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'Some Like It Hot' star Tony Curtis dies

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'Some Like It Hot' star Tony Curtis dies
American actor Tony Curtis attends a signing of his autobiography "American Prince" at Waterstone's, Harrods in London on October 21, 2008. (UPI Photo/Rune Hellestad) | License Photo

HENDERSON, Nev., Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Actor Tony Curtis, best known as a musician who dressed as a woman in the comedy "Some Like It Hot," died in his Nevada home at age 85, a family spokesman said.

Preston Ahearn, Curtis's business manager and family spokesman, said Curtis passed away overnight while sleeping next to his wife in their home in Henderson, Nev., near Las Vegas, ABC News reported Thursday.

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Curtis, whose health had been failing for several years, was hospitalized in July after suffering an asthma attack, family members said.

A box office idol in the 1950s and 1960s, he earned an Oscar nomination for his role in "The Defiant Ones" opposite Sidney Poitier. However, he said he thought his performance as serial killer Albert DeSalvo in "The Boston Strangler" was the finest of his career, The Guardian said.

Curtis was probably best known as a mobster-fleeing musician hiding out in an all-female orchestra in Billy Wilder's screwball comedy, "Some Like It Hot" with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe.

Curtis made more than 140 films and made frequent television appearances.

While appearing on the London stage in 2008, Curtis was asked by a member of the audience what he would like on his tombstone, The Guardian said. "Nobody's perfect," he replied, quoting the final line from "Some Like It Hot."

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Born Bernard Schwartz June 3, 1925, in New York, Curtis joined the Marine Corps in World War II. He adopted the name Tony Curtis when he began his acting career in 1949.

Curtis was married six times, including to actress Janet Leigh, with whom he had two children, one being actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

He married his current wife, Jill Vandenberg Curtis, in 1998.

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