Legendary 1950s actor/hearthrob Tony Curtis, father of actress Jamie Lee Curtis died at age 85 Wednesday of cardiac arrest at his home in Henderson, Nev. That Oscar-nominated actor is best known for his role opposite Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon in the classic film Some Like It Hot.
“My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages,” Jamie Lee said in a statement today. “He leaves behind children and their families who loved him and respected him and a wife and in-laws who were devoted to him. He also leaves behind fans all over the world.”
Jamie Lee is Tony’s daughter with his first wife Janet Leigh, known for her lead role in Psycho. He also had five other children. Daughters Kelly, also with Leigh, and Allegra, with second wife Christine Kaufmann. His other wives were Leslie Allen, Lisa Deutsch and most recently Jill VandenBerg, whom he married in 1998.
In the early days of his career, Tony played small roles and was mainly know for his heartthrob status, but worked his way up in the industry starring in bigger roles.
He received a best actor Oscar nomination in 1958 for his portrayal of a white racist who escaped from prison handcuffed to a black man, Sidney Poitier, in The Defiant Ones.
Tony may be best known for his role as Joe/Josephine opposite Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon in the critcally-acclaimed comedy, Billy Wilder‘s Some Like It Hot — in which he donned woman’s clothing and had a tryst with Marilyn’s character Sugar Kane.
In memory of Tony’s life and acting career, take a look at his hilarious performance in Some Like It Hot!