Hundreds stood in line well in advance of the 11am schedule time in order to say their last goodbyes to Hollywood legend Anthony Curtis. Curtis died of a heart attack at the age of 85 in his home in Nevada last Wednesday.
The legend of the silver screen was buried in Las Vegas with several mementos such as the novel Anthony Adverse, from which he took his stage name and wearing his driving gloves and favourite White Armani scarf. Stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger performed readings and his seven pall bearers included Kirk Douglas and singer Phyllis McGuire. One mourner arrived dressed as Marilyn Monroe in tribute to Curtis’ role in Some Like it Hot.
His daughter, actress Jamie Lee Curtis welled up as she described her father as ‘a little mashugana (Yiddish for crazy) but always full of life’ she paid tribute to him and to his influence with the words ‘we are the evidence of him. We walk the walk led by him. All of us got something from him. I of course, got his desperate need for attention’ she joked. Jill Curtis, Anthony’s sixth wife described the actor through her tears as ‘a once in a lifetime man’, and said ‘he was that charming handsome man you saw on screen.’
The Spartacus star was an infamous womaniser marrying six times in his lifetime and seen with high-profile girl-friends such as Marilyn Monroe, co-star of Some Like it Hot and Natalie Wood. His first marriage was to actress Janet Leigh who gave birth to his two daughters, actresses Jamie lee and Kelly Curtis. After divorcing Leigh he married Christine Kaufman, who was only 17 when they met. Curtis was once quoted as saying ‘I wouldn’t be seen dead with a woman old enough to be my wife.’ A policy he stuck by even in his last marriage; Jill Vandenburg was 45 years his junior.
The service, for 400 family and friends was held in the main chapel at Palms Mortuary and Cemetary, the surrounding 3 chapels broadcast the hour long service to the overflow of mourners unable to fit inside.
Image courtesy of The Daily Mail