presenter William Crawley. The presenter also apologized to the audience for Curtis's "Hollywood realism." Curtis explained that he thought the interview was being taped, when it was in fact live.[42]

Later years and death[edit]

On April 26, 1970, Curtis was arrested for marijuana possession at Heathrow Airport in London.[43]

During the 1971 filming of The Persuaders!, Curtis developed a reputation among his costars and crew as a frequent marijuana smoker.[44] Curtis developed a heavy cocaine addiction in 1974 while filming Lepke, at a time when his stardom had declined considerably and he was being offered few film roles.[45] In 1984, Curtis was rushed to the hospital suffering from advanced cirrhosis as a result of his alcoholism and cocaine addiction. He then entered the Betty Ford Clinic and vowed to overcome his various illnesses.[46] He underwent heart bypass surgery in 1994, after suffering a heart attack.[47]

On July 8, 2010, Curtis, who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), was hospitalized in Las Vegas after suffering an asthma attack during a book-signing engagement in Henderson, Nevada, where he lived.[48]

Curtis died at his Henderson home on September 29, 2010, of cardiac arrest.[49] A few days beforehand he had met photographer Andy Gotts for a photo-shoot at his home, saying: "I'm not in a good way at the moment but can I ask you one thing? Can you make me look like an icon just one more time?"[50] He left behind five children and seven grandchildren.[51] His widow Jill told the press that Curtis had suffered from various lung problems for years as a result of cigarette smoking, although he had quit smoking about 30 years earlier.[52] In fact, during the 1960s Curtis served as the president of the American 'I Quit Smoking' Club.[53] In a release to the Associated Press, his daughter, actress Jamie Lee Curtis, stated:

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.[54]

His remains were interred at Palm Memorial Park Cemetery in Henderson, Nevada, on October 4, 2010. The service was attended by daughters Kelly Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis; Arnold Schwarzenegger; Rich Little; and Vera Goulet, Robert Goulet's widow.[55][56] Investor Kirk Kerkorian, actor Kirk Douglas, and singer Phyllis McGuire were among the honorary pallbearers.

Five months before his death he rewrote his will, naming all his children and intentionally disinheriting them with no explanation, then leaving his entire estate to his wife.[57]



