Happy birthday Tony Curtis!

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Tony Curtis (June 3, 1925-September 29, 2010) was an American film and television actor. He had a long career, but he was most popular during the 1950s and 1960s. Some of his most notable films include Houdini (1953), Some Like It Hot (1959), and Spartacus (1960). He was married six times and had affairs with some of Hollywood's most notorious starlets.

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Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz in the Bronx, New York to Helen and Emanuel Schwartz. His parents were of Hungarian Jewish descent. Curtis endured a difficult childhood. When he was eight, he was sent to an orphanage because his parents couldn't afford to feed him and his brothers. His mother was very aggressive when Curtis was a child, and was diagnosed with schizophrenia later in his life. His brother, Robert, was diagnosed with the same illness. When his brother, Julius, was just 12, he was hit and killed by a truck.

Curtis began attending Seward Park High School. He joined Boy Scouts and soon appeared in a school play when he was 16. After enlisting and serving in the U.S. Navy, he attended The New School for acting. Curtis' good looks got him attention early on. He was discovered by Joyce Selznick and signed a contract with Universal Pictures in 1948. His first films included Criss Cross (1949), Francis (1950) and No Room for the Groom (1952).

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In 1951, he married Hollywood starlet Janet Leigh. He co-starred with her in Houdini (1953). He then went on to appear in such titles as Operation Petticoat (1959), Some Like It Hot (1959) alongside Marilyn Monroe, Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960), The Outsider (1961), and The Boston Strangler (1968).

 

He also appeared on television, including in The Persuaders!, McCoy, and Vega$.

Curtis' personal life was a major part of his celebrity. After divorcing Janet Leigh in 1962, he went on to marry five others: Christine Kaufmann, Leslie Allen, Andrea Savio, Lisa Deutsch, and Jill Vandenberg. He had many affairs in addition, including with actresses Natalie Wood and Marilyn Monroe.

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He had two children in his first marriage to Leigh, Kelly and Jamie Lee Curtis.

In the later part of his life, he struggled with alcohol and drugs. In 1982, he went to rehab and came out a fine art painter. His paintings sell for up to $25,000 a piece.

Curtis expressed disappointment at having never been awarded an Oscar.

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Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Tuesday, 03 June 2014
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