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Curtis, Tony 1925–

Curtis, Tony 1925–

(Anthony Curtis, James Curtis)


Original name, Bernard Schwartz; born June 3, 1925, in the Bronx, NY; son of Emmanuel Mond (a tailor) and Helen (maiden name, Klein) Schwartz; married Janet Leigh (an actress), June 4, 1951 (divorced, June 1962); married Christine Kaufman (an actress), February 8, 1963 (divorced, 1967); married Leslie Allen, April 20, 1968 (divorced, 1982); married Lisa Deutsch, 1993 (divorced, 1994); married Jill Vandenberg (a horse trainer), November 6, 1998; children: (first marriage) Kelly Lee (an actress), Jamie Lee (an actress and director); (second marriage) Alexandra, Allegra; (third marriage) Nicholas (deceased), Benjamin. Education: Attended Seward Park High School and City College of New York; studied acting at New York Dramatic Workshop and New School for Social Research. Avocational Interests: Painting.


Manager—Michael Einfeld Management, 10630 Moorpark, Suite 101, Toluca Lake, CA 91602.


Actor, song performer, and writer. Signed contract with Universal Pictures in 1948; Curtleigh Productions (production company), founder (with Janet Leigh), c. late 1950s; Curtis Enterprise (production company), c. early 1960s; (a Web site for seniors), spokesperson, 2000—. Military service: U.S. Navy (submarine service), 1942-45.

Awards, Honors:

Golden Apple Award, most cooperative actor, 1952, 1958; Most Popular Male Star, Photoplay Awards, 1958; Henrietta Award, world film favorite—male, Golden Globe Awards, 1958, 1961; Film Award nomination, best foreign actor, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1958, Academy Award nomination, best actor, 1959, both for Sweet Smell of Success; Film Award nomination, best foreign actor, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Golden Globe Award nomination, best motion picture actor—drama, 1959, both for The Defiant Ones; Golden Globe Award nomination, best motion picture actor—drama, 1969, for The Boston Strangler; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding lead actor in a limited series or a special, 1980, for The Scarlett O'Hara War; USA Film Festival Master Screen Artist Award, 1992; Distinguished Hollywood Film Artist Award, St. Louis International Film Festival, 1997; "The General" Honorary Award, Catalonian International Film Festival, 2000; Special David di Donatello Award, 2001; Golden Camera for Lifetime Achievement, 2004; Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award, 2006; received Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Film Appearances:

(Uncredited) Gigolo, Criss Cross, 1949.

(Uncredited) Hot rod driver, The One False Step, Universal, 1949.

(As Anthony Curtis) Bellboy, The Lady Gambles, 1949.

(As Anthony Curtis) Joey Hyatt, Johnny Stool Pigeon, 1949.

How to Smuggle a Hernia Across the Border, 1949.

(As Anthony Curtis) Mitch, City Across the River, 1949.

(Uncredited) Voice of Dave Shaw, Woman in Hiding, 1950.

(As Anthony Curtis) Doan, Winchester '73 (also known as Montana Winchester), 1950.

(As Anthony Curtis) Brent Coulter, Sierra, 1950.

(As Anthony Curtis) Pepe, I Was a Shoplifter, 1950.

(As Anthony Curtis) Captain Jones, Francis (also known as Francis the Talking Mule), 1950.

Kit Dalton, Kansas Raiders, Universal, 1950.

Julna, The Prince Who Was a Thief, Universal, 1951.

Paul Callan, Flesh and Fury, Universal, 1952.

(Uncredited) Himself, Meet Danny Wilson, Universal, 1952.

Alvah Morrell, No Room for the Groom, Universal, 1952.

Kashma Baba, Son of Ali Baba, Universal, 1952.

Nick Bonelli, The All-American (also known as The Winning Way), Universal, 1953.

Eddie Darrow, Forbidden, Universal, 1953.

Title role, Houdini, Paramount, 1953.

Burke, Beachhead, United Artists, 1954.

Myles Falworth, The Black Shield of Falworth, Universal, 1954.

Title role, Johnny Dark, Universal, 1954.

Joe Maxwell, So This Is Paris (also known as So This Is Paree and Three Gobs in Paris), Universal, 1954.

Rene do Traviere, The Purple Mask, Universal, 1955.

