Hollywood star Tony Curtis — whose good looks made him one of the most accomplished actors of the 1950s — died of cardiac arrest at his home in Henderson, Nevada early Thursday.
He was 85.
Curtis filmography included more than 140 motion pictures, but he was perhaps best known for appearing alongside Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon in Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot in 1959. He received an Oscar nomination that year for his work in The Defiant Ones, in which he starred with Sidney Poitier.
Tony — whose children include actress Jamie Lee Curtis — was an inveterate womanizer and dated starlets like Marilyn Monroe and Natalie Wood despite being married a total of six times.
To mark his 80th birthday in 2005, Curtis posed nude for Vanity Fair. He covered his genitals with his Yorkshire terriers, Daphne and Josephine, who were named for the female characters he and Lemmon played in Some Like It Hot. Roger Moore, who starred with Curtis as a pair of international playboys in the early 1970s TV show The Persuaders, recalled Curtis as a jokester and a talented actor.
“He was great fun to work with, a great sense of humour and wonderful ad libs,” Moore told the BBC. “We had the best of times.”
But Curtis spent his later years helping others. In 1989, he released an exercise videotape for people past age 50. The actor also operated the Shiloh Horse Rescue and Sanctuary, a refuge for horses that were abandoned or abused, on the California-Nevada border with wife No. 6, Jill.
What’s your favorite Tony Curtis film?