Tony Curtis was an American film actor whose career spanned six decades but who achieved the height of his popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s. He acted in more than 100 films in roles covering a wide range of genres, from light comedy to serious drama. In his later years, Curtis made numerous television appearances.
Although his early film roles mainly took advantage of his good looks, by the latter half of the 1950s he had demonstrated range and depth in numerous dramatic and comedy roles. In his earliest parts he acted in a string of mediocre films, including swashbucklers, westerns, light comedies, sports films and a musical. However, by the time he starred in Houdini with his wife Janet Leigh, "his first clear success," notes critic David Thomson, his acting had progressed immensely.
He achieved his first serious recognition as a dramatic actor in Sweet Smell of Success with co-star Burt Lancaster. The following year he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in The Defiant Ones alongside Sidney Poitier. Curtis then gave what could arguably be called his best performance: three interrelated roles in the comedy Some Like It Hot.
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