Jerry Florea, Six Bridges to Cross, Universal, 1955.

Eddie Quaid/Packy Glennon, The Square Jungle, Universal, 1955.

Ben Mathews, The Rawhide Years, Universal, 1956.

Tino Orsini, Trapeze, Susan/United Artists, 1956.

Joe Martini, The Midnight Story (also known as Appointment with a Shadow), Universal, 1957.

Cory, Mister Cory, Universal, 1957.

Sidney Falco, Sweet Smell of Success, Norma-Curtleigh/United Artists, 1957.

John "Joker" Jackson, The Defiant Ones, United Artists, 1958.

Sergeant Britt Harris, Kings Go Forth, Frank Ross-Eton/United Artists, 1958.

Corporal Paul Hodges, The Perfect Furlough (also known as Strictly for Pleasure), Universal, 1958.

Eric, The Vikings, Bryna/United Artists, 1958.

Lieutenant Nick Holden, Operation Petticoat, Granarte/Universal, 1959.

Joe/Josephine, Some Like It Hot, Ashton-Mirish/United Artists, 1959.

Ferdinand Waldo Demara, Jr., The Great Imposter, Universal, 1960.

(Uncredited) Cameo, Pepe, Columbia, 1960.

Peter Hammond, Jr., Rat Race, Paramount, 1960.

Antonius, Spartacus (also known as Spartacus: Rebel Against Rome), Bryna/Universal, 1960.

David Wilson, Who Was That Lady?, Ansark-Sidney/Columbia, 1960.

Steve McCluskey, Forty Pounds of Trouble, Universal, 1962.

Ira Hamilton Hayes, The Outsider, Universal, 1962.

Andre Bulba, Taras Bulba, Hecht-Curtleigh/United Artists, 1962.

Corporal Jackson Laibowitz, Captain Newman, M.D., Universal, 1963.

Italian, The List of Adrian Messenger, Universal, 1963.

George Tracy, Goodbye Charlie, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1964.

(Uncredited) Maurice/Philippe, second policeman, Paris When It Sizzles, Quine-Charleston/Paramount, 1964.

Bob Weston, Sex and the Single Girl, Warner Bros., 1964.

Terry Williams, Wild and Wonderful, Universal, 1964.

Bernard Lawrence, Boeing (707) Boeing (707), Paramount, 1965.

Leslie "The Great Leslie" Gallant III, The Great Race (also known as Blake Edwards' "The Great Race"), Warner Bros., 1965.

Himself, Behind the Scenes with Blake Edwards' "The Great Race," 1965.

Nick Johnson, Drop Dead Darling (also known as Arrivederci Baby!), Paramount, 1966.

(Uncredited) Mr. Julian, Chamber of Horrors, Warner Bros., 1966.

Tom Ferris, Not with My Wife, You Don't, Fernwood-Reynard/Warner Bros., 1966.

Carlo Cofield, Don't Make Waves, Filmways-Reynard/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1967.

Guerrando, The Chastity Belt (also known as On My Way to the Crusades I Met a Girl Who … and La cintura di castita), Titanus/Warner Bros./Seven Arts, 1968.

(Uncredited) Voice of Donald Baumgart, Rosemary's Baby, Paramount, 1968.

Albert De Salvo, The Boston Strangler, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1968.

Chester Schofield, Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies (also known as Monte Carlo or Bust, Gonfles a bloc, Monte Carlo Rally, Montecarlo Rally, Quei temerari sulle loro pazze, scatentate, scalcinate carriole, Il ralleye di Montecarloe tutta quella confusione, and Le rallye de Monte Carlo), Dino De Laurentiis—Marianne-Basil Keys/Paramount, 1969.

Sergeant Shannon Gambroni, Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? (also known as War Games), ABC/Cinerama, 1970.

Adam Dyer, You Can't Win 'Em All (also known as The Dubious Patriots and Soldiers of Fortune), Columbia, 1970.

Danny Wilde, Mission: Monte Carlo, 1974.

Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, Lepke, AmeriEuro/Warner Bros., 1975.

Daniel Wilde, Sporting Chance, 1976.

Danny Wilde, London Conspiracy, 1976.

Rodriguez, The Last Tycoon, Paramount, 1976.

Marvin Lazar, The Bad News Bears Go to Japan, Paramount, 1978.

