Tony Curtis Dead at 85

Screen legend passes away at Vegas home

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 30, 2010 5:22 AM CDT | Updated Sep 30, 2010 7:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – Tony Curtis, the screen icon best known for starring in Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon, has died of cardiac arrest aged 85 at his Las Vegas home. His daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, confirmed to Entertainment Tonight that her father had passed away. Curtis—who appeared in more than 100 films in a screen career that spanned seven decades—was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in 1959's The Defiant Ones.

Curtis, born to a Bronx tailor, started his career as a '50s heartthrob before becoming a respected actor, the AP notes. After battling drug and alcohol addiction, he became a character actor in his later years and started painting, selling works for as much as $20,000. "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."

Tony Curtis leans against a tree, holding a Rolleiflex camera, 1950s.
Tony Curtis leans against a tree, holding a Rolleiflex camera, 1950s.   (Getty Images)
American actor Janet Leigh kisses her husband, actor Tony Curtis' head in this 1954 photo.
American actor Janet Leigh kisses her husband, actor Tony Curtis' head in this 1954 photo.   (Getty Images)
Tony Curtis arrives at the premiere of the newly restored feature film A Star Is Born in Los Angeles earlier this year.
Tony Curtis arrives at the premiere of the newly restored feature film "A Star Is Born" in Los Angeles earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
10th July 1954:  American actor Janet Leigh kisses her husband, actor Tony Curtis' head. She wears a pale terry cloth dress, resting her hand on his shoulder.
10th July 1954: American actor Janet Leigh kisses her husband, actor Tony Curtis' head. She wears a pale terry cloth dress, resting her hand on his shoulder.   (Getty Images)
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