Tony Curtis

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Tony Curtis, 1958

Tony Curtis (born June 3, 1925 in New York City , † September 29, 2010 in Henderson , Nevada ), real name Bernard Schwartz , was an American film actor , painter , writer and artist . His hairstyle, the "Curtis Cut" - the hair that was "tamed" with a lot of pomade in the form of a lard - set the tone for an entire generation in the 1950s and was copied by Elvis Presley , among others . Curtis was one of the major Hollywood - Stars . He wrote film history alongside Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon in the classic comedy Some Like It Hot by Billy Wilder .


1925 to 1948: childhood and youth in New York

Bernard Schwartz grew up with two brothers, first in Manhattan , then in the Bronx . His parents - Emanuel Schwartz (who later called himself Manuel) and Helen Klein - came from the small Hungarian town of Mátészalka as Jewish immigrants who were born in Hungary and ran a tailor shop in which the family also lived for a time. Curtis only spoke Hungarian and Yiddish until he was six . During his time in high school , he preferred going to the movies and Broadway rather than school. So he almost had to leave school.

In 1943 Curtis joined the US Navy and served on a submarine escort ship . Towards the end of the war he was seriously injured in an accident at work. In 1945 - after his recovery and the end of the war - he received a war invalidity pension and briefly attended high school again.

From 1947 he took acting lessons from Erwin Piscator , who also taught later stars like Marlon Brando , Walter Matthau and Harry Belafonte . In the evenings he appeared in extras and supporting roles in small New York theaters, for example in Golden Boy in the spring of 1948 ; here Bob Goldstein, talent scout at Universal Studios , noticed the handsome young man: Bernie Schwartz, as Tony Curtis was still called at the time, received a plane ticket to Los Angeles and a contract with Universal Studios.

1949 to 1969: Film star in Hollywood

After further speaking and acting lessons Curtis received his first extra role in 1949. In Criss Cross (Criss Cross) by Robert Siodmak he danced with Yvonne De Carlo . Although his role was insignificant and his name was not mentioned in the opening or closing credits, the studio received tens of thousands of fan letters “to the beautiful boy who danced with Yvonne De Carlo”. Thereupon he chose - according to his own statements based on the name of a relative named Kurtz - the stage name "Curtis"; a short time later he officially adopted this name. Curtis later said in an interview that he hated the German name Schwartz.

In the following years Curtis took on - first as "Anthony Curtis", then as "Tony Curtis" - growing supporting roles, so in 1949 in Winchester '73 at the side of James Stewart .

On June 4, 1951, he married his colleague Janet Leigh . From this marriage came the daughters Kelly Lee Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis , both actresses.

In 1951 Curtis got his first leading role in The Prince Who Was a Thief ; the film became a commercial success. Other leading roles followed, for example in 1954 in The Iron Knight of Falworth , 1955 in The Crimson Mask , 1956 in Trapeze , 1957 in Your Fate in My Hand (in both films alongside Burt Lancaster ), in 1958 alongside Kirk Douglas in The Vikings . For his role as an escaped convict in 1958 in Escape in Chains (with Sidney Poitier ) Curtis was nominated for an Oscar in the category " Best Actor ". 1959 followed, directed by Billy Wilder, Some Like It Hot with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, and directed by Blake Edward's Company, Petticoat with Cary Grant . In 1960, the monumental and historical film Spartacus with Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier , Jean Simmons , Charles Laughton and Peter Ustinov was directed by Stanley Kubrick .

Curtis was also successful financially. From the early 1950s onwards, he was one of the first actors to agree to a percentage share in the box office results of his films in addition to his fees.

With the help of his manager, Lew Wasserman at MCA , Curtis had managed to avoid being restricted to one particular film genre through the 1950s . He starred in light comedies , Western and thrillers as well as in character roles and was a member of a Musical - ensembles . When Wasserman became president of Universal Studios in 1962, when he took over Universal Studios , he gave up his managerial duties and Swifty Lazar became Curtis' agent. This concentrated in his choice of roles - with the exception: The Outsider (1962), the biography of the Indian Ira Hayes , in which Curtis played the title role - exclusively on adventure films and light comedies.

Curtis met the then 16-year-old actress Christine Kaufmann while filming Taras Bulba in 1961 . A little later he separated from Janet Leigh; the divorce occurred in June 1962, the children Kelly and Jamie Lee stayed with their mother. On February 8, 1963, Tony Curtis and Christine Kaufmann married in Las Vegas ; from this marriage the daughters Alexandra Curtis (born July 19, 1964) and Allegra Curtis emerged.