Harry Erskine, The Manitou, Weist-Simon/Avco Embassy, 1978.

Alexei Karansky, Sexette, Crown International, 1978.

Giacomo Casanova, Some Like It Cool (also known as Casanova and Co., The Rise and Rise of Casanova, Sex on the Run, Some Like It Cool, The Amorous Mis-Adventures of Casanova, and Treize femmes pour Casanova), Neue Delta-Pan-Panther-COFCI-TV 13/Pro International, 1979.

McCoy, Double Take, 1979.

Blackie, Little Miss Marker, Universal, 1980.

Robert Talbot, It Rained All Night the Day I Left (also known as Deux affreux sur le sable), 1980.

Marty N. Fenn, The Mirror Crack'd, EMI/Associated Film Distribution, 1980.

Frank Renzetti, Title Shot, Regenthall/Cinepax, 1982.

Colonel Iago, Othello, el comando negro (also known as Black Commando, Othello, and Othello, the Black Commando), 1982.

Dr. Clavius, Brainwaves (also known as Mind Games and Shadow of Death), Motion Picture Marketing, 1983.

Parsifal Katzenellen-Boden, Where Is Parsifal?, Terrence Young, 1983.

The senator, Insignificance, Zenith-Recorded Picture Co./Island Alive, 1985.

Himself, The Fantasy Film World of George Pal, 1985.

Hector, Club Life (also known as King of the City), Tiger Productions-Cineworld Entertainment/Troma Team, 1985.

Ernie Stoddard, the tycoon, Balboa (also known as Rich and Powerful), Production Associates/Entertainment Artists-Vestron Video, 1986.

Charles Foster, The Last of Philip Banter (also known as Banter), Tesauro-Banter, 1986.

Voice, Sparky's Magic Piano, 1987.

Mr. Cornfield, Der Passagier—Welcome to Germany (also known as The Passenger—Welcome to Germany and Welcome to Germany), 1988.

J. P. Shelldrake, Lobster Man from Mars, 1989.

Willy La Rouge, Walter & Carlo I Amerika (also known as Walter & Carlo in America and Walter og Carlo I Amerika), 1989.

Mr. B, Midnight, 1989.

Marietta Copella, Prime Target, 1991.

Narrator, Hollywood Babylon II, 1992.

Stephen Moore, Center of the Web, 1992.

Himself, Hugh Hefner: Once Upon a Time, 1992.

Aziru/Dr. Mohassid, The Mummy Lives, 1993.

The Celebrity Guide to Entertaining, 1993.

Carl Fisher, Naked in New York, 1994.

Himself, A Century of Cinema, 1994.

Interviewee, The Celluloid Closet (also known as Celluloid Closet and Gefangen in der Traumfabrik), 1995.

Wald, Hardball (also known as Bounty Hunters II and Bounty Hunters 2: Hardball), 1997.

Jack Steele, Brittle Glory (also known as The Continued Adventures of Reptile Man and His Faithful Sidekick Tadpole and The Continued Adventures of Reptile Man), 1997.

Dr. Lancaster, Alien X Factor, Filmdeck, 1997.

Stargames, Amazing, 1998.

Lenny Star Springer, Louis & Frank (also known as Louis and Frank), 1998.

Ringside fan, Play It to the Bone (also known as Play It), Buena Vista, 1999.

Himself, Tony Curtis on "Some Like It Hot" (documentary short), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment, 2001.

Himself, Rescued from the Closet (documentary), Columbia TriStar Home Video, 2001.

Host, Reflections of Evil, Pookie Films, 2002.

Himself, One Less Tear (short), 2003.

Himself, The Untitled "Star Wars" Mockumentary (short), BijouFlix Releasing, 2003.

Himself, Playmate: 50 Years of Playmates, 2004.

Himself, The Making of "Some Like It Hot" (documentary short), 2006.

Himself, The Morning After: Remembering the Persuaders! (documentary), Network Video, 2006.

Sol, Funny Money, ThinkFilm, 2006.

Himself, Where's Marty?, 2006.

Voice of God, The Blacksmith and the Carpenter, 2007.

Film Work:

Executive producer, Sweet Smell of Success, 1957.

Television Appearances; Series:

Danny Wilde, The Persuaders, ABC, 1971-72.

Title role, McCoy, NBC, 1975-76.

