Tony Curtis 1925-2010 – with daughter Jamie Lee Curtis
Film actor Tony Curtis, the father of Jamie Lee Curtis, died of cardiac arrest at his Las Vegas home on September 29, 2010. He suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and had been hospitalized in July after suffering an asthma attack. He was 85.
He appeared in over 100 films and was best known for his roles in Some Like It Hot and The Defiant Ones. His played a rumba dancer in his debut film Criss Cross in 1949 following a stint in the Navy during World War II.
Tony made painting his second career beginning in the early 1980’s. In his later years his work was commanding more than $25,000 per canvas. He gravitated to a surrealist style. His painting The Red Table was on display in the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan in 2007 – see photo below.
Curtis, married six times, had been confined to a wheel chair in recent years. He is survived by his wife of 12 years, Jill Vandenberg Curtis, 43, two daughters from his union to actress Janet Lee, and one child from his marriage to Leslie Allen. A son, Nicholas Curtis, died of a heroin overdose at age 23 in 1993.
More family photos and interview with Jill Curtis below: