Mr. wOw Remembers Tony Curtis

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Fans Beware! Caution!  This is not a lovely tribute!

Mr. wOw has already read numerous tributes to the late Tony Curtis and his iconic career. Mr. wOw has also read, written down as fact in the actor’s obituaries, Mr. Curtis’s unproven assertion that he had an affair with Marilyn Monroe during the filming of “Some Like It Hot.” That indeed the child she was so obviously carrying in that film was his. (Monroe, married to Arthur Miller at the time, would miscarry shortly after filming ended.)

For ten years after Monroe’s death, Curtis didn’t have a kind word for her. He never denied his infamous “Kissing her is like kissing Hitler” remark. But then he saw that Marilyn’s legend wasn’t going away, and that those who profited most were those who claimed to have known her well and loved her. Voilà! Suddenly, not only did Tony adore Marilyn, but they had had an affair early on in both of their careers. Tony insisted they met at Universal Studios. Marilyn never worked at Universal, so Mr. wOw has always wondered if Tony was mixing his blondes – Mamie Van Doren was Universal’s sexpot.

As the years went by, Tony and Marilyn became closer and closer. Why, he couldn’t have loved her more. No man ever honored a corpse as Tony did Marilyn’s.

One of his autobiographies included the fact that during their youthful 1940’s affair they used to meet at the home of “Marilyn’s best friend, Jeanne Carmen.” Alas, Ms. Carmen claimed to have met Marilyn in 1961. (Actually, she never met Marilyn at all. Ms. Carmen built a nice career for herself, lying about ever knowing MM, and her falsehoods have worked their way into all of Monroe’s histories.)

Tony reached his Monroe nadir last year by claiming the “Some Like It Hot” affair and the paternity of Monroe’s unborn baby. He went on to finally admit to the Hitler remark, insisting however, he was only being ironic. How else, he asked, could one answer a question about kissing Marilyn? Unfortunately, in between “Some Like It Hot” and the three remaining years of Marilyn’s life, Tony never explained his “irony” to Monroe. She mentioned the remark in her very last interview, for Life magazine, though referring to Tony only as “some actor.” (The pity is, they had been friends. Curtis and Marilyn look chummy during the location shooting of “Some Like It Hot” on the beach. Later, when the company returned to Hollywood and the actress’s insecurities surfaced, friendly relations ceased.)

So, handsome as he was, as good an actor as he was (and he was really quite good!) and as amusing as he could be, Tony Curtis was a great big creep in Mr. wOw’s book.

Sorry, this is the Marilyn fan in me. I know it’s childish. And I’m so glad I never represent myself as a model of maturity and clear-thinking.

Mr. Curtis was a fine painter. Some of his work can be found in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. And he had an excellent sense of humor about his life and his image. His good looks hindered him, and he probably wasn’t treated with due respect. He had a terrible childhood. He made something of himself, no doubt about it.

Mr. Curtis fathered six children with six wives. He is largely estranged from his five remaining offspring. Sad. (One of those children, the wonderful Jamie Lee Curtis, has stated publicly that she did not believe her dad’s tale of dallying with and impregnating Monroe.) And although he would never ever admit it, his voice as “Josephine” in “Some Like It Hot” was dubbed.

R.I.P. Tony. And my sympathies go to his devoted wife of 12 years, the beautiful Jill Vandenberg.

Sorry I had to be such a great big creep. But I never allow my voice to be dubbed.

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