Tony Curtis, Persuader

Tony Curtis, 1925 - 2010

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.

7 responses to “Tony Curtis, Persuader

  1. It’s funny, I know exactly who he is, but other than Some Like It Hot, can’t think of much I’ve seen him in.

    85 is a nice long run, though (just ask James Dean). 🙂

    BTW: I am again receiving your WP post notifications in a timely manner.

  2. I can never think of Tony Curtis without remembering the iconic scene in “Spartacus” on “snails and oysters.” This scene was censored from the original, and only restored in 1991 (I think). Curtis was able to recreate his decades younger voice as “Cassius” for the redubbing/remastering when the film was restored. The only youtube version I could find was this Japanese subtitled version with the hazy picture, but I’ve embedded it here. It was a very well done and amazingly subtly written scene. Many thought it scandalous – it is not.

    Beyond that memory, I am sadly reminded of his absolutely horrible track record as a father. Jaime Lee spoke of him in that capacity in a frank and unflattering light, although she did attempt to maintain some semblance of relationship. However, it has been said that his own childhood was FAR from ideal, and he had very poor parental role models.

    Here’s the scene:

  3. We lost an icon today, didn’t we? I’ll miss him.

  4. Can’t say I remember hearing much about his parental skills, but Jaime Lee seems to have done very well for herself despite his lack of good parenting skills. As an actor, he was one of my favorites. He will truly be missed by me. Thanks to the vast number of films that have survived him, we who loved him will be able to enjoy his legacy forever.

  5. PS I’m not sure about the reference to James Dean since he died very young. I think 24 if I remember right.

  6. I loved him in Spartacus! I thought his personna fit it to a TL:)

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