Year Title Role Notes
1949 Criss CrossGigolo Uncredited
1949 City Across the RiverMitch Credited as Anthony Curtis
1949 Johnny Stool PigeonJoey Hyatt Credited as Anthony Curtis
1949 The Lady GamblesBellboy Credited as Anthony Curtis
1949 Take One False StepHot Rod Driver Uncredited
1949 How to Smuggle a Hernia Across the BorderUnknown Short
1950 FrancisCaptain Jones Credited as Anthony Curtis
1950 Woman in HidingDave Shaw Voice, Uncredited
1950 I Was a ShoplifterPepe Credited as Anthony Curtis
1950 SierraBrent Coulter Credited as Anthony Curtis
1950 Winchester '73Doan Credited as Anthony Curtis
1950 Kansas RaidersKit Dalton
1951 The Prince Who Was a ThiefJulna
1952 Flesh and FuryPaul Callan
1952 No Room for the GroomAlvah Morrell
1952 Son of Ali BabaKashma Baba
1952 Meet Danny WilsonHimself, Nightclub Patron Uncredited
1953 HoudiniHarry Houdini
1953 All AmericanNick Bonnelli
1953 ForbiddenEddie
1954 BeachheadBurke
1954 Johnny DarkJohnny Dark
1954 The Black Shield of FalworthMyles
1954 So This Is ParisJoe Maxwell
1955 Six Bridges to CrossJerry Florea
1955 The Purple MaskRene de Traviere / Purple Mask
1955 The Square JungleEddie Quaid / Packy Glennon
1956 TrapezeTino Orsini
1956 The Rawhide YearsBen Matthews
1957 Mister CoryCory
1957 The Midnight StoryJoe Martini
1957 Sweet Smell of SuccessSidney Falco also Executive Producer
1958 The VikingsEric
1958 Kings Go ForthCorporal Britt Harris
1958 The Defiant OnesJohn "Joker" Jackson
1958 The Perfect FurloughCorporal Paul Hodges
1959 Some Like It HotJoe / Josephine / Shell Oil Junior
1959 Operation PetticoatLieutenant Nicholas Holden
1960 Who Was That Lady?David Wilson
1960 The Rat RacePete Hammond Jr.
1960 SpartacusAntoninus
1960 PepeHimself Uncredited
1960 The Great ImposterFerdinand Waldo Demara Jr. / Martin Donner / Dr. Gilbert
1961 The OutsiderIra Hamilton Hayes
1962 Taras BulbaAndriy Bulba
1962 40 Pounds of TroubleSteve McCluskey
1963 The List of Adrian MessengerOrgan Grinder Cameo
1963 Captain Newman, M.D.Corporal Jackson "Jake" Leibowitz
1964 Paris When It SizzlesMaurice / Philippe – 2nd Policeman Uncredited
1964 Wild and WonderfulTerry Willams
1964 Goodbye CharlieGeorge Tracy
1964 Sex and the Single GirlBob Weston
1965 The Great Race Leslie Gallant III (The Great Leslie)
1965 Boeing, BoeingBernard Lawrence
1966 Chamber of HorrorsMr. Julian Uncredited
1966 Not with My Wife, You Don't!Tom Ferris
1966 Arrivederci, Baby!Nick Johnson also known as Drop Dead Darling
1967 Don't Make WavesCarlo Cofield
1967 On My Way to the Crusades, I Met a Girl Who...Guerrando da Montone
1968 Rosemary's BabyDonald Baumgart Voice, Uncredited
1968 The Boston StranglerAlbert DeSalvo
1969 Monte-Carlo or Bust!Chester Schofield also known as Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies
1970 You Can't Win 'Em AllAdam Dyer
1970 Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody CameShannon Gambroni
1974 LepkeLouis “Lepke” Buchalter
1976 The Last TycoonRodriguez
1977 Some Like It CoolGiacomino / Casanova
1978 The ManitouHarry Erskine
1978 SextetteAlexei Karansky
1978 The Bad News Bears Go to JapanMarvin Lazar
1979 Title ShotFrank Renzetti
1980 Little Miss Marker"Blackie"
1980 It Rained All Night the Day I LeftRobert Talbot
1980 The Mirror Crack'dMartin N. Fenn
1982 Black CommandoColonel Iago
1982 BrainWavesDr. Clavius
1982 Sparky's Magic PianoTV Interviewer Voice, Direct-to-Video
1983 Dexter the Dragon & Bumble the BearUnknown Voice, English version
1983 BalboaErnie Stoddard
1984 Where Is Parsifal?Parsifal Katzenellenbogen
1985 InsignificanceSenator
1986 Club LifeHector
1986 The Last of Philip BanterCharles Foster
1988 Welcome to GermanyMr. Cornfield
1989 Lobster Man from MarsJ.P. Shelldrake
1989 MidnightMr. B.
1989 Walter & Carlo i AmerikaWilly La Rouge
1991 Prime TargetMarietta Copella Direct-To-Video
1992 Center of the WebStephen Moore
1993 Naked in New YorkCarl Fisher
1993 The Mummy LivesAziru / Dr. Mohassid
1995 The ImmortalsDominic
1997 Bounty Hunters 2: HardballWald Direct-to-Video
1998 Louis & FrankLenny Star Springer
1998 StargamesKing Fendel
1999 Play It to the BoneRingside Fan
2002 Reflections of EvilHost
2006 Where's Marty?Himself Direct-to-DVD
2007 The Blacksmith and the CarpenterGod Voice, Short
2008 David & FatimaMr. Schwartz Final film role


Box office ranking[edit]

For a number of years Curtis was voted by exhibitors in an annual poll from Quigley Publishing as among the top stars in the United States:

  • 1954—23rd
  • 1959—18th
  • 1960—6th
  • 1961—9th
  • 1962—18th

Radio appearances[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]