In 1965, Curtis took the lead in The Great Race Around the World ; the film was ranked 6th among the most successful films in 1965, but was a commercial failure due to the high production costs. Curtis then played mainly in comedies , including some European productions, with the acceptance of audiences and critics decreased. At the end of 1967, after a good four years of marriage, they separated from Christine Kaufmann, who moved out of Curtis' house with their children.

In early 1968, the prestigious Variety magazine put him at the top of a list of the world's highest paid actors who "weren't worth their money" for their films in recent years. In addition, the film industry changed completely at this point in time: US cinema was going through a crisis and the “ studio system ” was at an end. Tony Curtis has been described as "Yesterdays' Leading Man," although the then 43-year-old was still admired by the press and public for his youthful looks.

At the same time, 20th Century Fox was looking for a leading actor to film a true story, the story of the schizophrenic Albert Henry DeSalvo , who a few years earlier had murdered 13 women in Boston . Tony Curtis, who was well aware of his career downturn, was determined to take on this role. The president of 20th Century Fox, Richard D. Zanuck , however, found it unsuitable and also wanted to "not do a Tony Curtis film". Curtis resorted to a trick; Using make-up, brown contact lenses and a perm, he modeled his appearance exactly as he imagined the strangler, took a few photos of himself on coarse-grained paper and sent them to Zanuck. He is said to have exclaimed - without recognizing Curtis -: "This is our strangler!" Curtis got the role - and in 1968 he delivered an acting performance that was acclaimed by critics and the audience in The Boston Murderer . With that he was back in the League of Stars.

During the filming of The Woman Killer of Boston , he met the Boston-born model Leslie Allen in January 1968; the wedding took place in Las Vegas on April 20, 1968, just four days after Christine Kaufmann's divorce. In retrospect, The Boston Woman Killer is now sometimes referred to as "Curtis' last really big film." In the following years he was unable to build on this success, until 1970 he played again in American and European comedies and adventure films with a moderate response.

1970 to 1975: from film star to television star

In early 1970, Curtis was persuaded by the British media mogul Lord Lew Grade to take on one of the two leading roles in the British television series The 2 (The Persuaders!) For the Incorporated Television Company . Curtis played the American playboy "Danny Wilde", who, together with the British "Lord Brett Sinclair", played by Roger Moore , had to solve both exciting and funny criminal cases.

Never before had a big screen superstar starred in a television series. Curtis was one of the first to recognize the increasing importance of television. Gage plus a 25 percent profit sharing made him the highest paid television actor in the world. The attention that the series received in the press before filming began was correspondingly high. The media hype increased when Curtis arrived at London 's Heathrow Airport on April 26, 1970 and a few grams of marijuana were discovered in his luggage . Curtis had to appear in court the following day, but got away with a £ 50 fine.

Filming began on June 1, 1970 and was estimated to take about 14 months. Curtis bought a house in London 's posh Belgravia . The series was sold in over 80 countries and was a global hit - with one major exception; it flopped on the US market, so it was discontinued after the first 24 episodes. Nevertheless, Curtis gained a whole generation of new fans through this series, who were not familiar with his cinema past. While his hairstyle set the tone in the 1950s, it was now the clothing he chose for his role: the "Danny Wilde style" consisted of flared trousers , a tight leather jacket, silk scarf and gloves; matching this, Tony Curtis was voted "Best Dressed Man Of The Year" in 1970. In Germany, the series was a particular success thanks to Rainer Brandt'sStupid Synchronization ” , who also lent Curtis his voice; it has cult status to this day and is regularly repeated on German television. Brandt also became Curtis' German “standard voice” in most of the films that followed, replacing Herbert Stass . Tony Curtis paved the way for many other famous film actors of his day through his work in Die 2 ; Stars like Rock Hudson , James Stewart and Robert Mitchum now also work for television.

After filming The 2 was completed in July 1971, Curtis initially kept his main residence in London. His son Nicolas Curtis was born there on December 31, 1971 . Curtis returned sporadically to the United States to take on guest roles in television films and series; he also appeared again in a play in 1972 - the first time in over 25 years .

