The handsome and enigmatic star, Tony Curtis, with a memorable and diverse acting career that spanned over six decades and roles in over 140 Hollywood movies, died in his Nevada home of a heart attack.
The Oscar-nominated actor is still as popular posthumously as he was when alive thanks to his performances in films like ‘Some Like it Hot‘ alongside Marilyn Monroe. Sir Michael Parkinson, who interviewed the star numerous times said in tribute: “He was a very fine actor. Some Like it Hot is one of the greatest comedies of all time.
“The man who made it, Billy Wilder, did not suffer fools so for Tony Curtis to work with him and make that film shows just how good he was.
“He was an extraordinary man. Hollywood tried to make him into a sex symbol in the 1950s and 1960s but he was his own man.”
Curtis was a lady’s man and was married six times. He also had a slew of high profile girlfriends and was considered by many to be an absolute womaniser. His charm and wit led him to many adventures but also into difficult times with cocaine and alcohol abuse. One of the greatest tragedies of his life was when his 23-year-old son died of a heroin overdose in 1994.
When his acting career thinned out and the big screen no longer played such a central role in his life, Curtis took to painting.
“I’m a recovering alcoholic. Painting has given me such a great pleasure in life, helped me to recover.” He certainly had a magic touch: the previous year he sold over $1 million worth of his art on the first day of an exhibition.
There was a vanity to the man and he underwent several bouts of surgery to keep himself looking young and fresh faced. He was plagues by ill health in his later years though, suffering from chronic pulmonary disease and pneumonia which left him in a coma for a number of days and following that he was confined to a wheelchair.
The actor’s family spokesman told the press that he passed away peacefully in his bed next to his wife.