Tony Curtis, 'beefcake' actor of more than 100 movies, dies
Tony Curtis, a suave Hollywood actor with electric blue eyes who was best known for his role opposite Marilyn Monroe in the comedy "Some like it Hot," died Wednesday at his Las Vegas area home. He was 85.
Mr. Curtis also gave compelling dramatic performances in "Sweet Smell of Success" and "The Defiant Ones," and sustained a career for more than five decades and surprised reviewers with his deft handling of a wide range of characters.
His greasy, ducktail hairdo, and an athletic build won him a devoted following, particularly among young fans.
He was featured in glossy magazines, and his clothing was torn at by enthusiastic female fans whenever he made public appearances.
An official in the studio's fashion department made him a special suit designed to give easily whenever an admirer pulled at its buttons.
In director Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot." He and Jack Lemmon played 1920s jazz musicians who disguise themselves as women in an all-girl band after witnessing a mob slaying.
Mr. Curtis had a triple role: a womanizing jazz saxophonist named Joe, who rechristens himself "Josephine" in the female orchestra and also pretends to be a sexually unresponsive oil heir in order to entice a golddigging singer played by Monroe.
Film historian Robert Osborne said Mr. Curtis's performance in "Some Like It Hot" was "so wonderful and such a surprise" and the movie is held in such high regard that it overcomes a later downward spiral of his career.
If you have any thoughts or memories of Mr. Curtis, please leave them below. And also, what was your favorite movie that he appeared in?
T. Rees Shapiro
| September 30, 2010; 9:52 AM ET
Categories: T. Rees Shapiro | Tags: Marilyn Monroe, Some like it hot, Tony Curtis
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