Tony Curtis made headlines in 1972 for a different reason. He did not let his daughters Alexandra and Allegra (from their marriage to Christine Kaufmann ) return to Germany after a visit to London, but took them with him to the USA. This was seen as a “kidnapping”, especially in the German press; however, Curtis obtained sole custody of the children in the United States. On May 2, 1973, his sixth child, Benjamin Curtis, was born.

In 1975 he was in the British television adaptation of Alexandre Dumas ' adventure novel The Count of Monte Christo as "Fernand Mondego" the antagonist of Richard Chamberlain ("Edmond Dantes").

In 1975 Curtis returned to the big screen with the lead role in the mafia film The New York Gangster Boss (Lepke) about the life of the bully Louis "Lepke" Buchalter . The film received positive feedback from both critics and audiences at the Cannes Film Festival .

1976 to 1984: drug addiction

It was around this time that Curtis said he began using cocaine regularly . At first this remained hidden from the public, and he worked in a variety of projects in the following years, including alongside Robert De Niro in Elia Kazan's The Last Tycoon (1976), as the title character in the four-part US television series McCoy (1975) and alongside Mae West and Ringo Starr in Sextets (1977). 1977 Tony Curtis tried for the first time as a writer and published the novella Kid Andrew Cody & Julie Sparrow .

From 1978 he was a regular guest star in the successful television series Vegas , where he played the rich casino owner "Philipp 'Slick' Roth" at the side of Robert Urich . Originally Curtis was only supposed to have a short appearance in the pilot episode, but the audience response was so great that it became a permanent role. According to press reports, Curtis received a fee for these short appearances that was well above that of the main actor Urich.

In the late 1970s, rumors of Curtis' use of alcohol and other drugs began to emerge in the press . During this time he was also able to score with outstanding acting achievements: In 1980 he received an Emmy nomination for best male leading actor for his portrayal of producer David O. Selznick in The Scarlett-O'Hara War, and in the same year stood with Elizabeth Taylor , Rock Hudson and Geraldine Chaplin in front of the camera for the English Miss Marple filming Murder in the Mirror . Towards the end of 1981, alcohol and other drugs gained the upper hand: Curtis was photographed with new young women; This was followed by the separation from Leslie Allen, he appeared drunk in public and was present with negative headlines in the international rainbow press because of his excesses and affairs . The children from the marriage with Christine Kaufmann returned to their mother in Germany.

At that time, Tony Curtis had long been financially secure: Just through the regular royalties from his numerous film successes, he was able to lead a luxury life, regardless of new film offers; additional income came from his extensive stock and real estate holdings. Nonetheless, Curtis also took on roles in third-rate productions in order not to be unemployed.

1985 to 1997: Comeback as an actor and a second career as a painter

After various personal and professional setbacks and a collapse in his villa in Bel Air , Tony Curtis succeeded in rehab in the summer of 1984 at the Betty Ford Center . In 1985 he appeared alongside Theresa Russell in the role of "Senator" in Nicolas Roeg's English film Insignificance - The darned night , received praise from audiences and critics and received several role offers. He played with Peter Ustinov in the Hercule Poirot television adaptation Tödliche Parties (1986). Another role followed in 1987 under the direction of Thomas Brasch in the German film The Passenger .

In 1986 Curtis began a new career as a painter and visual artist. Curtis, who had been painting since his youth, retired to Hawaii in the summer of 1986 and exhibited his pictures there for the first time. The exhibition met with a great response, and his pictures have since attracted attention from art connoisseurs. Until his death, Curtis exhibited his works regularly in the USA, Europe and Asia. The prices for a “real Curtis” range between 20,000 and 100,000 US dollars.

In addition, Curtis continued his film career, starring among others in The richest the poorer (1990), directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Christmas in Connecticut (1992), in David Algrant's Naked in New York (1993) and in the successful television series Superman - The adventures of Lois & Clark (1993), Perry Mason (1994) and Roseanne (1996) and the lead role in the movie Reptile Man (1996).

Curtis at the 1997 Cannes International Film Festival

In the early 1990s he gradually shifted the focus of his work to painting; His “Time Boxes”, collage boxes with personal memorabilia based on the model of Joseph Cornell , also became famous .

On February 28, 1993, Tony Curtis was their fifth marriage to the 32-year-old lawyer Lisa Deutsch. In the same year he published his autobiography , in which he critically examines the film business in Hollywood. The book was published in Germany in 1995 under the title I like it hot .

