Actor Tony Curtis dies at 85

Sep 30, 2010 by Ian Evans

Tony Curtis, an iconic Hollywood heartthrob of the Fifties, has died of cardiac arrest at the age of 85.

One of Curtis’ children, actress Jamie Lee Curtis, told AP that “My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages. He leaves behind children and their families who loved him and respected him and a wife and in-laws who were devoted to him. He also leaves behind fans all over the world.”

Though Curtis’ handsome looks earned him adoring fans in lighter fare like Francis and No Room for the Groom he garnered critical raves as Broadway press agent Sidney Falco in 1957’s Sweet Smell of Success.

He followed that with 1958’s The Defiant Ones, which earned him a Best Actor Academy Award nomination playing a white racist escaping from prison handcuffed to a black man, played by Sidney Poitier. That role was followed by the classic comedy Some Like It Hot, which teamed him with Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon.

Curtis, who later battled drugs and alccohol at the Betty Ford Center in the 80’s also earned an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of David O. Selznick in the TV movie The Scarlett O’Hara War.