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  2. ^Thomson, David (May 6, 2014). The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (sixth ed.). Knopf Doubleday. ISBN .
  3. ^"Hollywood Legend Tony Curtis Dead at 85". Fox News. Associated Press. September 30, 2010.
  4. ^ abBroeske, Pat H.; McCarty, John (1997). International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers: Actors and Actresses (3rd ed.). St. James Press. pp. 275–277, 333. ISBN .
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  13. ^"World War Two - and a young man serves his country". TenderTale. Retrieved June 18, 2010.
  14. ^Lobosco, David (April 9, 2012). "Julie Adams at 85". Great Entertainers Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  15. ^Rizzo, Frank (October 1, 2009). "My Interview With Tony Curtis". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2009.
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  35. ^"Csináljon velünk országimázs filmet!" [Make us a country image movie!]. Origo (in Hungarian). June 8, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2010.
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  40. ^Curtis, Tony; Golenbock, Peter. American Prince, Harmony Books (2008) ISBN 978-1-905264-34-6.
  41. ^Curtis, Tony; Vieira, Mark A. The Making of Some Like it Hot: My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Classic American Movie, John Wiley and Sons (2009) ISBN 978-0-470-53721-3
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  43. ^New York Daily News April 27, 1970 pg. 4
  44. ^Rigby, Jonathan (December 5, 2005). "Val Guest interviewed at the BFI". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on October 10, 2007.
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  53. ^"Tony Curtis on drugs charge at airport". Daily Express. April 27, 1970.
  54. ^"Legendary actor Tony Curtis has died". CNN. September 30, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  55. ^"Memorial Service for actor Tony Curtis Set For Monday". CNN. October 1, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  56. ^Garcia, Oskar (October 4, 2010). "Actor Tony Curtis buried after Vegas funeral". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on October 13, 2010.
  57. ^ Sources:
  58. ^American Cancer Society: Anti Smoking Ad Archives. American Cancer Society (Television production). September 16, 2015. Event occurs at 22:55-26:36. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  59. ^"Radio's Golden Age". Nostalgia Digest. 37 (1): 41. Winter 2011.
  60. ^Kirby, Walter (February 10, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 38. Retrieved June 2, 2015 – via access

Further reading[edit]

  • Ayres, Ian (2006). Van Gogh's Ear: The Celebrity Edition. Paris: French Connection. ISBN . The book includes Tony Curtis's prose, poetry, and artwork.
  • Curtis, Tony; Barry Paris (1993). Tony Curtis: The Autobiography. New York: William Morrow & Company. ISBN .
  • Curtis, Tony; Peter Golenbock (2008). Tony Curtis: American Prince: My Autobiography. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN .
  • Curtis, Tony (2009). Some Like it Hot: My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Making of the Classic Movie. New York: John Wiley & Sons. p. 240. ISBN .
  • Wise, James. Stars in Blue: Movie Actors in America's Sea Services. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1997. ISBN 1557509379OCLC 36824724

External links[edit]

Tony Curtis Died \u0026 Left His Children Nothing

Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis portrait.jpg

Bernard Schwartz

(1925-06-03)June 3, 1925

The Bronx, New York, U.S.

DiedSeptember 29, 2010(2010-09-29) (aged 85)

Henderson, Nevada, U.S.

Cause of deathCardiac arrest
Resting placePalm Memorial Park (Green Valley), Las Vegas, Nevada
EducationThe City College of New York
Alma materThe New School
Years active1948–2010
Political partyDemocratic Party
Spouse(s)Janet Leigh
(m. 1951–1962; divorced)
Christine Kaufmann
(m. 1963–1968; divorced)
Leslie Allen
(m. 1968–1982; divorced)
Andrea Savio
(m. 1984–1992; divorced)
Lisa Deutsch
(m. 1993–1994; divorced)
Jill Vandenberg
(m. 1998–2010; his death)
Children6, including Kelly Curtis, Jamie Lee Curtis

Tony Curtis (born Bernard Schwartz; June 3, 1925 – September 29, 2010) was an American movie actor. He was most popular during the late 1950s and early 1960s. He is famous for his light comic roles, especially his musician escaping from gangsters in Some Like It Hot (1959). He has also acted in more serious and dramatic movies, like The Defiant Ones (1958), for which he received an Academy Award nomination. He has appeared in over 100 movies since 1949, and made frequent television appearances. He was the father of actresses Jamie Lee Curtis and Kelly Curtis.

