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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tony Curtis dies at age 85!

On September 29th 2010, one of Hollywood's last living legends Tony Curtis died at his Las Vegas home from a cardiac arrest at age 85. Tony Curtis shaped himself from a 1950s movie heartthrob into a respected actor, showing a determined streak that served him well in such films as "Sweet Smell of Success," "The Defiant Ones" and the mega hit "Some Like It Hot" with Marilyn Monroe. Curtis began in acting with frivolous movies that exploited his handsome physique and appealing personality, but then steadily moved to more substantial roles, starting in 1957 in the harrowing show business tale "Sweet Smell of Success." In 1958, "The Defiant Ones" brought him an Academy Award nomination as best actor for his portrayal of a white racist who escaped from prison handcuffed to a black man, Sidney Poitier. The following year, he donned women's clothing and sparred with Marilyn Monroe in one of the most acclaimed film comedies ever, Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot." His first wife was actress Janet Leigh of "Psycho" fame; actress Jamie Lee Curtis is their daughter. "My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages," Jamie Lee Curtis said in a statement today. "He leaves behind children and their families who loved him and respected him and a wife and in-laws who were devoted to him. He also leaves behind fans all over the world." Curtis struggled against drug and alcohol abuse as starring roles became fewer, but then bounced back in film and television as a character actor. His brash optimism returned, and he allowed his once-shiny black hair to turn silver. Again he came back after even those opportunities began to wane, reinventing himself as a writer and painter whose canvasses sold 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." And that he did. (A.P.)
For fans of Marisa Mell, he will be mainly remembered as the "other" Casanova in the movie "Casanova & C°" from 1977 with a bunch of Eurocult actresses like Marisa Berenson, Sylva Koscina, Andrea Ferreol, Britt Ekland and... Marisa Mell as the Dutchess of Cornaro. The movie is an erotic comedy film with many... many titles: Casanova & Company (Italy), Casanova - sänkykamarivaras (Finland), Enas trellos, poly trellos Kazanovas (Greece), Hilfe, ich bin eine männliche Jungfrau (West Germany), Sex on the Run (USA) (reissue title), Some Like It Cool (USA), The Amorous Mis-Adventures of Casanova (USA) (video title), The Rise and Rise of Casanova (UK), and Treize femmes pour Casanova (France)). The plot revolves around the adventures of Giacomo Casanova with various women, and a visit to the Republic of Venice by an Ottoman delegation, including a Sultana and her retinue. To me he will always be remembered as the partner of Roger Moore in the British series "The Persuaders" from the early 70's.

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