Tony Curtis: Been There, Done That
After more than 150 movies spanning half a century, Tony Curtis, now 81 years old, recounts a life lived onscreen—and off.
by Tony Curtis
February 12, 2007
In the movies I fell in love with Piper Laurie, Janet Leigh, Colleen Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Claudia Cardinale, Monica Vitti, Virna Lisi, Susan Hampshire, Debbie Reynolds, Christine Kaufmann, Gloria DeHaven, Suzanne Pleshette, and Mae West.
I took one girl from Frank Sinatra and took back one girl from George C. Scott.
In The Great Impostor, I was kicked out of a monastery by Raymond Massey for eating grapes.
I raced Roger Moore—he in an Aston Martin, me in a Ferrari.
I got a Christmas card from Gregory Peck in Captain Newman, M.D.
I was on the phone with Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby.
I shot pool with Cary Grant, Burt Lancaster, and Jack Lemmon—all hustlers.
I played poker with Ernie Kovacs and Dean Martin.
I had a date with Audrey Hepburn in Paris When It Sizzles.
I danced with Burt Lancaster's girl Yvonne De Carlo in Criss Cross.
I did not have to make a movie with Angela Lansbury. I never made an Angela Lansbury film and I may never have to.
As Houdini, I sawed Janet Leigh in half.
I took out Kirk Douglas's eye in The Vikings.
I was Stony Curtis in The Flintstones.
I was on the cover of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
As Ira Hayes, I raised the flag on Iwo Jima.
I was chained to Sidney Poitier forever.
I was a close friend to George Sidney.
I have Edward G. Robinson's easel.
I was knighted by the French government as a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
I was knighted by the government of Hungary.
Lines from my movies:
"The cat's in the bag and the bag's in the river."
I supposedly said, "Yonder lies Fadder's castle."
I had dinner with Salvador Dalì.
I was invited to make a movie with Linda Lovelace.
I danced with Sammy Davis Jr.
I was funnier than Jerry Lewis in Boeing Boeing.
I took Ann Blyth to a premiere.
I wrestled Eddie Albert in a toilet in Captain Newman, M.D.
I got a tip from Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Gambles.
Gary Cooper was a friend of mine.
After the bath, Laurence Olivier was hot for me.
I was in a movie with Francis the Mule and Donald O'Connor.
Humphrey Bogart took me on his yacht.
Orry-Kelly designed my dresses for Some Like It Hot.
I took Roseanne out to dinner one night.
Frank Sinatra gave me a wooden flute.
Bea Arthur, Elaine Stritch, and I went to the same acting school.
I have met every president of the United States from Kennedy on, except Nixon.
I fenced superbly against Ross Martin in The Great Race.
George and Barbara Bush are friends of mine.
Frank Sinatra Jr. gave me two of his father's shirts.
Audie Murphy beat me to the draw.
At Universal, I knew Norma Eberhardt, who had one blue eye and one brown eye.
Anita Ekberg wanted me.
I had dinner with Clark Gable.
I called Rona Barrett a yenta.
Tyrone Power was shy.
Spartacus was a friend of mine.
I was in a movie with Edward Everett Horton.
Ernie Borgnine was my father in The Vikings.
Marlon Brando and I rented a house on Barnum Boulevard with our agent, Jay Kanter.
Mamie Van Doren and Cleo Moore were friends of mine.
I was the first actor Playgirl wanted for a nude centerfold.
I took a girl away from Marlon Brando.
The Serviceman's Canteen on the submarine base at Pearl Harbor has one of my paintings.
The Museum of Modern Art has accepted one of my paintings.
Go to the slide show: Tony Curtis: A Celluloid Life.
JS: RIP Tony C. You did it in style and had a lot of fun doing it, baby! Thanks for the movies and the memories.