Philip "Slick" Roth, Vega$, ABC, 1978-81.

Host, Hollywood Babylon, 1992.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Joey Jordan, The Third Girl from the Left, ABC, 1973.

McCoy, The Big Ripoff, NBC, 1975.

Fernand Mondego, The Count of Monte Cristo (also known as Il conte di Montecristo), NBC, 1975.

Randy Brent, The Users, ABC, 1978.

David O. Selznick, Moviola: The Scarlett O'Hara War (also known as Moviola and The Scarlett O'Hara War), NBC, 1980.

Flanagan, Inmates: A Love Story, ABC, 1981.

Chester Masterson, The Million Dollar Face (also known as Kiss of Gold), NBC, 1981.

Joey De Leon, Portrait of a Showgirl, CBS, 1982.

Charles Cartwright/Edward W. Muggins, Agatha Christie's "Murder in Three Acts" (also known as Murder in Three Acts), CBS, 1986.

Sam (Salvatore) "Momo" Giancana, Mafia Princess, ABC, 1986.

Harry's Back, 1987.

Archimedes Porter, Tarzan in Manhattan, 1989.

Max Schloss, Thanksgiving Day (also known as The Good Family), 1990.

Alexander Yardley, Christmas in Connecticut, 1992.

Lucky Bergstrom, Bandit: Beauty and the Bandit, syndicated, 1994.

Johnny Steele, A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Grimacing Governor, NBC, 1994.

Dominic, The Immortals, HBO, 1995.

(Uncredited) Cameo, Elvis Meets Nixon, Showtime, 1997.

Television Appearances; Specials:

"A Star Is Born" Premiere, 1954.

The Red Skelton Revue, CBS, 1954.

Steve Allen in Movieland, 1955.

A Private Little Party for a Few Chums, 1957.

The 31st Annual Academy Awards, NBC, 1959.

The 32nd Annual Academy Awards, NBC, 1960.

The 33rd Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1961.

The 41st Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1969.

The Bob Hope Show, NBC, 1970.

Super Comedy Bowl 2, CBS, 1972.

Annie and the Hoods, ABC, 1974.

Gunther Gebel-Williams: The Lord of the Ring, CBS, 1977.

Playboy's 25th Anniversary Celebration, ABC, 1979.

Magic with the Stars, 1982.

Circus of the Stars #8, 1983.

American Film Institute Salute to Billy Wilder (also known as A Salute to Billy Wilder and The 14th American Film Institute Life Achievement Award: A Salute to Billy Wilder), 1986.

Scott Parish, Charlie, 1989.

The American Film Institute Salute to Sidney Poitier, 1992.

Roger Moore: A Matter of Class, Arts and Entertainment, 1995.

Hugh Hefner: American Playboy, Arts and Entertainment, 1996.

Burt Lancaster, AMC, 1997.

The GI Bill: The Law That Changed America, PBS, 1997.

Private Screenings: Tony Curtis, TCM, 1999.

The Rat Pack, HBO, 1999.

AFI's 100 Years, 100 Laughs: America's Funniest Movies, 2000.

Playboy: The Party Continues, 2000.

Playboy: Inside the Playboy Mansion, Arts and Entertainment, 2002.

Playboys' 50th Anniversary Celebration, Arts and Entertainment, 2003.

Snow Graham Norton: The Hollywood and the Ivy, Channel Four, 2003.

Hollywood Home Movies, Arts and Entertainment, 2004.

Hollywood Legenden, 2004.

Jerry Lewis—Konig der komodianten, 2006.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Philip Roth, Vega$ (also known as High Roller), ABC, 1978.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

The Colgate Comedy Hour (also known as Colgate Summer Comedy Hour, Colgate Variety Hour, and Michael Todd Revue), 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955.

Mystery guest, What's My Line?, 1955.

Toast of the Town (also known as The Ed Sullivan Show), 1955, 1956.

Mario Galindo, "Cornada," General Electric Theater (also known as G.E. Theater), CBS, 1957.

The Perry Como Show (also known as Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall and The Chesterfield Supper Club), 1958.

I've Got a Secret, 1958.

Charlie, "Man on a Rack," Schlitz Playhouse of the Stars (also known as Herald Playhouse, Schlitz Playhouse, and The Playhouse), CBS, 1958.

