Tony Curtis was a great actor. But he’s one of those guys I remember as well for his off screen personality as for his on screen performances. And given that I said goodbye to Sally Menke this week by spotlighting an appearance in a documentary, I’m going to do the same for the man better known for playing iconic roles in “Some Like it Hot,” “Spartacus,” “Sweet Smell of Success” and, of course, “The Great Race.” He’s also one of the most memorable figures in “The Celluloid Closet,” a 1995 documentary about the history of homosexuality in Hollwyood and its cinema. Talking about the first two films I mentioned, he comes off fairly tolerant of their gay undertones, which is why I find it interesting that he was part of the whole anti-“Brokeback Mountain” contingent of the Academy a few years back. But I don’t want to go into that business.
After his appearance in the documentary, I’m featuring a Turner Classic Movies tribute to Cary Grant by Curtis. For those of us who love his blatant impersonation of Grant in “Some Like it Hot,” it’s great to hear the actor talk about his idol and inspiration as well as giving us a bit more of that vocal impression. Watch both videos after the jump.
Okay, so it turns out the only part of “The Celluloid Closet” I want to embed is not embeddable (well, Daily Motion has one, but it’s dubbed over in French). But Curtis’ segment begins at the very, very end of the following part. So just watch this starting at the 7:38 mark, where he claims “we’re all half man, half woman,” and then follow it with the clip I wanted to feature, which you can watch on YouTube here.
I wonder who will do one of these love letters to Curtis now?