Hollywood star Tony Curtis has died at his home in Las Vegas after suffering a cardiac arrest, aged 85. The actor, who had heart bypass surgery in 1994, passed away in the early hours of this morning, a coroner said.
The Some Like It Hot star appeared in more than 140 comedies and dramas during his illustrious career. Sir Roger Moore, who worked closely with Curtis in the TV series the Persuaders, described him as a “very fine” actor. He told Sky News: “You never think that friends are going. I’m very sad and also sad for his wife because she adored him. “When we met, we kind of kept looking at each other. But when we got to know each other, we liked each other so much that we became great friends.
“We had an awful lot of fun making that series together and we had a lot of laughs together.” Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe on the set of ‘Some Like It Hot’ Curtis and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It HotCurtis began his career in the 1950s and his good looks and acting abilities quickly made him one of the biggest box-office stars during that time. The Brooklyn-born actor had a memorable role in the classic gladiator movie Spartacus in 1960 and received an Oscar nomination in 1959 for The Defiant Ones in which he starred with Sidney Poitier. But his two most enduring performances came in Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon, and The Sweet Smell Of Success in which he played a fawning press agent. But in the late 1960s Curtis’ career was on the wane and he was plagued by poor movies as well as struggles with drugs and alcohol. In an interview, Curtis said: “My life had become unmanageable because of booze and dope. Work became a strain and a struggle. Because I didn’t want to face the challenge, I simply made myself unavailable.”
Curtis on his route to hollywood But in the early 1980s Curtis recovered from his drug and alcohol problems and found a new passion in painting. He once sold more than $1m worth of his art in the first day of an exhibition and famously told an interviewer: “Painting is more meaningful to me than any performance I’ve ever given.” As fascinating to fans as his performances was Curtis’ life off-screen. His long list of famous and beautiful girlfriends included Marilyn Monroe and Natalie Wood, and he tied the knot six times. Tony Curtis
Curtis made more than 140 films during his long career He first married Psycho actress Janet Leigh in a union he later admitted was partially motivated by publicity value. After divorcing Leigh, he married Christine Kaufman, who was 17 when they met on a film set. Curtis was once quoted as saying: “I wouldn’t be seen dead with a woman old enough to be my wife.” His sixth wife, Jill Vandenberg, was 45 years younger than Curtis. Curtis’ children included actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who was estranged from him for much of his life, and he admitted he was a failure as a father – Skynews