Hollywood screen idol Tony Curtis dies at 85

The handsome and enigmatic star, with a memorable career spanning over six decades and roles in over 140 Hollywood movies, died in his Nevada home of a heart attack on Wednesday night.

Oscar-nominated Tony Curtis will live on in people’s memories for his performance in films like Some Like it Hot. Sir Michael Parkinson, who interviewed the star numerous times, was quoted on dailyrecord.co.uk as saying: “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.”

Married six times and with a string of high profile girlfriends, the actor was something of a womaniser, who also went through phases in his life where he struggled 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, Tony Curtis took to painting still lifes. As quoted in dailymail.co.uk, he said in 1990: “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.

Curtis was plagues by ill health in his later years, suffering from chronic pulmonary disease and pneumonia, which left him in a coma for a number of days, since which he has been confined to a wheelchair.

The actor’s family spokesman told the TV Network ABC News that he passed away peacefully in hes bed next to his wife.

Celebrities who have passed away recently include Eddie Fisher, Kenny Mckinley and Greg Giraldo

Images: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tony_Curtis_1997.jpg, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2009-0314-LV-002-TonyCurtis.jpg