In successive days this week, movie fans lost two icons of American cinema.
Yesterday, at his Las Vegas home, at the age of 85, Tony Curtis died of cardiac arrest. The death was reported by Curtis' daughter Jamie Lee Curtis.
Tony Curtis, who was born in The Bronx borough of New York City, arrived in Hollywood at the age of 23, to begin a career that would span more than 60 years. Mr. Curtis' work includes classics made with Hollywood's biggest stars and directors. Favorites at Moviedozer include 1953's Houdini, with ex-wife Janet Leigh, and 1964's Sex and the Single Girl with recurring co-star Natalie Wood.
Other unforgettable movie performances include The Sweet Smell of Success (with Kirk Douglas, '57), Spartacus (also with Douglas, '60), The Great Impostor ('61), Goodbye Charlie ('64), The Great Race (with Jack Lemmon and Natalie Wood, '65) and The Boston Strangler ('68). Perhaps one of Curtis' most fondly remembered roles is his portrayal of Joe/Josephine opposite Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe in the Billy Wilder 1959 classic comedy, Some Like It Hot.
Curtis also made a memorable mark in television, co starring with Roger Moore in the 1971-'72 series The Persuaders and, between 1978-'81, as casino owner Philip Roth, in 26 episodes opposite Robert Ulrich in Vega$. Mr. Curtis even had some fun lampooning his own celebrity by providing the voice for his animated likeness in The Return of Stony Curtis, a 1965 episode of The Flintstones.
On Tuesday, Hollywood also lost one of its most formidable directors in Arthur Penn.
In addition to one of our favorites, 1985's Target, which starred Gene Hackman and a young Matt Dillon, Penn was the guiding force behind movies like 1962's The Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, and 1970's Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman.
Penn's standout achievement for most, is the incredible and ground breaking visual style of the hard hitting masterpiece, 1967's Bonnie and Clyde (Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons & Michael J. Pollard).
To the families, friends and fans of both of these extraordinary artists, we offer our most profound sympathies and share in the celebration of their brilliant careers.