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Tony Curtis RIP


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A good innings at 85, but sad all the same.


Hollywood star Tony Curtis has died of a cardiac arrest at his US home in Nevada aged 85.

The Oscar-nominated actor, who starred in Some Like it Hot opposite Marilyn Monroe, passed away peacefully in bed, a family spokesman said.

The star received an Oscar nod in 1959 for The Defiant Ones, in which he starred with Sidney Poitier.

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His career spanned six decades and he made more than 120 films including Trapeze, Spartacus and The Vikings.

Clark County coroner Mike Murphy told the Associated Press that the actor died at 2125 local time on Wednesday.

Born Bernard Schwartz on 3 June 1925 in New York, the actor served in World War II before taking on the name Tony Curtis when he began his film career in 1949.

He began his career as a heart-throb, but became a respected actor after starring in more substantial roles, starting in 1957 with harrowing showbusiness tale Sweet Smell of Success.

He went on to appear in The Defiant Ones as an escaped racist convict handcuffed to a black escapee.

But he became best known for his role in Billy Wilder's acclaimed comedy Some Like It Hot, where he donned women's clothing.

After his star faded in the late 1960s, Curtis shifted to lesser roles and fell into drug and alcohol addiction.

In the 1970s he turned to television, starring in a number of TV series including The Persuaders! opposite Roger Moore, and Michael Mann's Vegas.

After recovering from addiction in the early 1980s, he later became a painter whose canvasses sold for as much as $20,000 (£12,600).

The actor was married six times, including to Psycho star Janet Leigh, with whom he had two children including daughter and actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

He is survived by his wife, Jill Vandenberg Curtis, and six children.

Something to leave you with a smile:

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So many great films but it will be Sweet Smell of Success that I'll remember him most fondly for. The whole film is a masterpiece but it probably has his best performance in it too.

Yeah, definitely. That was screened here recently and Tony Curtis was meant to be attending but unfortunately he cancelled at the last minute.

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Is it finally going to come out that he was gay then? I mean, he was camp as fuck, he must be.

He told Attitude he'd shagged women, men, animals, whatever, when he came to Hollywood, but in his BFI interview a while back he said

I felt when I first started in movies that it'd be nice to keep a score of all the leading ladies I made love to. Not leading men! There were a few who were ready to do it, but "Not for me, Josephine!"

As he enthusiastically slept with hundreds of women, I reckon anything else was an occasional diversion rather than his main interest.

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Never really seen any of his film work, and only know him because of The Persuaders!, which was a nice little show. I gather he and Moore were pretty competitive though, but they worked on-screen; it played-off that edge they had.

RIP Tony.

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