Image of Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis (June 3, 1925 – September 29, 2010) was an American film actor whose career spanned six decades, but had his greatest popularity during the 1950s and early 1960s. He acted in over 100 films in roles covering a wide range of genres, from light comedy to serious drama. In his later years, Curtis made numerous television appearances. Although his early film roles were partly the result of his good looks, by the later half of the 1950's he became a notable and strong screen presence. He began proving himself to be a “fine dramatic actor,” having the range to act in numerous dramatic and comedy roles. In his earliest parts he acted in a string of "mediocre" films, including swashbucklers, westerns, light comedies, sports films, and a musical. However, by the time he starred in Houdini (1953) with his wife Janet Leigh, "his first clear success," notes critic David Thomson, his acting had progressed immensely. He won his first serious recognition as a skilled dramatic actor in Sweet Smell of Success (1957) with co-star Burt Lancaster. The following year he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in another drama, The Defiant Ones (1958). Curtis then gave what many believe was his best acting, in a completely different role, the comedy Some Like It Hot (1959). Thomson calls it an "outrageous film," and it was voted the number 1 funniest film in history from a survey done by the American Film Institute. It costarred Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, and was directed by Billy Wilder. That was followed by Blake Edwards’ comedy Operation Petticoat (1959) with Cary Grant. They were both “frantic comedies,” and displayed "his impeccable comic timing." He often collaborated with Edwards on later films. His most significant serious part came in 1968 when he starred in the true-life drama The Boston Strangler, which some consider his "last major film role." The part reinforced his reputation as a serious actor with his "chilling portrayal" of serial killer Albert DeSalvo. He gained 30 pounds and had his face "rebuilt" with a false nose to look like the real DeSalvo. Curtis was the father of actresses Jamie Lee Curtis and Kelly Curtis by his first wife, actress Janet Leigh.

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Jun 3, 1925 In Bronx, New York, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series The Ed Sullivan Show 1948-06-20
Latest Project:
Movie I Am Not Your Negro 2017-02-03
Known For
Poster of Joseph Cornell: Worlds in a Box
Poster of Electric Blue 003
Poster of On My Way to the Crusades, I Met a Girl Who...
Poster of Francis
Movie I Am Not Your Negro Various Roles (archive footage) 2017-02-03
Movie And the Oscar Goes To... Self (archive footage) 2014-02-01
Movie Marlon Brando: An Actor Named Desire Self - Actor (archive footage) 2014-09-20
Series Talking Pictures Himself - Archive footage 2013-01-05
Movie Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom 2012-03-20
Movie Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff Eric (archive footage) (uncredited) 2010-05-05
Movie Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel Self 2009-01-01
Movie David & Fatima Mr. Schwartz 2008-06-27
Series The Graham Norton Show Himself 2007-02-22
Movie Jerry Lewis - König der Komödianten Himself 2006-03-15
Series The One Show Unknown 2006-08-14
Movie Billy Wilder Speaks 2006-06-22
Movie The Legacy of 'Some Like It Hot' Himself 2006-06-25
Movie The Making of 'Some Like It Hot' Himself 2006-06-25
Series Hope & Faith Morris 2003-09-23
