Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tony Curtis, R.I.P.

The greatest thing about Tony Curtis is that he never stopped being Bernie Schwartz, a kid from the Bronx who didn’t completely buy into his stardom but loved being a star. He was terrific in Some Like It Hot and The Boston Strangler, scorching as Sidney Falco in Sweet Smell of Success. But Tony Curtis was the role of his lifetime, and he was wise enough to know it.

It’s amazing how often I think of something Tony said to writer Jeffrey Wells back in 2000.

Can I tell you a story? In 1948, when I was 23 or 24, when I first came out here I lived in a house on Fountain Avenue ... I rented a room there. And they had a swimming pool. I had an appointment and I got on a trolley car ... they were running right down the middle of the freeway back then.

Then I got back, I jumped in the pool, I took a shower, got dressed and got into the car, and drove up here to meet you. That’s how quick these fifty-fucking-two years have gone ... quick as that.