Posts Tagged ‘The Defiant Ones’

One of the iconic stars of yesteryears Tony Curtis died of cardiac arrest in his Nevada home on Thursday. He was 85 which for an actor does not say a thing. All I can think of him is as Josephine Sax in Some Like It Hot. If he could pass for a woman at least while it lasted well age is of no importance. I saw him in many other movies; of his career what better tribute one can give other than his resilience and never-say-die attitude made him survive the stiff competition of being an actor without ending up as a has-been. He reinvented himself as an accomplished artist and as a human being. In the final analysis there is a Sweet Smell of Success about him.
Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz in the Bronx in 1925, the son of Hungarian Jews who had emigrated to the United States after World War I. His father, Manny Schwartz, had yearned to be an actor, but work was hard to find with his heavy accent. He settled for tailoring jobs, moving the family repeatedly as he sought work.

“I was always the new kid on the block, so I got beat up by the other kids,” Curtis recalled in 1959. “I had to figure a way to avoid getting my nose broken. So I became the crazy new kid on the block.”

After serving on a submarine during World War II, he enrolled in drama school on the G.I. Bill and was doing theater work when an agent lined up an audition with Universal, where he signed a seven-year contract starting at $100 a week at age 23. He worked in some memorable roles and had to speak some memorable lines and for which I am thankful.
In Some Like It Hot
Sugar is trying to get Joe interested and they are in a yacht. Sugar kisses him as warmly as she could. She waits for his response.
Joe:I get a funny sensation in my toes-like somebody was barbecuing them over a slow flame.’
Sugar is hopeful and kisses again.
Joe (encouragingly): ‘I think you are on the right track.’
Sugar: I must be –because your glasses are beginning to steam up.

Thanks for the memories, Tony. You earned your rest.
(ack: David Germaine-AP movie reporter)

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