Tony Curtis (June 3, 1925 – September 29, 2010)

September 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm (Champagne Charlie, cinema, good people)

Born Bernie Schwartz, working class Bronx kid.  For all his fame and popularity, an underrated actor. And, by all accounts, a decent human being.  The New York Times obit is here.

As ‘Shell Oil Jnr’, wooing Marilyn a la Cary Grant.


An atypically serious role, with Sidney Poitier.


Probably his finest performance.

In 1998, he founded the Emanuel Foundation for Hungarian Culture, and served as honorary chairperson. This is for the restoration and preservation of synagogues and 1300 Jewish cemeteries in Hungary. He dedicated this to the 600,000 Hungarian victims of the Holocaust. (see his Wikipedia entry)


  1. Oscar Lomax's half-brother-in-law said,

  2. charliethechulo said,

    Mark Lawson’s 2008 BBC Radio 4 “Front Row” interview with Tony Curtis; well worth a listen:

  3. jim denham said,

    Never forget Curtis in one of the greatest socialist moments in any mainstream film:

    • skidmarx said,

      Unusual to see JD backing the pro-fascist elements trying to destroy the most developed civilisation the world had ever known.

      • Clive said,

        You think there is a parallel between the slave revolt and, say, the Taliban, do you? Good fucking grief.

  4. Oscar Lomax's dinnerplate said,

  5. Sarah AB said,

    Tha’t’s Jack Lemmon in the SLIH clip!

  6. sackcloth and ashes said,

    RIP, Bernie Schwartz.

    ‘Unusual to see JD backing the pro-fascist elements trying to destroy the most developed civilisation the world had ever known’.

    FOAD, you genocide-denying piece of filth.

    ”Christian Davenport deosn’t (sic) appear to deny there was a genocide: The genocide caused, by their estimate, 100,000 of a total of 1 million deaths. But then that wouldn’t fit your agenda of claiming that anti-imperialists are all David Irving clones’.

    ‘[Davenport is] estimating that 10% of the deaths were due to the genocide, not that only 10% of the deaths actually took place’.

    ‘I used to buy into the RPF view of the events in Rwanda. Even after reading a couple of well-written articles at the Tomb last year I still tended to think that the genocide should give Kagame and co. a lot of leeway. But the weakness of the argument put forward here and its support makes me think that the other view was right all along”.

  7. charliethechulo said,

    Bloody hell, Sarah – you’re quite right! It’s Jack Lemon! How embarrassing…

    I considered leaving the clip in place simply because it’s so good, even though it doesn’t feature Tony C…but it keeps tormenting me as a sort of standing rebuke, so I’ve changed it. But that wonderful SLIH ending can still be seen here:

  8. captain swing said,

    “Yonder lies dah castle of my fah-dah, dah King”

    (actually he never said that in ‘The Black Shield of Falworth’)

    A truly under rated great actor and a genuinely amusing and self deprecating man in person.

    RIP Tony

  9. Sarah AB said,

    It *is* a great clip -and one of my very favourite films, although I haven’t seen Tony Curtis in anything else apart from Spartacus I don’t think. When I was at school I quite enjoyed his novel ‘Kid Andrew Cody’ but I don’t remember much about it.

  10. jim denham said,

    Don’t forget the haircut: I had a sort-off version once…

  11. stroppybird said,

    Pic of you with the haircut ?:-)

  12. jim denham said,

    No such picture exists…and even if it did I would not publish it here or anywhere else.

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