Movie Reflections of Evil Host 2002-03-22
Movie Tony Curtis on 'Some Like It Hot' Himself 2001-05-22
Series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Unknown 2000-10-06
Movie Play It to the Bone Himself (Ringside Fan) 1999-12-25
Movie Star Games King Fendel 1998-06-03
Movie The Continued Adventures of Reptile Man Jack Steele 1997-05-13
Movie Bounty Hunters 2: Hardball Wald 1997-03-30
Series The View Unknown 1997-08-11
Movie The Celluloid Closet Himself 1996-01-30
Series The Mrs Merton Show Unknown 1995-02-10
Movie The Immortals Dominic 1995-10-05
Movie Beauty and the Bandit Lucky Bergstrom 1994-04-03
Movie Perry Mason: The Case of the Grimacing Governor Johnny Steele 1994-11-09
Movie The Mummy Lives Aziru / Dr. Mohassid 1993-07-10
Movie Naked in New York Carl Fisher 1993-11-10
Movie Christmas in Connecticut Alexander Yardley 1992-04-13
Movie Center of the Web Stephen Moore 1992-05-15
Movie Prime Target Copella 1991-09-27
Movie Joseph Cornell: Worlds in a Box Himself/Narrator 1991-11-29
Movie Lobster Man from Mars J.P. Shelldrake 1990-02-09
Movie Midnight Mr. B 1989-07-01
Movie Tarzan in Manhattan Archimedes Porter 1989-04-15
Movie Walter and Carlo in America WIlly La Rouge 1989-11-24
Series This Morning Unknown 1988-10-03
Movie The Passenger – Welcome to Germany Mr. Cornfield 1988-05-04
Series Roseanne Unknown 1988-10-18
Movie Sparky's Magic Piano 1987-01-01
Movie Mafia Princess Sam Giancana 1986-01-19
Movie Club Life Hector 1986-02-20
Movie Balboa Ernie Stoddard 1986-01-02
Movie Banter Charles Foster 1986-08-25
Movie Murder in Three Acts Charles Cartwright 1986-10-01
Movie The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal Himself 1985-01-01
Movie Insignificance The Senator 1985-08-02
Movie Half Nelson 1985-03-24
Movie Where Is Parsifal? 1984-01-01
Movie BrainWaves Dr. Clavius 1983-08-05
Movie Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage Himself (archive footage) 1983-02-25
Movie Portrait of a Showgirl Joey DeLeon 1982-04-09
Movie Black Commando Col. Iago 1982-11-15
Series Wanna bet, that..? Unknown 1981-02-14
Movie The Million Dollar Face Chester Masterson 1981-03-11
Movie Electric Blue 003 Himself 1980-01-01
Movie The Mirror Crack'd Martin N. Fenn 1980-09-19
Movie Little Miss Marker Blackie 1980-03-21
Movie It Rained All Night the Day I Left Robert Talbot 1980-08-05
Movie The Scarlett O'Hara War David O. Selznick 1980-05-19
Movie Title Shot Frank Renzetti 1979-09-09
Movie The Manitou Harry Erskine 1978-04-28
Movie Sextette Alexei Karansky 1978-03-03
Movie The Bad News Bears Go to Japan Marvin Lazar 1978-06-30
Series Vega$ Roth 1978-09-20
Movie The Users Randy Brent 1978-10-01
Movie Casanova & Co. Giacomo Casanova / Giacomino 1977-03-01
Series The Hollywood Greats Unknown 1977-08-04
Movie The Last Tycoon Rodriguez 1976-11-18
Movie Lepke Louis 'Lepke' Buchalter 1975-01-01
Movie The Count of Monte-Cristo Fernand Morcerf Mondego 1975-01-10
Series McCoy McCoy 1975-03-11
Movie Mission: Monte Carlo Danny Wilde 1974-01-01
Series The American Film Institute Salute to ... Unknown 1973-04-02
Movie The Third Girl from the Left Joey Jordan 1973-10-16
Series The Persuaders! Danny Wilde 1971-09-17
Movie You Can't Win 'Em All Adam Dyer 1970-07-23
Movie Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? Shannon Gambroni 1970-09-11
Movie Monte Carlo or Bust! Chester Schofield 1969-04-28
Series Bracken's World Unknown 1969-09-19
Movie Rosemary's Baby Donald Baumgart (voice) (uncredited) 1968-06-12
Series Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Unknown 1968-01-22
Movie The Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo 1968-10-08
