Tony Curtis

Easton Press Tony Curtis books

American Prince - Signed Edition - 2009


Actor Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis, born Bernard Schwartz on June 3, 1925, in the Bronx, New York, was an iconic American actor whose charisma, talent, and versatility made him a Hollywood legend. Curtis's journey from a challenging upbringing to stardom is a compelling tale of resilience and determination. Growing up during the Great Depression, Curtis faced economic hardship in his youth. He served in the United States Navy during World War II, an experience that influenced his later decision to pursue acting. After the war, he attended the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York City, honing his craft and preparing for a career in the performing arts.

Curtis's breakthrough came in the early 1950s when he signed a contract with Universal Pictures. His handsome looks and undeniable talent quickly propelled him into leading roles. One of his early notable performances was in Houdini (1953), where he played opposite his future wife, Janet Leigh. However, it was his role in the film Sweet Smell of Success (1957) that showcased Curtis's dramatic range and established him as a serious actor. He continued to demonstrate his versatility in a variety of genres, from light-hearted comedies like Some Like It Hot (1959), where he starred alongside Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon, to more intense dramas such as The Defiant Ones (1958), earning him critical acclaim. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Curtis continued to build a diverse and successful filmography, including Spartacus (1960), The Great Impostor (1961), and The Boston Strangler (1968). His career spanned several decades, and he remained a prominent figure in the entertainment industry.

In addition to his acting career, Curtis was known for his personal life, including his marriages to actresses Janet Leigh and Christine Kaufmann. His experiences in Hollywood and his personal struggles with addiction were documented in his autobiography, Tony Curtis: The Autobiography (1993). Tony Curtis's legacy extends beyond the silver screen. He was not only a talented actor but also a philanthropist and advocate for various causes. His contributions to the entertainment industry earned him accolades, including a Golden Globe for his performance in The Defiant Ones. Tony Curtis passed away on September 29, 2010, at the age of 85. His impact on Hollywood, characterized by a combination of charm, talent, and resilience, ensures that he remains an enduring figure in the annals of American cinema.

Tony Curtis movies

Tony Curtis had a prolific career in film, spanning several decades. The following are some notable movies featuring Tony Curtis.

Houdini (1953) Curtis portrayed legendary escape artist Harry Houdini in this biographical film.

Sweet Smell of Success (1957) In this film noir, Curtis played the role of Sidney Falco, a press agent, opposite Burt Lancaster.

The Defiant Ones (1958) Curtis starred alongside Sidney Poitier in this drama about two escaped prisoners, one black and one white, who are shackled together.

Some Like It Hot (1959) Curtis showcased his comedic talent in this classic Billy Wilder comedy, where he co-starred with Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon.

Spartacus (1960) Curtis played the role of Antoninus, a supporting character, in this epic historical drama directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Operation Petticoat (1959) This comedy, co-starring Cary Grant, follows the misadventures of a U.S. submarine during World War II.

The Great Impostor (1961) Curtis portrayed real-life con artist Ferdinand Waldo Demara in this biographical film.

The Outsider (1961) In this war drama, Curtis played Ira Hayes, one of the Marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima.

Taras Bulba (1962) Curtis starred in this historical adventure film set in the 16th century.

The Boston Strangler (1968) Curtis took on a dramatic role as Albert DeSalvo, the real-life Boston Strangler, in this crime drama.

These films represent just a fraction of Tony Curtis's extensive filmography. His career also includes various other genres, from romantic comedies to action films, showcasing his versatility as an actor.


American Prince - A Memoir

“All my life I had one dream and that was to be in the movies.”

He was the Golden Boy of the Golden Age. A prince of the silver screen. Dashing and debonair, Tony Curtis arrived on the scene in a blaze of bright lights and celluloid. His good looks, smooth charm, and natural talent earned him fame, women, and adulation Elvis copied his look and the Beatles put him on their Sgt. Pepper album cover. But the Hollywood life of his dreams brought both invincible highs and debilitating lows. Now, in his captivating, no-holds-barred autobiography, Tony Curtis shares the agony and ecstasy of a private life in the public eye.

No simple tell-all, American Prince chronicles Hollywood during its heyday. Curtis revisits his immense body of work including the unforgettable classics Houdini , Spartacus , and Some Like It Hot and regales readers with stories of his associations with Frank Sinatra, Laurence Olivier, director Billy Wilder, and film industry heavyweight Lew Wasserman, as well as paramours Natalie Wood and Marilyn Monroe, among others.

As forthright as he is enthralling, Tony Curtis offers intimate glimpses into his succession of failed marriages (and the one that has endured), his destructive drug addiction, and his passion as a painter. Written with humor and grace, American Prince is a testament to the power of living the life of one’s dreams.



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