TONY CURTIS by Tony Curtis


The Autobiography
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 Lippy memoir of actor/painter/novelist Bernard Schwartz, a hard-luck kid from gang-ridden New York who went to Hollywood in his early 20s and became known as Tony Curtis; told with Paris (Louise Brooks, 1989) inserting interviews with Curtis's friends, co-workers, and family members into the otherwise all-Curtis text. As ever, Curtis thinks well of himself, having checked both a skid in his career and addictions to cocaine and alcohol requiring two trips to the Betty Ford Clinic. Curtis's first trip to BFC didn't take, but family intervention in his yearlong slip planted him right back in the clinic for a second drying out and ego- retooling. Even so, the newer, brighter Curtis cuffs his former directors--Howard Koch, Blake Edwards, Norman Jewison, and Robert Mulligan--for not ``making any effort or gesture toward me. It may sound like sour grapes, but I don't care what it sound like. That's my feeling.'' Meanwhile, he praises Arnold Schwarzenegger for hiring him for the Terminator's directing debut in 1992's lame TV comedy Christmas in Connecticut. Despite what many will think lapses, Curtis's buoyant self-love (Elvis allegedly copied his hair style), active sex life (modestly veiled), and rise from dashing hunk (The Black Shield of Falworth) to determined, ever-committed actor (The Boston Strangler) make for an attractive, highly readable life, filled with gods as friends (Cary Grant, Orson Welles, Frank Sinatra) and goddesses as fellow workers (Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Gina Lollobrigida) and wives (Janet Leigh, Christine Kaufmann). Aside from the addiction passages, the highlight here is the filming of Some Like It Hot, the cornerstone of Curtis's huge growth as a talent. Sometimes mean-spirited but...nobody's perfect. Could do very well. (Thirty-five b&w photos--not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-09759-6
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1993


NonfictionAUDREY HEPBURN by Barry Paris
by Barry Paris