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News » Tony Curtis dies at Las Vegas home

Tony Curtis dies at Las Vegas home

03 October 2010
Tony Curtis, who died on September 29 aged 85, was one of Hollywood's last matinee idols; the product of a classic success story, he rose from a New York ghetto to enjoy fame and stardom that was largely unparalleled for much of the 1950s and 1960s.

Curtis began in acting with frivolous movies that exploited his handsome physique and appealing personality, but then steadily moved to more substantial roles, starting in 1957 in the harrowing show business tale "Sweet Smell of Success."

In 1958, "The Defiant Ones" brought him an Academy Award nomination as best actor for his portrayal of a white racist who escaped from prison handcuffed to a black man, Sidney Poitier. The following year, he donned women's clothing and sparred with Marilyn Monroe in one of the most acclaimed film comedies ever, Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot."

He acted in over 60 films in roles covering a wide range of genres, from light comedy to serious drama. In his later years, Curtis made numerous television appearances.

His first wife was actress Janet Leigh of "Psycho" fame; actress Jamie Lee Curtis is their daughter. He also had five other children. Daughters Kelly, also with Leigh, and Allegra, with second wife Christine Kaufmann, also became actresses. His other wives were Leslie Allen, Lisa Deutsch and Jill VandenBerg, whom he married in 1998.
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