David, "The Stone," General Electric Theater (also known as G.E. Theater), CBS, 1959.

"The Hollywood Merit Awards," The Steve Allen Show (also known as The Steve Allen Plymouth Show), 1959.

"Mervyn LeRoy," This Is Your Life, 1960.

"Nightbeat Takeoff," The Jack Benny Program (also known as The Jack Benny Show), 1960.

Juggler, "The Young Juggler," Startime (also known as Ford Startime and Lincoln-Mercury Startime), 1960.

Here's Hollywood, 1962.

Voice of Stony Curtis, "The Return of Stony Curtis," The Flintstones (animated), 1965.

Good Company, ABC, 1967.

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, NBC, 1968, 1970, 1973.

Cameo, "Fade-In," Bracken's World, 1969.

The Mike Douglas Show, 1970.

"Tony Curtis," Film Night, 1970.

The ABC Comedy Hour, 1972.

V.I.P.—Schaukel, 1972.

The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, 1972.

Clifford Grayson, "Hit-Run," Shaft, 1973.

Joe O'Hara, "Eight Ball," The Fall Guy, 1983.

Aspel & Company, ITV, 1984.

The Dame Edna Experience, 1989.

Reflections on the Silver Screen with Professor Richard Brown, 1990.

Host, Hollywood Babylon, 1992.

Late Show with David Letterman (also known as The Late Show), CBS, 1993.

Sunday Night Clive (also known as Clive James), PBS, 1994.

SHE TV, Lifetime, 1994.

Dr. Isaac Mamba, "I Now Pronounce You …," Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (also known as Lois & Clark and The New Adventures of Superman), ABC, 1996.

Hal, "Ballroom Blitz," Roseanne, ABC, 1996.

Himself, "Mrs. Merton in Las Vegas," The Mrs. Merton Show, 1997.

Clive Anderson All Talk, BBC1, 1998.

Peter Dicaprio, "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," Suddenly Susan, NBC, 1998.

Himself, The Rat Pack, 1999.

"Tony Curtis," Private Screenings, 1999.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, 1999.

"Ernest Borgnine: Hollywood's Uncommon Character," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2000.

"Tony Curtis: Tony of the Movies," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2001.

"Wetten, dass …? aus Gottingen," Wetten, dass?, 2001.

"Albert DeSalvo: The Boston Strangler," Backstory (also known as Hollywood Backstories), AMC, 2001.

"The Boston Strangler," History vs. Hollywood, History Channel, 2001.

"Tony Curtis," The Hollywood Greats (also known as Hollywood Greats), BBC1, 2002.

"Kirk Douglas," The Hollywood Greats (also known as Hollywood Greats), BBC1, 2003.

"Janet Leigh," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2003.

Morris, "Jack's Back," Hope & Faith, NBC, 2004.

Die Johannes B. Kerner Show (also known as JBK), 2004.

Tony, "Grave Danger: Volume 1," CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (also known as C.S.I., CSI: Las Vegas, and Les Experts), CBS, 2005.

"Hollywood Goes to War," War Stories with Oliver North, 2006.

"Jack Lemmon," The Hollywood Greats (also known as Hollywood Greats), BBC1, 2006.

"Marlon Brando," The Hollywood Greats (also known as Hollywood Greats), BBC1, 2006.

"The Marilyn Tapes," 48 Hours (also known as 48 Hours Investigates and 48 Hours Mystery), CBS, 2006.

"The Marilyn Mystery," 60 Minutes, CBS, 2006.

Television Work; Movies:

Executive producer, The Young Juggler, 1960.

Stage Appearances:

Golden Boy, Cherry Lane Theatre, New York City, 1948.

Osgood Fielding III, Some Like It Hot, Houston, TX, and Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA, 2002.

Also appeared in I Oughta Be in Pictures, Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles.



(With Barry Paris) Tony Curtis: The Autobiography, Morrow, 1993.


Kid Andrew Cody and Julie Sparrow, Doubleday, 1977.



Hunter, Allan, Tony Curtis: The Man and His Movies, St. Martin's Press, 1985.

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers: Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, St. James Press, 1996.

Munn, Michael, The Kid from the Bronx: A Biography of Tony Curtis, 1984.


Entertainment Weekly, May 30, 1997, p. 88.

