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Tony Curtis: A Life in Pictures

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 30, 2010 at 4:11AM

To go at 85 is to have lived a long and--in the case of Bronx-born Bernard Schwartz--productive life. High points in Tony Curtis's career include Some Like it Hot (channeling Cary Grant, kissing Marilyn Monroe, and making a very pretty woman, clip below), defining the groveling press agent in The Sweet Smell of Success, turning on Laurence Olivier in Spartacus, and challenging Sidney Poitier in 1958's The Defiant Ones, earning his only Oscar nomination.
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Thompson on Hollywood

To go at 85 is to have lived a long and--in the case of Bronx-born Bernard Schwartz--productive life. High points in Tony Curtis's career include Some Like it Hot (channeling Cary Grant, kissing Marilyn Monroe, and making a very pretty woman, clip below), defining the groveling press agent in The Sweet Smell of Success, turning on Laurence Olivier in Spartacus, and challenging Sidney Poitier in 1958's The Defiant Ones, earning his only Oscar nomination.

NPR ran a good story this morning, and People posts a photo gallery (more photos below). Honestly--while we tend to remember the gone-to-seed, paunchy aging version of the one-time Hollywood icon, remember: Curtis was not only one of the gorgeous ones, and part of the power couple with Janet Leigh that produced Jamie Lee Curtis, but a resourceful and versatile actor.

Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood

Here are obits from Variety and Dave Kehr in the NYT and run-in with Curtis.


This article is related to: Video, Obit


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.