Tony Curtis Dead at 85

by Brian Willett

Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis, an actor who made a name for himself as an on-screen heart-throb in the 1950s but developed into a well-respected actor, died Wednesday at his Las Vegas home.  He was 85.

Curtis died of cardiac arrest, according to a local coroner.  In addition to being known for his Oscar-nominated acing in films such as Sweet Smell of Success and Some Like It Hot, Curtis is notable for being the father of actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

“My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages,” said 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.”

Although Curtis’ first movies seemed to be aimed more at showing off his looks than his ability, Curtis chose later films to strengthen his resume, and delivered an Academy Award nomination-worthy performance in The Defiant Ones with Sidney Poitier.