In April 1994 Tony Curtis had to undergo cardiac bypass surgery. On July 2, 1994, his 22-year-old son Nicolas died of a heroin overdose . Shortly thereafter, Lisa Deutsch was divorced and he was seen in the company of even younger companions. Shortly thereafter, he met the San Diego-born riding instructor Jill Vandenberg, who was 45 years his junior, and whom he married on November 6, 1998 in Las Vegas. His sixth marriage lasted until his death.

1998 to 2010: the last few years

Tony Curtis delivering a speech on the 62nd anniversary of the Battle of Midway , 2005
Tony Curtis, 2009

Although Curtis was past the peak of his film career, his personal popularity was unbroken. Since his wedding to Jill Vandenberg, he lived near Las Vegas and received a lot of fan mail to the end, usually over 1000 letters a month. The international press reported regularly on his activities and gave him attributes such as “ icon ” and “screen legend”.

Tony Curtis has been a frequent guest on talk shows and events around the world; In addition, he was regularly seen in film and television in guest roles, for example in 1998 in the television series Susan , 1999 alongside Antonio Banderas and Kevin Costner in Knocked Out - a powerful friendship , 2005 directed by Quentin Tarantino in CSI Las Vegas - Grabesstille und 2006 in The Morning After - Remembering The Persuaders , a documentary about the television series Die 2 .

The stage musical of the same title based on his cult film Some Like It Hot , in which the then 77-year-old Curtis took on the role of "Osgood Fielding III", received worldwide attention ; With this piece he toured the USA from June 2002 to May 2003 and was on stage in 271 sold-out performances, singing, dancing and tapping. According to press reports, he received a weekly fee of US $ 100,000; the tour grossed $ 13 million.

At the invitation of the Hungarian Prime Minister, Tony Curtis visited Budapest in October 2003 and addressed the Hungarian Parliament . At the request of the tourism authority, he appeared in several commercials shot for US and British television to stimulate tourism in Hungary. The following year the Hungarian press reported a significant increase in tourism and attributed this in large part to Curtis' commitment. He has been campaigning for the preservation of the cultural Jewish heritage of his ancestors' homeland since the late 1980s. He supported the maintenance and preservation of Jewish cemeteries and synagogues (e.g. synagogue in Tokaj ) in Hungary with considerable sums of money and, along with the American cosmetics entrepreneur Estée Lauder , who also had Jewish-Hungarian family roots, was instrumental in financing the restoration of the Involved in the Great Synagogue in Budapest. The Tree of Life erected in front of the synagogue - also the Tree of the Jewish Martyrs of Hungary , a Holocaust memorial in the form of a weeping willow made of silver and steel to commemorate the 600,000 Hungarian Jews murdered by the Nazis, was financed by the Emanuel Foundation founded by Curtis . He also supported the Pikler Institute , a children's home in Budapest.

Since 2003 Curtis has also been helping his wife Jill run her sanctuary for abandoned and abused horses and mules , the Shiloh Horse Rescue and Sanctuary .

He also received honors for his life's work, for example the Golden Camera in February 2004 . His 80th birthday on June 3, 2005, which was celebrated with a party at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, was the occasion for appreciations and retrospectives. Curtis received another honor in December 2005 when the New York Museum of Modern Art included one of his paintings in its permanent exhibition. In September 2006 he graced the front page of the Times supplement The Knowledge on the occasion of a major interview .

In December 2006, shortly after filming The Blacksmith and The Carpenter was finished, Curtis was hospitalized in Las Vegas . He recovered and was able to return home on February 17, 2007. His health improved, but since then he has only been able to walk short distances and only stand for a short time, and he was temporarily dependent on a wheelchair . He also suffered from severe lung disease ( COPD ) from then on . From mid-March 2007 he was able to make public appearances again and in mid-May 2007 he completed the shooting of his last feature film, David & Fatima .

On September 29, 2007 he received the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the first Artexpo Las Vegas and on December 6, 2007 the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival in Los Angeles .

In April 2008 he went on a two-week trip to England and France. He gave many interviews, was a guest on several television programs and was guest of honor at the Paris Jules Verne Film Festival 2008. The American ambassador to France gave a grand official reception in honor of Tony Curtis. In addition, he opened exhibitions of his pictures in the Harrods department store in London in the presence of the owner Mohamed Al-Fayed and in a gallery in Paris, and all of the exhibits were sold before his return to the USA. At the same time, the recently filmed documentary The Jill & Tony Curtis Story came on the market, in which Curtis provides insights into his private environment.

