Revered comedic actor Tony Curtis passed away last night at the age of 85 in his Henderson, Nevada home. The actor died of cardiac arrest at 9:25 PST, said the Clark County coroner.
Tony Curtis made his breakthrough performance with the 1958 movie The Defiant Ones, where he portrayed a white convict shackled to black prisoner Sidney Poitier. The role earned him his first nomination for a Best Actor Academy Award. The next year Tony Curtis starred alongside Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot, considered by many to be the greatest comedy movie of all time. In 1960, Tony Curtis starred as Antoninus opposite Kirk Douglas in the original "sword and sandals" epic Spartacus.
Tony Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz on June 3, 1925 in the Bronx. After a stint in the Marines during World War II, he took up acting, changing his name to Tony Curtis in 1949. He had not retired at the time of his death, and occasionally accepted parts throughout the last decade. He was also an accomplished painter and an author.