People Weekly, November 23, 1998, p. 64; July 5, 1999, p. 107.

Variety, September 9, 2002, p. A10.

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Curtis, Tony


Nationality: American. Born: Bernard Schwartz in the Bronx, New York, 3 June 1925; known as James Curtis and Anthony Curtis during early career. Education: Attended Seward Park High School, New York; City College of New York; acting classes at New York's Dramatic Workshop. Military Service: World War II—served with U.S. Navy. Family: Married 1) the actress Janet Leigh, 1951 (divorced 1962), daughters: the actresses Kelly Lee and Jamie Lee Curtis; 2) the actress Christine Kaufmann, 1963 (divorced 1967),

daughters: Alexandra, Allegra; 3) Leslie Allen, 1968 (divorced 1981), sons: Nicholas, Benjamin. Career: Mid-1940s—started Empire Players theater in Newark, New Jersey; later joined the Dramatic Workshop of the Cherry Lane Theater and Drama Workshop of Walt Whitman; late 1940s—began acting professionally with Stanley Woolf Players which toured "Borscht Circuit" in Catskills; appeared briefly off-Broadway; 1948—film debut in bit role in Criss Cross; 1949—contract with Universal; late 1950s—formed Curtleigh Productions with wife Janet Leigh; early 1960s—formed production company Curtis Enterprises; later formed Reynard production company; 1971–72—in the TV series The Persuaders; 1975–76—in TV series McCoy; 1978–82—semi-regular on ABC-TV series Vegas. Address: c/o Jerry Zeitman, The Agency, 10351 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 211, Los Angeles, CA 90025, U.S.A.

Films as Actor:


Criss Cross (Siodmak) (as gigolo)


City across the River (Shane) (as Mitch); The Lady Gambles (Gordon) (as bellboy); Johnny Stool Pigeon (Castle) (as Joey Hyatt); Francis (Lubin) (as Capt. Jones)


Sierra (Green) (as Brent Coulter); I Was a Shoplifter (Lamont) (as Pepe); Winchester '73 (Anthony Mann) (as Doan); Kansas Raiders (Enright) (as Kit Dalton)


The Prince Who Was a Thief (Maté) (as Julna); Flesh and Fury (Pevney) (as Paul Callan)


No Room for the Groom (Sirk) (as Alvah Morrell); Son of Ali Baba (Newmann) (as Kashma Baba)


Houdini (George Marshall) (title role); The All-American (The Winning Way) (Hibbs) (as Nick Bonelli); Forbidden (Maté) (as Eddie Darrow)


Beachhead (Heisler) (as Burke); Johnny Dark (Sherman) (title role); The Black Shield of Falworth (Maté) (as Myles Falworth); So This Is Paris (Quine) (as Joe Maxwell)


Six Bridges to Cross (Pevney) (as Jerry Florea); The Purple Mask (Humberstone) (as René); The Square Jungle (Jerry Hopper) (as Eddie Quaid)


The Rawhide Years (Maté) (as Ben Matthews); Trapeze (Reed) (as Tino Orsini)


Mister Cory (Edwards) (title role); The Sweet Smell of Success (Mackendrick) (as Sidney Falco); The Midnight Story (Appointment with a Shadow) (Pevney) (as Joe Martini)


The Vikings (Fleischer) (as Eric); Kings Go Forth (Daves) (as Britt Harris); The Defiant Ones (Kramer) (as John Jackson); The Perfect Furlough (Strictly for Pleasure) (Edwards) (as Cpl. Paul Hodges)


Some Like It Hot (Wilder) (as Joe/Josephine); Operation Petticoat (Edwards) (as Lt. Nick Holden); Who Was That Lady? (Sidney) (as David Wilson)


The Rat Race (Mulligan) (as Pete Hammond Jr.); Spartacus (Kubrick) (as Antoninus); The Great Impostor (Mulligan) (as Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr.); Pepe (Sidney) (as guest)


The Outsider (Delbert Mann) (as Ira Hamilton Hayes)


Forty Pounds of Trouble (Jewison) (as Steve McCluskey); Taras Bulba (Thompson) (as Andrei Bulba)


The List of Adrian Messenger (Huston) (as Italian); Captain Newman, M.D. (Miller) (as Cpl. Jackson Laibowitz); Paris When It Sizzles (Quine) (as second policeman)


