Tony Curtis was the boy from the Bronx with the film star looks and the determination to put them to good use on the silver screen in true Hollywood style. After serving in the U.S. navy during WWII he discovered that post war under the GI bill he could get the cost of acting classes covered so his dream of becoming an actor started to take shape. An agent then discovered him and arranged an interview with Universal and the studio offered him a seven year contract. Straight away he was getting noticed by both the girls and the producers with intimate liaisons with the likes of Marilyn Monroe (to name but one) and producers giving him more and more better roles as his fan mail increased. In 1951 he married the Hollywood actress Janet Leigh which led to him co-starring with her in his first hit movie Houdini in 1953. As his roles improved so did the acceptance of Hollywood's elite culminating in his only Academy Award nomination for the 1958 movie The Defiant Ones, where although he did not achieve his dream of winning an Oscar he gained a lot of respect for insisting his fellow co-star Sidney Poitier received equal billing to him which was previously unheard of for an actor of colour. He was a fashion leader also with Elvis Presley modelling his famous hairstyle on the Curtis Quiff. In the 1959 Billy Wilder comedy Some Like It Hot he excelled which later prompted Michael Parkinson to be quoted as saying of him: "Billy Wilder, did not suffer fools so for Tony Curtis to work with him and make that film shows just how good he was". In later years he took great comfort from his painting at which he also excelled and much preferred to acting on screen. Sharp talking actors are always great for a quality quip so here is my compilation of 10 of the best Tony Curtis quotes
- Mini Bio
- Name: Bernard Herschel Schwartz
- Born: 3rd June 1925, The Bronx, New York City, U.S.
- Died: 29th September 2010, Henderson, Nevada, U.S.
- Alma mater: The New School, Greenwich, Village New York City
- Occupation: Actor and artist
- Stage name: After signing with Universal Studios he changed his name to Tony Curtis
- Marriage resume: Janet Leigh; June 1951 - September 1962 (divorced) ( 2 children), Christine Kaufmann; February 1963 - April 1968 (divorced) (2 children), Leslie Curtis April 1968 - 1982 (divorced) (2 children), Andrea Savio 1984 - 1992 (divorced), Lisa Deutsch; February 1993 - 1994 (divorced) and Jill Vandenberg Curtis; November 1998 - September 2010 (his death)
- Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
- Inspired by: Cary Grant and Tyrone Power
- Art: His favourite pastime was painting and he became an accomplished artist with one painting permanently on show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
- Trivia: During WWII he served on the USS Proteus and at the end of the war he was fortunate to observe (using binoculars) the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay
- Quote about Tony Curtis: Actress Debbie Reynolds said of him; "Tony had that kind of talent that he could do comedy and tragedy as equally as important. He loved painting, he loved music. Tony loved life, he loved beautiful women, he had a wonderful time"
"I wouldn't be caught dead marrying a woman old enough to be my wife"
"I didn't have an education, so there wasn't anything I could do but get into the movies. And, boy, did I ever. To burst into the movies like I did. Isn't that neat?"
"What's the secret to a long and happy life? Young women's saliva"
"Hollywood ... the most sensational merry-go-around ever built"
"Kirk Douglas is tough, but Stanley Kubrick was tougher"
"On the one hand you could say I was tremendously blessed, on the other I was definitely cursed"
"Here in America, you have to die before they say something nice about you"
"I got a lot of girls while I was at the peak. If I didn't get them, I got their stand-ins"
"If you don't know your gift, you've got no lift"
"I was born in and worked in a period that could be called enviable"