In 2008 Tony Curtis worked on his second autobiography, which was published in October 2008 under the title American Prince: A Memoir in the USA, Canada and Great Britain and in 2010 in Germany and many other countries. From October 2008 Curtis completed numerous reading and signing trips for his new book in the USA, Canada, England and Ireland and was again a guest on TV talk shows. On the English TV talk show Friday Night there was a get-together with his friend and co-star from Die 2 , Roger Moore .

In 2009 he published another book, The Making of Some Like It Hot, a detailed account of the filming and background of the classic film. Again Curtis traveled around the world to promote the book, despite his poor health. Once again the world press took an active part in it.

Tony Curtis grave in Memorial Park Cemetery , Las Vegas

Tony Curtis made his last big appearance in April 2010 in Los Angeles as a guest star at the Turner Classic Movies Festival . He has also completed costume rehearsals for his next film, Morella , which should start shooting in August 2010.

In early July 2010, shortly after a book signing in Las Vegas, Tony Curtis was admitted to hospital with acute breathing difficulties as a result of his lung disease. In the weeks that followed, his health deteriorated and he stopped going to public meetings. Since an improvement in his health seemed impossible, Curtis decided at the beginning of September 2010 to return home and seek palliative care there .

Tony Curtis died in his home early evening on September 29, 2010 of heart failure as a result of his lung disease. Television and the press reported on his life and career in extensive obituaries around the world. He was buried in Memorial Park Cemetery (Green Valley) in Las Vegas , Nevada .

Tony Curtis had appointed his last wife Jill as his sole heir and, according to press reports, left behind a fortune of over 60 million US dollars (not including future royalties). All attempts by his children, especially those from his marriage to Christine Kaufmann , to challenge the will failed.

In September 2011, his widow Jill had part of his estate auctioned off and achieved more than double the estimated auction proceeds.

Filmography (selection)