Wild and Wonderful (Anderson) (as Terry Williams); Goodbye Charlie (Minnelli) (as George Tracy); Sex and the Single Girl (Quine) (as Bob Weston)


The Great Race (Edwards) (as The Great Leslie); Boeing-Boeing (Rich) (as Bernard Lawrence)


Not with My Wife, You Don't (Panama) (as Tom Ferris); Chamber of Horrors (Averback) (as Mr. Julian); Arrivederci, Baby (Drop Dead, Darling) (Hughes) (as Nick)


La cintura di castita (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Crusades; The Chastity Belt) (Campanile) (as Guerrando da Montone); Don't Make Waves (Mackendrick) (as Carlo Cofield)


Rosemary's Baby (Polanski) (as voice of Donald Baumgart); The Boston Strangler (Fleischer) (as Albert de Salvo)


Quei temerari sulle loro pazze, scatenate, scalcinate carriole (Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies; Monte Carlo or Bust!) (Annakin) (as Chester Schofield)


Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? (Averback) (as Shannon Gambroni); You Can't Win 'em All (Collinson) (as Adam Dyer)


The Third Girl from the Left (Medak—for TV)


Lepke (Golan) (title role)


The Count of Monte Cristo (Greene—for TV) (as Mondego); The Big Rip-Off (Hardgrove—for TV)


The Last Tycoon (Kazan) (as Rodriguez)


Casanova & Co. (The Rise and Rise of Casanova; Some Like It Cool) (Legrand, i.e., Franz Antel) (title role); The Manitou (Girdler) (as Harry Erskine)


Sextette (Hughes) (as Alexei); The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (Berry) (as Marvin); The Users (Hardy—for TV); Vegas (Richard Lang—for TV) (as Phillip Roth)


It Rained All Night the Day I Left (Gessner) (as Robert Talbot); Title Shot (Rose) (as Frank Renzetti)


Little Miss Marker (Bernstein) (as Blackie); The Mirror Crack'd (Hamilton) (as Marty N. Fenn); Moviola: The Scarlett O'Hara War (Erman—for TV)


The Million Dollar Face (O'Herlihy—for TV); Inmates: A Love Story (Green—for TV)


Brainwaves (Lommel) (as Dr. Clavius); Portrait of a Showgirl (Stern—for TV); Othello—The Black Commando (Boulois) (as Iago); Balboa (Polakof) (as Ernie Stoddard)


Where Is Parsifal? (Helman) (as Parsifal Katzenellenbogen)


Insignificance (Roeg) (as the Senator)


The Last of Philip Banter (Hachuel) (as Charles Foster); Mafia Princess (Collins—for TV) (as Salvatore "Sam" Giancana); Balbao (Polakof) (as Ernie Stoddard)


Club Life (Vane) (as Hector)


Pascsagier—Welcome to Germany (Brasch) (as Cornfield)


Lobster Man from Mars (Sheff) (as J. P. Shelldrake); Midnight (Vane); Walter & Carlo i Amerika (Friis-Mikkelsen) (as Wally La Rouge)


Tarzan in Manhattan (Schultz—for TV) (as Archimedes Porter); Bloodlaw (Heavener); Thanksgiving Day (Tanasescu—for TV) (as Max Schloss)


Prime Target (Heavener) (as Marrietta Copella)


Center of the Web (Prior) (as Stephen Moore); Christmas in Connecticut (Schwarzenegger—for TV) (as Alex Yardley)


The Mummy Lives (Gerry O'Hara) (as Aziru/Dr. Mohassid); Bandit: Beauty and The Bandit (Needham—for TV) (as Lucky Bergstrom); A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Grimacing Governor (Tash—for TV) (as Johnny Steele); Naked in New York (Algrant) (as Carl Fisher)


The Immortals (for TV); The Celluoid Closet (Epstein and Friedman—doc) (as interviewee); Roger Moore: A Matter of Class (for TV) (as himself)


Elvis Meets Nixon (Arkush) (uncredited—as himself); Hardball (Erschbamer) (as Wald); Brittle Glory (The Continued Adventures of Reptile Man) (Schill) (as Jack Steele); Alien X Factor (Sondberg) (as Dr. Lancaster)


Louis & Frank (Rockwell); Stargames (Gordon Clark)


Play It to the Bone (Play It) (Shelton) (as Ringside Fan)


Those Old Broads


By CURTIS: books—

Kid Andrew Cody and Julie Sparrow (novel), 1977.

