Farewell My Friend

Tony Curtis As Houdini

Tony Curtis Inscribed Photo To Joe

Tony Curtis Janet Leigh Postcard

Tony Curtis And The X-Wife

Tony Curtis With Me, My Daughter And Mom

Tony Curtis, My Bud

What can I say? Tony Curtis was my hero since I was 15 years old. He’s the reason why I became interested in Houdini. Now that he is gone, all this stuff seems a lot duller. Thanks for the great ride Tony. You will be missed by me.

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5 Responses to “Farewell My Friend”

  • What those of you don’t know, as you look at the picture of Kevin, with our daughter and his mom, is that right before we left the dressing room my mother-in-law asked Mr. Curtis if she could pinch his toosh!!! He graciously obliged. A great story and a great mother-in-law.

  • Thanks Honey. Now I’m crying on my keyboard. I’ll be better as soon as you two come home to me. Love Ya!

  • Here’s a great piece that I received from Houdini expert and author, Patrick Culliton.

    I didn’t see “the Great Houdini” starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh as the Houdinis when it was released in 1953. I was eight and I had just discovered Houdini when the “You Asked For It” show aired footage of the real Houdini and of Tony as Houdini. I lived in a tiny town in Massachusetts and the movie theatres in the nearby towns didn’t get first run movies for years. That year my family moved to Hollywood. “The Great Houdini” had come and gone and it seemed as if every single kid in my new school had seen it.
    By the time I saw the movie in the sixties, I knew Tony Curtis.
    Tony was one of my uncle’s best friends. My uncle, Ted Haworth, was an Academy Award winning art director. He was the production designer on several of Tony’s films and they were great pals. I remember times when I would drop by my uncle’s house on Stone Canyon Dr. in Bel Air to find Ted and Tony painting in Ted’s studio behind the garage.
    Ted was the art director on “Some Like It Hot,” “The Outsider,” in which Tony portrayed Ira Hayes, “Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies,” “Who Was That Lady?” and “Wild and Wonderful.” There may even be another one–those are the ones I remember. My uncle was nominated for “Some Like It Hot” and “The Outsider.”
    On “Wild and Wonderful,” Tony got Universal to bring a young woman, Anna Vakeyvitch, who had assisted Ted when he did production design on “the Longest Day,” over from France. They had fallen in love, but, parted company when the film was finished and that looked like that. Then, Tony played cupid and got the studio to pull enough strings to get her to Hollywood to work on the picture.
    Tony was best man at Ted and Anna’s wedding. Tony and I sat and chatted at one point as we were taking turns backpalming a folded invitation.
    He was a very nice man who seemed to find time for everyone.
    Over the years, I ran into him from time to time. I used to tell him: “Sidney Falco, Tony. You got robbed!” I thought he should have won the Oscar for “Sweet Smell of Success.” He never disagreed. In fact, he said, “If that had been my first picture, they’d have thought I was Brando.”
    I last saw him at the Castle last year. He was delightful.
    A couple of years back, Tony was sitting next to David Carradine at some function. When Tony was introduced, this roomful of Hollywood insiders went crazy. They stood up, they cheered and applauded. Tony looked at Dave and said, “I don’t deserve this.” Dave said, “Oh, yes, you do. Tony, you’re royalty.”
    I’ve met some amazing people, but, nobody as amazing as Tony, the kid who dreamed, against all odds, of being a movie star–and became, for a time, the biggest box-office star in the world. He lived the fullest life I ever saw.
    Several actors have played Houdini. For me, there is only one.
    Farewell, Tony.

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