  • 1949: Daring Alibi (Criss Cross)
  • 1950: Winchester '73
  • 1950: Horsemen Without Mercy (Kansas Raiders)
  • 1951: The Prince Who Was a Thief
  • 1952: The son of Ali Baba (Son of Ali Baba)
  • 1952: His Great Fight (Flesh and Fury)
  • 1953: Houdini, the king of vaudeville (Houdini)
  • 1953: Strandgut (Forbidden)
  • 1954: Men, Girls and Motors (Johnny Dark)
  • 1954: The Iron Knight of Falworth (The Black Shield of Falworth)
  • 1954: Three Sailors in Paris (So ​​This Is Paris)
  • 1955: His Last Chance (Six Bridges to Cross)
  • 1955: The Purple Mask
  • 1955: Seduced by the Devil (The Rawhide Years)
  • 1955: The beater of Chicago (The Square Jungle)
  • 1956: Trapeze (Trapeze)
  • 1957: Your Fate in My Hand (Sweet Smell of Success)
  • 1957: Mister Cory
  • 1957: Death Was Faster (The Midnight Story)
  • 1958: The Vikings (The Vikings)
  • 1958: Rivals (Kings Go Forth)
  • 1958: Escape in Chains (The Defiant Ones)
  • 1959: Some Like It Hot (Some Like It Hot)
  • 1959: Petticoat Company (Operation Petticoat)
  • 1960: Two in one room
  • 1960: Spartacus
  • 1961: A Charming Impostor (The Great Impostor)
  • 1961: The Outsider
  • 1962: Taras Bulba
  • 1963: Captain Newman (Captain Newman, MD)
  • 1963: The List of Adrian Messenger (The List of Adrian Messenger)
  • 1964: Monsieur Cognac (Wild and Wonderful)
  • 1964: Together in Paris (Paris when it sizzles)
  • 1964: ... and single girls (Sex and the Single Girl)
  • 1965: The Great Race (The Great Race)
  • 1965: Boeing-Boeing (Boeing-Boeing)
  • 1966: The Chamber of Horrors
  • 1966: Stay Away From My Wife (Not With My Wife You Don't)
  • 1966: Arrivederci Baby! (Drop Dead Darling)
  • 1967: The bare facts (Do not Make Waves)
  • 1967: The Chastity Belt
  • 1968: The Boston Strangler (The Boston Strangler)
  • 1968: Rosemarie 's Baby (voice only)
  • 1969: Monte Carlo Rally (Monte Carlo or Bust)
  • 1969: Imagine there is war and nobody goes (Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came)
  • 1970: Two Granite Guys (You Can't Win 'Em All)
  • 1970–1971: The 2 (The Persuaders!) (TV series; 24 episodes)
  • 1975: The Count of Monte-Christo ( The Count of Monte-Christo , TV movie)
  • 1975: The New York gang boss (Lepke)
  • 1975: McCoy (TV series; 4 episodes)
  • 1976: The Last Tycoon (The Last Tycoon)
  • 1976: Casanova & Co.
  • 1977: sextets
  • 1978: The Manitou (The Manitou, also Super Zombie: The Birth of Horror)
  • 1978–1982: Vegas (TV series; 16 episodes)
  • 1978: The bears can no longer be stopped (The Bad News Bears Go to Japan)
  • 1978: It Rained All Day The Night I Left
  • 1979: The killer lurks at the ring (Title Shot)
  • 1979: The Million Dollar Face
  • 1980: Little Miss Marker
  • 1980: Murder in the Mirror (The Mirror Crack'd)
  • 1980: The Scarlett O'Hara War (The Scarlett O'Hara War) (TV movie)
  • 1982: Inherited fear of death (Brainwaves)
  • 1982: Black Platoon - The Black Commando (Othello - The Black Commando)
  • 1982: Portrait of a Showgirl
  • 1983: The Fall Guy ( The Fall Guy) (1 episode TV series)
  • 1983: Balboa
  • 1983: where is Parzifal? (Where Is Parzifal?)
  • 1984: King Of The City (Club Life)
  • 1985: Insignificance - The Itch night (Insignificance)
  • 1985: Philip Banter - A Mysterious Affair (The Last of Philip Banter)
  • 1986: Deadly Parties (Murder in Three Acts)
  • 1988: The Passenger - Welcome to Germany
  • 1989: Lobster Man from Mars
  • 1989: Midnight
  • 1989: Walter and Carlo in America (Walter & Carlo in America)
  • 1989: Tarzan in Manhattan
  • 1990: the richer the poorer (Thanksgiving Day)
  • 1991: Prime Target
  • 1992: Only Santa Claus was to blame (Christmas in Connecticut)
  • 1992: His assignment: Murder (Center of the Web)
  • 1992: Hollywood Babylon (TV series; hosted 30 episodes)
  • 1993: Mummy Valley (The Mummy Lives)
  • 1993: Bandit: A boiled rascal and a cool blonde (Bandit: Beauty and the Bandit)
  • 1993: Naked In New York
  • 1994: Perry Mason: McKenzie and the Dead Governors (Perry Mason: The Case of the Grimacing Governor , TV episode )
  • 1995: The Celluloid Closet - Trapped in the dream factory
  • 1995: Gunpower (The Immortals)
  • 1996: Superman - The Adventures of Lois & Clark
  • 1996: Roseanne : Ballroom Blitz
  • 1997: Reptile Man (The Continuous Adventures of Reptile Man / Brittle Glory)
  • 1997: Alien X Factor
  • 1997: Hardball (Bounty Hunters)
  • 1997: Elvis meets Nixon (Elvis Meets Nixon)
  • 1998: Stargames
  • 1998: Susan (Suddenly Susan: Matchmaker, Matchmaker)
  • 1998: Louis and Frank
  • 1999: Knocked Out - A Powerful Friendship (Play it to the Bone)
  • 2002: Reflections Of Evil
  • 2004: Hope & Faith: Jack's Back
  • 2005: CSI: On the trail of the perpetrators : Grave silence (CSI Las Vegas: Grave Danger)
  • 2006: The Making of Some Like It Hot (documentary about the film Some Like It Hot )
  • 2006: The Morning After: Remembering The Persuaders (documentary about the crime series Die 2)
  • 2007: The Blacksmith and The Carpenter (voice only)
  • 2008: David and Fatima
  • 2008: The Jill & Tony Curtis Story (documentary)


  • 2011: Tony Curtis - The Guy from the Bronx ( French original title: Tony Curtis, le gamin du Bronx ), directed by Ian Ayres

Voice actor

Herbert Stass has dubbed Tony Curtis in many films . With the success of the series Die 2 (The Persuaders!) , Rainer Brandt , who lent Curtis his voice in the series, became his German “standard voice”. Brandt, who also wrote the German dialogue books, impressed Curtis immensely. Brandt changed all scenes with, meanwhile common, sayings and thus changed the plot of an entire episode. Curtis, who was married to a German, was very enthusiastic about the German version; he wanted Brandt to write the original scripts for Die 2 , but before that could happen there was a big argument between Moore and Curtis, so the series was discontinued.

