Two years later, they were married in New York with Jerry Lewis as best man and went on to make five films together including The Vikings with Kirk Douglas.
The couple became the toast of Hollywood, and partied with Frank Sinatra and Jack Kennedy and even Jack’s father Joe Kennedy, with whom Curtis used to play golf.
Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz in the Bronx to poor Hungarian immigrants on June 3, 1925, but after taking acting classes moved to Hollywood, where movie-goers loved his dark-haired sex appeal and impish grin In 1957, he was cast as the creepy press agent Sidney Falco in Sweet Smell Of Success.
The following year, he was given the role of a racist convict chained to Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.
His estranged daughter Jamie Lee Curtis believes he was driven by darker demons, in particular a sense of guilt left over from his childhood, caused by the death in a street accident of one brother, Julius, who was hit by a lorry at a time when Tony was minding him.‘I had to identify him,’ Curtis once told me. His head was covered in bandages; just his mouth showed.
The only way I could recognise him was by a front tooth that had been chipped when some kid pushed him into a water fountain a few days before.
Tony Curtis dated Marilyn Monroe when they were starting out in Hollywood in the late 1940s.
‘She was a year younger than me, and her beauty was intimidating,’ Curtis once told me.
The proposal got viral nationwide for it may not be as grand as the proposal of other artists but the way it has been laid upon has triggered a soft spot in the heart of the people. Since then, they and their relationship have remained in a low profile and is really private.
But due to Anne’s prominence, it had probably given them the hard time to maintain their relationship at such standing.
But neither the banality of his acting — he once said ‘Acting? Give me the line’ — nor the dreadfulness of the films in which he appeared, mattered.
Curtis was simply the most devastatingly handsome star since Rudolph Valentino. ‘The thing is, Tony never got over his good fortune.
He died the next day.’ He was also badly affected by the worsening schizophrenia of another brother, Bobby, who was eventually committed to an institution by Curtis.