I was sad to hear that Tony Curtis died today. Aged 85, Curtis put in a good innings, enjoying movie roles and wives with equal aplomb.
Oscar-nominated for The Defiant Ones (in which he starred alongside Sidney Poitier) and a favourite of movie-lovers everywhere for the classic comedy Some Like It Hot, it was through the medium of television that I first got to “know” him.
In the late Sixties, he starred in a TV programme called The Persuaders with the man who would be James Bond, Roger Moore. Curtis loved television. It allowed him freedom that movies could not.
He took on the role of Danny Wilde with relish, ad-libbing much of script and performing most of his own stunts. His role was that of a comic foil to Moore’s Lord Brett Sinclair, your typical British upper-crust playboy. The premise was simple: two men, with backgrounds that shouldn’t mix, are brought together by a judge so they can solve cases the courts cannot.
It was fun while it lasted – just the one season – and it brought to an end a sequence of British adventure shows that included Danger Man, The Avengers and The Champions (all funded by Lord Lew Grade’s company ITC).
Curtis was to make one more foray into the world of TV. Hands up those of you who remember him as Roth in the Robert Urich detective show Vega$!
The Persuaders, starring Tony Curtis and Roger Moore. Featuring another iconic theme tune from John (James Bond) Barry. They do not make them like this anymore.