Early life[change | change source]

Curtis was born in The Bronx, New York. His birth name is Bernard Schwatz. He is one of three sons of Helen (née Klein) and Emanuel Schwartz.[1][2] His parents were Hungarian Jewish immigrants from Mátészalka, Hungary. Hungarian was Curtis's only language until he was five or six, postponing his schooling. His father was a tailor and the family lived in the back of the shop—his parents in one corner and Curtis and his brothers Julius and Robert in another. His mother once made an appearance as a participant on the television show You Bet Your Life, hosted by Groucho Marx.[3] Curtis said, "When I was a child, Mom beat me up and was very aggressive and antagonistic." His mother was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. His brother Robert was also institutionalized with the same mental illness.

Death[change | change source]

He died on September 29, 2010, aged 85 of cardiac arrest in Henderson, Nevada.

Movies[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]


Curtis wiki tony

Jamie Lee Curtis

American actress and author

Jamie Lee Curtis (born November 22, 1958) is an American actress and writer. She is the recipient of several accolades, including a BAFTA Award, two Golden Globe Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998.

Curtis made her film acting debut as Laurie Strode in John Carpenter's horror film Halloween (1978), which established her as a scream queen, and she thereafter appeared in a string of horror films, including The Fog, Prom Night, Terror Train (all 1980) and Roadgames (1981). She reprised the role of Laurie in the sequelsHalloween II (1981), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), and Halloween (2018). Her filmography is largely characterized by low-budget films that have been box-office successes, with 8 of her lead-actress credits grossing over $100 million.[1]

Curtis's film work spans many genres, including the cult comedies Trading Places (1983), for which she received a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress, and A Fish Called Wanda (1988), for which she earned a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress. She won a Golden Globe, an American Comedy Award, and a Saturn Award for playing the starring role of Helen Tasker in James Cameron's action comedy film True Lies (1994). Curtis's other major films include Blue Steel (1990), My Girl (1991), Forever Young (1992), The Tailor of Panama (2001), Freaky Friday (2003), Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008), You Again (2010), Veronica Mars (2014), and Knives Out (2019).

Curtis received a Golden Globe and a People's Choice Award for her portrayal of Hannah Miller on the ABC sitcom Anything But Love (1989–1992). She earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her work in the television film Nicholas' Gift (1998). She also starred as Cathy Munsch on the Fox horror comedy series Scream Queens (2015–2016), for which she earned her seventh Golden Globe Award nomination.

Curtis is the daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. She is married to Christopher Guest, with whom she has two adopted children, Annie and Ruby. Due to her marriage with Guest, who is the 5th Baron Haden-Guest in the United Kingdom, Curtis is a baroness formally entitled to the title Lady Haden-Guest.

She has written numerous children's books, with her 1998 release Today I Feel Silly, and Other Moods That Make My Day making The New York Times's best-seller list. She is also a frequent blogger for The Huffington Post.

Early life

Curtis with her mother, Janet Leigh, in 1960

Curtis was born in Santa Monica, California, to actor Tony Curtis and actress Janet Leigh. Her father was Jewish, the son of Hungarian Jewish immigrants.[2] Two of her maternal great-grandparents were Danish, while the rest of her mother's ancestry is German and Scots-Irish.[3] Curtis has an older sister, Kelly Curtis, who is also an actress, and several half-siblings (all from her father's remarriages): Alexandra, actress Allegra Curtis, Benjamin, and Nicholas Curtis (who died in 1994 of a drug overdose).[4] Curtis's parents divorced in 1962. After the divorce, she stated her father was "not around" and that he was "not interested in being a father."[5] She was raised by her mother and her stepfather, stockbroker Robert Brandt.[6]

Curtis attended Westlake School (now Harvard-Westlake School) in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills High School, and graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall in 1976.[7] Returning to California in 1976, she attended her mother's alma mater, the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and studied law.[8][9] She dropped out after one semester to pursue an acting career.[10]

Acting career

Film performances

Curtis's film debut occurred in the 1978 horror film Halloween, in which she played the role of Laurie Strode. The film was a major success and was considered the highest-grossing independent film of its time, earning accolades as a classic horror film. Curtis was subsequently cast in several horror films, garnering her the title "scream queen". She would return to the Halloween franchise five times, playing Strode again in the sequels Halloween II (1981), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), and Halloween (2018), and having an uncredited voice role in Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982).