In individual productions, Curtis was also dubbed by other speakers, for example Harald Juhnke , Lothar Blumhagen and Claus Biederstaedt .


  • Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Blvd.
  • 1952: "Golden Apple" at the Golden Apple Awards as the most cooperative actor
  • 1958: "Golden Apple" at the Golden Apple Awards as the most cooperative actor
  • 1958: " Photoplay Award " in the category "Most Popular Male Star"
  • 1959: Oscar nomination for Escape in Chains for Best Actor
  • 1959: Nomination at the British Film Academy Awards for Escape In Chains for Best Foreign Actor
  • 1959: " Bambi "
  • 1961: "Henrietta Award" (together with Rock Hudson ) as "World Film Favorite"
  • 1964: "Saurer Apfel" at the Golden Apple Awards as the most uncooperative actor
  • 1969: " Golden Globe Award " nomination for The Boston Murderer for Best Actor
  • 1972: "Golden Bravo Otto " of the youth magazine Bravo as the most popular male actor
  • 1972: "Tele-7-Jours" award for Die 2 as best leading actor
  • 1973: "Bambi"
  • 1980: " Emmy " nomination for The Scarlett O'Hara War in the category "Outstanding Leading Actor in a Miniseries or Special"
  • 1997: "Distinguished Hollywood Film Artist Award" of the St. Louis International Film Festival (St. Louis)
  • 2001: "Lifetime Achievement Award" of the David di Donatello Festival (Rome)
  • 2004: " Golden Camera " - honorary award for his life's work (Berlin)
  • 2004: Honorary Award of the Independent California Film Festival (Los Angeles)
  • 2006: "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Empire Awards (London)
  • 2007: "Lifetime Achievement Award" from Artexpo Las Vegas
  • 2007: "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival (Los Angeles)


  • Michael Munn: Tony Curtis - Nobody Is Perfect. JR Books, London 2011, ISBN 978-1-907532-30-6 .
  • Allegra Curtis: Me and my father. Langen-Müller-Verlag, Munich, 2011, ISBN 978-3-7844-3252-6 .
  • Tony Curtis, Mark A. Vieira: The Making of Some Like It Hot. John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey 2009, ISBN 978-0-470-53721-3 .
  • Tony Curtis, Peter Golenbock: From street boy to Hollywood star (original title: An American Prince , translated by Sabrina Steffens). In: New York Times bestseller. I. P. Verlag Jeske, Mader, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-931624-65-1 (second autobiography ).
  • Tony Curtis, Barry Paris: I like it hot. With directories of films and television appearances (original title: The Autobiography , translated by Maurus Pacher). Herbig , Munich 1995, ISBN 3-7766-1880-9 (paperback edition: Ullstein 35678, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-548-35678-8 ) (first autobiography).
  • Allan Hunter: Tony Curtis: The Man And His Movies. St. Martins Prints, New York, NY 1985, ISBN 0-312-80896-8 .
  • Michael Munn: Kid From The Bronx. Life of Tony Curtis, Allen, London 1983, ISBN 0-491-03413-X .

Web links

Commons : Tony Curtis  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. James E. Wise, Anne Collier Rehill: Stars in Blue: Movie Actors in America's Sea Services. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD 2007 ( excerpt from Google books ).
  2. ^ World War Two - and a young man serves his country. In: TenderTale
  3. ^ Frank Rizzo: My Interview With Tony Curtis - Behind the Curtain Frank Rizzo . July 7, 2012. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. In: Hartford Courant . October 1, 2009
  4. Best Movies 1965. In:
  5. ^ Tony Curtis about Hungary. On YouTube (commercial of the Hungarian Tourism Authority, 2007)
  6. ^ Dohány Street Synagogue, Budapest. In: Sacred Destinations (Guide to Religious Sites)
  7. ^ Tony Curtis leaves a legacy in Hungary. ( Memento from July 7, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In: Bohemian Ink. October 1, 2010
  8. ^ Tony Curtis Wraps Up Visit to Hungary . In: Press release from the Hungarian Embassy in the USA
  9. ^ Website of the Shiloh Horse Rescue and Sanctuary
  10. The grave of Tony Curtis
  11. Jörg Wagner: Synchron-Pope Rainer Brandt about "the 2". December 11, 2010, accessed April 24, 2019 .