Movie Don't Make Waves Carlo Cofield 1967-06-20
Movie On My Way to the Crusades, I Met a Girl Who... Guerrando da Montone 1967-12-01
Movie Chamber of Horrors Mr. Julian 1966-10-28
Movie Not with My Wife, You Don't! Tom Ferris 1966-11-02
Movie Arrivederci, Baby! Nick Johnson 1966-12-28
Movie The Great Race The Great Leslie 1965-07-01
Movie Boeing, Boeing Bernard Lawrence 1965-12-22
Movie Wild and Wonderful Terry Williams 1964-06-09
Movie Paris When It Sizzles Maurice / Philippe (uncredited) 1964-03-16
Movie Goodbye Charlie George Wellington Tracy 1964-11-18
Movie Sex and the Single Girl Bob Weston 1964-12-25
Movie The List of Adrian Messenger Organ Grinder 1963-05-23
Movie Captain Newman, M.D. Cpl. Jackson "Jake" Leibowitz 1963-12-25
Movie 40 Pounds of Trouble Steve McCluskey 1962-01-01
Series The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Unknown 1962-10-01
Movie Taras Bulba Andrei Bulba 1962-11-21
Movie The Great Impostor Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr. / Martin Donner / Dr. Gilbert / Ben. W. Stone / Dr. Joseph Mornay / Robert Boyd Hammnd 1961-03-01
Movie The Outsider Ira Hamilton Hayes 1961-12-27
Movie Who Was That Lady? David Wilson 1960-04-08
Movie The Rat Race Pete Hammond Jr. 1960-07-10
Movie Spartacus Antoninus 1960-10-13
Series The Flintstones Unknown 1960-09-30
Movie Pepe Tony Curtis 1960-12-21
Movie Some Like It Hot Joe (Josephine) 1959-03-19
Movie Operation Petticoat Lieutenant Nicholas Holden 1959-12-05
Movie Kings Go Forth Caporal Britt Harris 1958-01-01
Movie The Vikings Eric 1958-06-11
Movie The Perfect Furlough Cpl. Paul Hodges 1958-11-30
Movie The Defiant Ones John 'Joker' Jackson 1958-08-14
Movie Mister Cory Cory 1957-02-23
Movie The Midnight Story Joe Martini 1957-08-01
Movie Sweet Smell of Success Sidney Falco 1957-07-04
Movie The Rawhide Years Ben Matthews 1956-04-13
Movie Trapeze Tino Orsini 1956-05-30
Series The Steve Allen Show Unknown 1956-06-24
Movie The Square Jungle Eddie Quaid 1955-01-01
Movie The Purple Mask Rene de Traviere / The Purple Mask 1955-06-15
Movie Six Bridges to Cross Jerry Florea 1955-01-19
Movie Beachhead Burke 1954-02-05
Movie Johnny Dark Johnny Dark 1954-06-25
Movie The Black Shield of Falworth Myles Falworth 1954-09-02
Movie So This Is Paris Joe Maxwell 1954-12-30
Movie A Star Is Born World Premiere Self 1954-09-28
Series General Electric Theater Unknown 1953-02-01
Series The Oscars Unknown 1953-03-18
Movie Houdini Harry Houdini 1953-07-02
Movie Forbidden Eddie Darrow 1953-12-02
Movie The All American Nick Bonelli 1953-09-23
Movie No Room for the Groom Alvah Morrell 1952-06-13
Movie Come Back Little Shiksa 1952-01-01
Movie Son of Ali Baba Kashma Baba 1952-08-15
Series This Is Your Life Unknown 1952-10-01
Movie Flesh and Fury Paul Callan 1952-06-26
Movie The Prince Who Was a Thief Julna 1951-05-17
Series Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Unknown 1951-10-05
Movie I Was a Shoplifter Pepe (as Anthony Curtis) 1950-05-13
Movie Francis Captain Jones 1950-02-08
Movie Winchester '73 Doan 1950-07-12
Movie Sierra Brent Coulter 1950-06-01
Series The Colgate Comedy Hour Unknown 1950-09-10
Movie Woman in Hiding Dave Shaw (voice) 1950-11-22
Movie Kansas Raiders Kit Dalton 1950-11-15
Movie Criss Cross Gigolo (uncredited) 1949-02-04
Movie City Across the River Mitch (as Anthony Curtis) 1949-04-07
Movie The Lady Gambles Bellboy (as Anthony Curtis) 1949-05-20
Movie Johnny Stool Pigeon Joey Hyatt (as Anthony Curtis) 1949-04-20
Movie Take One False Step Hot Rod Driver (uncredited) 1949-06-22
Series The Ed Sullivan Show Unknown 1948-06-20