Her next film following Halloween was The Fog, which was helmed by Halloween director John Carpenter. The horror film opened in February 1980 to mixed reviews but strong box office,[11] starting Curtis as a horror film starlet. Her next film, Prom Night, was a low-budget Canadian slasher film released in July 1980. The film, for which she earned a Genie Award nomination for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress, was similar in style to Halloween, yet received negative reviews which marked it as a disposable entry in the then-popular slasher genre. That year, Curtis also starred in Terror Train, which opened in October and met with negative reviews akin to Prom Night. Both films performed moderately well at the box office.[12] Curtis's roles in the latter two films served a similar function to that of Strode—the main character whose friends are murdered and is practically the only protagonist to survive. Film critic Roger Ebert, who gave negative reviews to all three of Curtis's 1980 films, said that Curtis "is to the current horror film glut what Christopher Lee was to the last one—or Boris Karloff was in the 1930s."[13] In 1981, she appeared alongside Stacey Keach in the Australian thriller film Roadgames, directed by Carpenter's friend Richard Franklin; her importation, which was requested by the film's American distributor AVCO Embassy Pictures, was contested by the Sydney branch of Actors Equity.[14][15] Although the film was a box office bomb in Australia and Franklin later regretted not increasing the size of Curtis's role, it has achieved a cult following and was championed by Quentin Tarantino.[16]

Her role in 1983's Trading Places helped Curtis shed her horror queen image, and garnered her a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.[17] She then starred in the 1988 comedy film A Fish Called Wanda, which achieved cult status while showcasing her as a comedic actress. For her performance, she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.[17] Curtis received positive reviews for her performance in the action thriller Blue Steel (1990), which was directed by Kathryn Bigelow. She also received a Golden Globe Award for her work in the 1994 action comedy film True Lies, directed by James Cameron.

Her other film roles also include the coming-of-age films My Girl (1991) and My Girl 2 (1994), and the Disney comedy film Freaky Friday (2003), opposite Lindsay Lohan. The latter was filmed at Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, California, near where Curtis and Guest lived with their children. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for her performance in the film.[18] She starred in the Christmas comedy film Christmas with the Kranks (2004), which went on to gain a cult following.

In October 2006, Curtis told Access Hollywood that she had closed the book on her acting career to focus on her family. She returned to acting after being cast in June 2007 in Disney's live-action-animated film Beverly Hills Chihuahua, co-starring opposite Piper Perabo as one of three live-action characters in the film. She also starred in the 2010 comedy film You Again, opposite Kristen Bell and Sigourney Weaver.[19] Curtis had voice roles in the animated films The Little Engine That Could (2011) and From Up on Poppy Hill (2011). This was followed by supporting roles in the neo-noir mystery film Veronica Mars (2014) and the biographical drama film Spare Parts (2015).

Curtis returned to leading roles with her reprisal of Laurie Strode in the horror sequel film Halloween (2018). The film debuted to $76.2 million, marking the second-best ever opening weekend of October and the highest of the Halloween franchise.[20] Its opening performance was the best-ever for a film starring a lead actress over 55 years old. It also became the highest-grossing of the franchise.[21] Curtis's performance earned critical acclaim.[22] Also in 2018, she had a role in the drama film An Acceptable Loss. She then starred as Linda Drysdale-Thrombrey in Rian Johnson's mystery film Knives Out, which earned critical acclaim and over $300 million at the global box office.[23]

In June 2021, it was announced that she would be honored with the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for her lifetime achievements.[24] Curtis is set to again reprise her role as Laurie Strode in the horror sequel Halloween Kills, which is due for release in October 2021. She will reprise the role for the sequel Halloween Ends, which will be released in October 2022.[25] She will also appear in the science fiction action film Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Television performances

Curtis made her television debut in a 1977 episode of the drama series Quincy, M.E.. She went on to guest star on several series, including Columbo, Charlie's Angels and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. She appeared as Nurse Lt. Barbara Duran in the short-lived comedy series Operation Petticoat (1977–1978), based on the 1959 film that starred her father, Tony Curtis. Curtis was also a gameshow panelist on several episodes of Match Game.

Curtis starred in the 1981 television film Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story, playing the eponymous doomed Playmate. She earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for her work in TNT's adaptation of the Wendy Wasserstein play The Heidi Chronicles. Her first starring role on television came opposite Richard Lewis in the situation comedy series Anything But Love, which ran for four seasons from 1989 through 1992. For her performance as Hannah Miller, she received a People's Choice Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy. Curtis also appeared in a 1996 episode of the sitcom The Drew Carey Show. In 1998, she starred in the CBS television film Nicholas' Gift, for which she received an Primetime Emmy Award nomination.

