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Tony Curtis: we salute you


While the bulk of Tony Curtis's output - and therefore our knowledge of the man - was several decades before we were born, here at ShortList.com we still feel the need to salute the Hollywood legend - after it was announced today he had passed away, aged 85 - in the only way ShortList nows how: with a list.

His Films

Curtis racked up more than 140 films over the course of six decades in Hollywood. From the brilliant Some Like it Hot to his disturbing portrayal of the titular character in the The Boston Strangler - he also forged an on screen chemistry with Kirk Douglas, playing his nemesis in both The Vikings and Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus.

His Hellraising

"I'm not ready to settle down like an elderly Jewish gentleman, sitting on a bench and leaning on a cane," he said at 60. "I've got a helluva lot of living to do." During the seventies, Curtis was famed for his wild private life. After he bought an 18-room villa in Hollywood and his Bentley and Rolls Royce, he began a decade of drug use, starting with cocaine in 1974, and adding sleeping pills, stimulants and booze to the mix. He checked into the Betty Ford Center in 1984 after directors voiced their concerns after he began sleeping in his car under a blanket during the filming of I Ought to Be in Pictures.

Jamie Lee Curtis

During his whirlwind marriage to Janet Leigh, the woman who went on to become an icon after her performance in Hitchcock's Psycho, they had a daughter together - Jamie Lee Curtis. Without her, we wouldn't have had the superb Trading Places (well, it wouldn't have been as funny), A Fish Called Wanda and that scene from True Lies.

The Flintstones

While he was known for his chiseled good looks and male lead characters, we feel there needs to be a special mention for his one off role in The Flintstones. Not one to confuse it's audience, the script writers cast Tony as 'Stony Curtis', an actor who is told by his manager he must work as a slave for a day in order to understand the role of his character in the film Slave Boy.

His Painting

Alongside his acting career, Curtis was a prolific painter, starting in the early Sixties and continuing throughout his life. While many actors claim their talents on screen are just as good on canvas, Curtis's work sold for as much as £25,000 a piece. Tony you'll be missed.

Pictures: Getty Images, Rex Features



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