Tony Curtis 1925-2010

Curtis in Reno, 2001

Curtis in Reno, 2001

Tony Curtis, the light comedy actor who startled critics with the power of his 1968 portrayal of The Boston Strangler, died last week in Henderson at age 85.

Curtis made Johnny Dark in Reno, Pyramid Lake, Stead and other local sites in 1954.

In 1963, he made Forty Pounds of Trouble at Lake Tahoe. He attended the local Tahoe premiere with German actress Christine Kauffman, then married her two weeks later in Las Vegas.

While he was at Lake Tahoe, he discussed his new role as producer, telling one columnist, “Who’s better qualified to run an asylum than the nuts in it?”

In 1978, Curtis was a regular in the television series Vega$, appearing infrequently in the later years of the series. He appeared at the 2001 Reno Film Festival.

Last month, Sweet Smell of Success was shown by the Churchill Arts Council in Fallon as part of its series of films on the “Art of the Spin.” In the film, Curtis played an oily press agent, Sidney Falco, who is manipulated by a powerful newspaper columnist patterned after Walter Winchell. Curtis fought for the role in the much-honored film as a step in breaking away from his usual comic bachelor type of roles, leading to his tour de force performance as murderer Albert DeSalvo in The Boston Strangler

In July, he was hospitalized after an asthma attack at a book signing in Henderson.