In 2012, she appeared in five episodes of the police drama series NCIS, playing the role of Dr. Samantha Ryan, a potential romantic interest of Special Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon). During an interview, she stated that if they could develop a storyline, she would be interested to return to the series, but this never occurred.[26] The series reunited Curtis with Harmon, after he played her character's fiancé and later husband in the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday.[27]

From 2012 to 2018, Curtis had a recurring role as Joan Day, the mother of Zooey Deschanel's character, in the sitcom New Girl. From 2015 to 2016, Curtis had a lead role as Cathy Munsch on the Fox satirical horror comedy series Scream Queens, which aired for two seasons. For her performance, she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.

Other ventures

Children's books

Working with illustrator Laura Cornell, Curtis has written a number of children's books,[28] all published by HarperCollins Children's Books.[29]

Curtis autographing a copy of her children's book in 2010
  • When I Was Little: A Four-Year Old's Memoir of Her Youth, 1993.
  • Tell Me Again About The Night I was Born, 1996.
  • Today I Feel Silly, and Other Moods That Make My Day, 1998; listed on the New York Times best-seller list for 10 weeks.[30]
  • Where Do Balloons Go?: An Uplifting Mystery, 2000.
  • I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem, 2002.
  • It's Hard to Be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel, 2004.
  • Is There Really a Human Race?, 2006.
  • Big Words for Little People, ISBN 978-0-06-112759-5, 2008.
  • My Friend Jay, 2009, edition of one, presented to Jay Leno
  • My Mommy Hung the Moon: A Love Story, 2010.
  • My Brave Year of Firsts, 2016.
  • This Is Me: A Story of Who We Are and Where We Came From, 2016.
  • Me, Myselfie & I: A Cautionary Tale, 2018.[31]


In 1987, Curtis filed a US patent application that subsequently issued as Patent No. 4,753,647. This is a modification of a diaper with a moisture-proof pocket containing wipes that can be taken out and used with one hand.[32] Curtis refused to allow her invention to be marketed until companies started selling biodegradable diapers.[33] The full statutory term of this patent expired February 20, 2007, and it is now in the public domain. She filed a second US patent application related to disposable diapers in 2016 which issued as US Patent 9,827,151[34] on November 28, 2017, and will expire on September 7, 2036.


Curtis is a blogger for The Huffington Post online newspaper.[35] On her website, Curtis tells her young readers that she "moonlights as an actor, photographer, and closet organizer".[28]

Political views

Curtis speaking at an event in support of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clintonin September 2016

During California's 2008 general election, Curtis appeared in the "Yes on Prop 3" television advertisements.[36]

In March 2012, Curtis was featured with Martin Sheen and Brad Pitt in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play 8—a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage—as Sandy Stier.[37] The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.[38][39] In June 2016, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting; in the video, Curtis and others told the stories of the people killed there.[40][41]

Curtis endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election; she has since been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump.[42]


Beginning in 1990, Curtis and her father, Tony, took a renewed interest in their family's Hungarian Jewish heritage, and helped finance the rebuilding of the "Great Synagogue" in Budapest, Hungary. The largest synagogue in Europe today, it was originally built in 1859 and suffered damage during World War II.[43]

Curtis was guest of honor at the 11th annual gala and fundraiser in 2003 for Women in Recovery, a Venice, California-based non-profit organization offering a live-in, twelve-step program of rehabilitation for women in need. Past honorees of this organization include Sir Anthony Hopkins and Dame Angela Lansbury. Curtis is also involved in the work of the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, serving as the annual host for the organization's "Dream Halloween" event in Los Angeles, launched every year in October.[44][45]

Curtis plays a leadership role for Children's Hospital Los Angeles and supported the 2011 opening of a new inpatient facility for the organization.[46]

Personal life

Curtis married Christopher Guest on December 18, 1984. She saw a picture of him from the movie This Is Spinal Tap in Rolling Stone and told her friend Debra Hill, "Oh, I'm going to marry that guy"; she married him five months later.[47] The couple have two adopted children: a daughter, Annie, born in 1986 and a transgender daughter, Ruby, born in 1996.[48][49] Curtis is actor Jake Gyllenhaal's godmother.[50]