Tony Curtis: The Autobiography, with Barry Paris, New York, 1993.

By CURTIS: articles—

Interview with Brian Baxter, in Films and Filming (London), August 1985.

Interview with G. Fuller, in Interview, June 1991.

Interview with Maria Lexton, in Time Out (London), 16 November 1994.

Interview with Andrew Duncan, in Radio Times (London), 22 April 1995.

On CURTIS: books—

Richards, Jeffrey, Swordsmen of the Screen: From Douglas Fairbanks to Michael York, London, 1977.

Farber, Stephen, and Marc Green, Hollywood Dynasties, New York, 1984.

Leigh, Janet, There Really Was a Hollywood, 1984.

Munn, Michael, The Kid from the Bronx: A Biography of Tony Curtis, London, 1984.

Hunter, Allan, Tony Curtis: The Man and His Movies, Edinburgh, 1985.

On CURTIS: articles—

Cassa, A., "Tony Curtis," letter, in Films in Review (New York), January 1973.

Letter from K. Canham in Films in Review (New York), May 1974.

Ecran (Paris), September 1978.

Root, Steve, "Tony Curtis," Los Angeles Magazine, March 1989.

* * *

Ironically, Tony Curtis is today best known as the father of actress Jamie Lee Curtis. But in a career that spans more than five dozen films and a panorama of genres, he has proved to be an engaging light comedian—particularly when guided by Blake Edwards or Billy Wilder; he has also startled critics with a smattering of sharp-edged dramatic portrayals. Sadly, his acting reputation has long been eclipsed by that of his personal life, most notably his marriages (which proved fodder for fan magazines during their heyday). Even his physical qualities, his "pretty-boy" looks, which initially propelled him to stardom during the glamour-obsessed late 1950s and early 1960s, have worked against him.

Certainly, he was badly miscast early in his career: with his Bronx accent, the former Bernard Schwartz stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb in a string of Westerns, swashbucklers, and Arabian Nightsinduced flights of fancy, wherein he uttered such immortal lines as "Yonda is the castle uv my fodda."

The critical sniggering that dogged those early performances came to a halt in 1957 with Curtis's stunning portrayal of oily press agent Sidney Falco in the gritty film noir The Sweet Smell of Success. Incomprehensibly, Curtis was not nominated for an Oscar in that performance. A year later, however, he was Best Actor nominee for The Defiant Ones, a chase film about racial prejudice directed by Stanley Kramer. Armed with critical acclaim, Curtis gave confident performances (sans Bronx accent) in the memorable period spectacles, The Vikings and Spartacus.

It was the back-to-back release in 1959 of two frantic comedies—Some Like It Hot, directed by Wilder, and Operation Petticoat, one of his many collaborations with Edwards (they also teamed up for such films as Mister Cory and The Great Race)—that displayed his impeccable comic timing. At his most convincing when cast opposite strong (or, at the very least, ingratiating) performers, Curtis proved a deft foil for Jack Lemmon and a charming romantic lead opposite Marilyn Monroe in the Wilder comedy. In Operation Petticoat he more than held his own with Cary Grant (whose distinctive voice he successfully parodied in Some Like It Hot).

Curtis went on to breezy work in so-called sophisticated comedies such as Sex and the Single Girl, then reinforced his dramatic reputation with his chilling portrayal of Albert de Salvo in The Boston Strangler (1968). Curtis campaigned long and hard to win the role, knowing it was a long shot; he gained almost 30 pounds and had his face rebuilt with a false nose to look like de Salvo. His perseverance earned him the role and good reviews, but not the Oscar nomination he sought and expected. The academy did not like serial killers, regardless of how persuasively they were played on the screen; it had previously ignored Anthony Perkins's now-classic performance in Psycho. Not until Anthony Hopkins's Hannibal the Cannibal in Silence of the Lambs in 1991 would such an honor be bestowed—not only was Hopkins nominated, he won.

The Boston Strangler proved to be Curtis's last major film role. He has since appeared mostly in low-budget and foreign films and in various television productions, often playing aging Sicilian godfathers and other Mafioso types.

—Pat H. Broeske, updated by John McCarty

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