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Coroner: Actor Tony Curtis dies at Las Vegas home

Sep 30, 2010 7:02:00 AM - thestate.com
Tony Curtis, the Bronx tailor's son who became a 1950s movie heartthrob and then a respected actor with such films as "Sweet Smell of Success," "The Defiant Ones" and "Some Like It Hot," has died. He was 85.

The actor died at 9:25 p.m. MDT Wednesday at his Las Vegas area home of a cardiac arrest, Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy said Thursday.

After a series of frivolous movies that exploited his handsome physique and appealing personality, Curtis moved to more substantial roles, starting in 1957 in the harrowing show business tale "Sweet Smell of Success."

In 1958, "The Defiant Ones" brought him an Academy Award nomination as best actor for his portrayal of a white racist escaped convict handcuffed to a black escapee, Sidney Poitier. The following year, he donned women's clothing and sparred with Marilyn Monroe in one of the most acclaimed film comedies ever, Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot."

His first wife was actress Janet Leigh of "Psycho" fame; actress Jamie Leigh Curtis is their daughter.