Her father-in-law was a British hereditary peer; when he died on April 8, 1996, her husband succeeded him and became the 5th Baron Haden-Guest. By marriage, she takes on the title Baroness Haden-Guestof Saling in Essex. As the wife of a peer she is styled The Right Honourable The Lady Haden-Guest. Curtis rejects the idea of using this title, saying, "It has nothing to do with me".[51]

She is close friends with actress Sigourney Weaver. In a 2015 interview, she said she has never watched Weaver's film Alien in its entirety because she was too scared by it.[52]

Curtis is a recovering alcoholic, and was once addicted to painkillers that she began using after a routine cosmetic surgical procedure.[53] She became sober from opiates in 1999 after reading and relating to Tom Chiarella’s account of addiction;[6] and maintains that recovery is the greatest achievement of her life.[54]

After her father's death, she learned that her entire family, including siblings, had been cut out of his will.[55]

She is a fan of World of Warcraft[56] and One Piece,[57] and has attended Comic-Con[58] and BlizzCon[59] incognito.

Curtis received the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 78th Venice International Film Festival, to which she reacted saying that she "[felt] so alive, like I’m this 14-year-old person just beginning their life. That’s how I wake up every day with that sort of joy and purpose" and added that "she is just beginning [her] work."[60]




Awards and nominations



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  2. ^"Jamie Lee Curtis Interview: Starring as Herself: Embracing Reality". Reader's Digest. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
  3. ^There/Hollywood, page 6, 1985, by Janet Leigh
  4. ^"Family for Tony Curtis" Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  5. ^Casablanca, Ted (October 22, 2010). "Source: Jamie Lee Curtis Written Out of Father's Will". E News. E News. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  6. ^ abGrant, Meg. "Jamie Lee Curtis Is Making Up for Lost Time". AARP. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
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  8. ^Carr, Jay (August 4, 1988). "The Candid Unwinding of Jamie Lee Curtis". The Chicago Tribune.
  9. ^Spencer, Amy (September 6, 2018). "Jamie Lee Curtis Spills Her Inspiring Confidence Secrets". Good Housekeeping.
  10. ^Chin, Paula (August 22, 1994). "Making a Splash". People.
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  13. ^Roger Ebert (October 9, 1980). "Terror Train". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 9, 2006.
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  15. ^Murray, Scott (July 12, 2008). "Richard Franklin: Director/Producer". Senses of Cinema. Accessed October 26, 2012.
  16. ^Curtis, Jamie Lee; Keach, Stacy; McLean, Greg; and Quentin Tarantino (2008). Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (Documentary). City Films Worldwide.
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  21. ^Schwartzel, Erich (October 21, 2018). "'Halloween' Scares Up Strong Opening Numbers". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
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  33. ^Acton, Johnny (2005). The Ideas Companion: Crafty Copyrights, Tricky Trademarks and Peerless Patents (A Think Book). Robson Books (Anova). ISBN .
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  92. ^"The 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards (2004)". Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  93. ^"Satellite Awards (2004)". Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  94. ^"Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA (2004)". Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  95. ^ abc"Jamie Lee Curtis (Awards)". Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  96. ^"6th Annual 20/20 Award Nominees Announced". Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  97. ^"2015 Categories - International Press Academy". Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  98. ^"The 2016 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards Winners and Full Results!". Fangoria. May 10, 2016. Archived from the original on May 18, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  99. ^"The 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards (2016)". Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  100. ^"List: Who won People's Choice Awards?". USA Today. January 6, 2016. Archived from the original on January 7, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  101. ^"IGN Summer Movie Awards (2018)". Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  102. ^"2018 Fright Meter Awards". Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  103. ^Collis, Clark (January 22, 2019). "Halloween, Hereditary, and A Quiet Place nominated for Best Fangoria Awards". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  104. ^Boucher, Geoff (September 13, 2019). "Saturn Awards: 'Spider-Man' Star Tom Holland Wins For Third Year In A Row". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  105. ^Sharf, Zack (December 3, 2019). "National Board of Review 2019: 'The Irishman' Wins Best Film, Adam Sandler Named Best Actor". IndieWire. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  106. ^"Critics Choice Awards | Critics Choice Awards". Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  107. ^Wloszczyna, Daniel Montgomery,Chris Beachum,Marcus James Dixon,Joyce Eng,Zach Laws,Susan; Montgomery, Daniel; Beachum, Chris; Dixon, Marcus James; Eng, Joyce; Laws, Zach; Wloszczyna, Susan (February 4, 2020). "2020 Gold Derby Film Awards: 'Parasite' wins 6 including Best Picture, Joaquin Phoenix and Lupita Nyong'o take lead prizes". GoldDerby. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
Tony Curtis Meets Lukie D Best Of Reggae 90s Edition Mixtape Mix by djeasy

Kelly Curtis

For the fictional character from the Jurassic Park franchise, see List of characters in Jurassic Park.

