|Tony Curtis in 1955 as Jerry Florea in Six Bridges To Cross|
When I got home a few hours ago I read Tony Curtis died yesterday. I can't say I was too shocked or surprised (although I feel a bit odd as I posted a still with him just last week).
I saw the man, who came in the world as Bernard Schwartz, last year or two years ago on Jonathan Ross' talkshow on the BBC and he looked so fragile. I felt sorry for him then as I feel genuine sadness now hearing of his death.
I've always had a soft spot for him since growing up with The Persuaders on our television in the early seventies. Next to cool and sophisticated Brett Sinclair (played by Roger Moore), Curtis played lovable foil Danny Wilde who was of course always after the ladies. Something I did not quite understand when I was 9, but what fascinated me immensely nevertheless and made Danny my favorite Persuader.
Many, many years and thousands of movies later, I still see this persona when I think of Tony Curtis. I'm pretty sure he had the same image of himself. Even as his brittle self with Jonathan Ross, he was still projecting his dame-chasing image, not banal or offensive, but rather sweet and innocent as a little boy. He was after all not just a ladies man, but a ladies man with the biggest Peter Pan complex in the world.
Many, many years and thousands movies later, I have also learned he was more than just a pretty boy, he was a very fine and energetic actor with a great humorous and warm voice. Anyone who has seen The Sweet Smell Of Success or Some Like It Hot will say Amen to that. His last part was, slightly ironic, a serious cameo as old Mr. Schwartz in David & Fatima. Nevertheless here's a tribute to Bernie with stills from the time he was young and handsome and lovable whether he played a small time crook, a sycophantic press-agent or the best looking crossdresser escaping the maffia. I'm pretty sure Danny Wilde would appreciate that.
|With Joanne Dru in Forbidden (1953)|
|With Barbara Nicholls in Sweet Smell Of Success (1957)|
|Starring as Sidney Falco opposite Burt Lancaster's J.J. Hunsecker|
|In drag as Josephine in Some Like It Hot (1959)|
|Changing from drag to Cary Grant-like tycoon in Some Like It Hot|