Tony Curtis R.I.POctober 3, 2010
Another Hollywood legend of the old school left us this week.
Tony Curtis, born Bernard Schwartz died on the 29th September at the age of 85. He had been ill for some time, but it was a heart attack that finally took him. Going by the obituaries I’ve read over the last few days he sounds like a person who really enjoyed his life and work and didn’t take himself too seriously.
I first got to know Tony Curtis by watching a 70s TV show called The Persuaders with a pre-Bond Roger Moore.
I then saw him in such films as Trapeze with Burt Lancaster and Gina Lollobrigida, and Monte Carlo Or Bust, a very silly film indeed. It is to my shame that I have not yet seen Spartacus, though I like a good sword and Toga epic. I also haven’t got around to seeing him in The Sweet Smell Of Success.
Although Some Like It Hot is possibly his best-known film, I preferred him in The Boston Strangler where he played the serial killer Albert DeSalvo, a performance so disturbing I felt a need to cleanse myself afterwards.
His private life was colourful, clocking up six wives. He didn’t quite match either Elizabeth Taylor (8), or Zsa Zsa Gabor (9) in terms of the number of times wed, but he certainly gave it a go. His life was colourful in other ways too, as he turned to painting in his later years, with some success. The last time I saw him he was on The Graham Norton Show where he was as robust as ever, in spirit, if not in body.
We’d like these people to remain, but, like the rest of us, they eventually have to leave this planet. At least he left some good movies we can dip into again and again. Rest in Peace, Bernie. Ya cwouldn’t have dun bedder.