American actress

Kelly Lee Curtis (born June 17, 1956)[1] is an American former actress. She is known for her roles in Magic Sticks (1987), and The Devil's Daughter (1991).

Early life[edit]

Kelly Curtis was born in Santa Monica, California, the eldest child of actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. Her sister is actress Jamie Lee Curtis (born 1958). Her paternal grandparents were Hungarian-Jewish immigrants[3] and two of her maternal great-grandparents were Danish.[4] The rest of her mother’s ancestry is German and Scots-Irish. She has four half-siblings, from her father's remarriages, Alexandra Curtis (born July 19, 1964); Allegra Curtis (born July 11, 1966); Nicholas Curtis (December 21, 1970 – July 2, 1994), who died of a drug overdose;[5] and Benjamin Curtis (born May 2, 1973).

Curtis' first appearance on the silver screen was as a young girl in the United Artists action/adventure The Vikings (1958) starring her parents, as well as Kirk Douglas and Ernest Borgnine. Her parents divorced in 1962, after which her mother married Robert Brandt (1927-2009).

In 1978, she graduated from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, with a degree in Business. She worked briefly as a stockbroker.[2]


Curtis studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.[6] An article in the Los Angeles Times of July 28, 1982, about the play Say Goodnight, Gracie reads, in part, "Kelly Curtis is Ginny, sadly resigned to not being smart but smartly settled for honest responses. Here, writing and performance transcend one-note designation. Seated quietly, Curtis delivers a touching monologue that would have been the heart of another and better play, rather than a disarming moment of inspired simplicity."[6] She played the role as Shirley in the comedy Magic Sticks (1987) opposite George Kranz, and starred in the leading role as Miriam Kreisl in the horror film The Devil's Daughter (1991).

On September 14, 1989, she and playwright/producer Scott Morfee (born 1954) were married.[7] The couple were then working together on his play with music, Shout and Twist, which she was not only appearing in, but producing.

Curtis was a regular cast member in the role as Lieutenant Carolyn Plummer during the first season of the crime/action television series The Sentinel (1996) opposite co-stars Richard Burgi, Garett Maggart, and Bruce A. Young. Her guest appearances on TV include roles on The Renegades (1983), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), and Judging Amy (1999). She has worked as an assistant on such films as Freaky Friday (2003), Christmas with the Kranks (2004), and You Again (2010).

As of 1990, Curtis and her husband have lived in New York on Long Island.[2]


Production crew[edit]

Television films[edit]

Series television[edit]


  1. ^ abCalifornia Birth Index, Name: Kelly L. Curtis, Birth Date: 06-17-1956, Mother's Maiden Name: Morrison, Sex: Female, County: Los Angeles.
  2. ^ abcSchindehette, Susan (1990). "Tony and Janet's Other Daughter, Kelly, Proves That Jamie Lee's Not the Only Curtis Kid with Acting Genes". Time Inc. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  3. ^"Jamie Lee Curtis Interview: Starring as Herself: Embracing Reality". Reader's Digest. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
  4. ^There/Hollywood, page 6, 1985, by Janet Leigh
  5. ^"Family for Tony Curtis" Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  6. ^ abMahoney, John C. "'Say Goodnight, Gracie' Off Target." Los Angeles Times. July 28, 1982. p. G2. Retrieved 2016-12-31. "Kelly Curtis is Ginny. [...] All participants have been associated with the Lee Strasberg Theater [sic] Institute."
  7. ^Smith, Liz. "The younger [sic] daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis was quietly wed Sept. 14." Los Angeles Times, Nov. 14, 1989. p. P9. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  8. ^Magic Sticks at The New York Times

External links[edit]


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