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Tony Curtis dies at 85

By Laurie Bennett

September 30, 2010 at 8:01am

Film icon Tony Curtis, known for his pretty-boy looks, his comedic talents and his many marriages, died Wednesday at age 85.

Curtis was married six times - the most celebrated marriage being his 11-year union with actress Janet Leigh.

Their daughter, Jamie Leigh Curtis, is also a celebrated actress and product spokesperson.

Although Tony Curtis appeared in a number of serious films (The Defiant Ones, Spartacus, The Boston Strangler), his popularity stemmed more from light romps such as Some Like It Hot.

As The New York Times notes, his was a rags-to-riches story. Born Bernard Schwartz in a poor neighborhood of the Bronx, he was placed in an institution during the Depression, when his parents could no longer care for him and his brother.

After Navy service during World War II, he enrolled in acting classes in New York, linked up with casting agent Joyce Selznick and landed a contract at Universal Pictures.

His career reached a peak in the 1950s and 1960s. In later years, he took up painting and wrote two autobiographies.

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