Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tony Curtis (1925 - 2010)

I guess everyone knows that Tony Curtis passed away last week.  He was born Bernard Herschel Schwartz...no wonder he changed his name. 

In his early starring roles we find Houdini (1953) which I have always loved.  Let's look at that movie and some other people who worked with Tony.

Hodini's mother was very important to him, so much that he was obsessed with contacting her spirit after she passed away.  He would seek mediums who claimed to be authentic, and then he would end up exposing their tricks.  His friend, the writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 - 1930) of Sherlock Holmes fame, was a firm believer in the afterlife and being able to contact the dead.  Harry kept asking him for leads to authentic mediums, and then exposed them all as fakes.

Hodini's mother was played by Angela Clarke (b. 1912).  She has 64 roles listed on IMDb, starting in 1947 and going into TV.  Her last role was a TV movie in 1986 called "Killer in the Mirror" with Ann Jillian (b. 1950).  She also played Enrico Caruso's mother in The Great Caruso (1951) starring Mario Lanza (1921 - 1959).  In fact, she is listed as a mother in TEN of her roles.

Ian Wolfe (1896 - 1992) is another Bit Actor in Houdini.  He has been around, starting in films in 1934 after doing some stage work.  In his 288 titles are The Mighty Barnum (1934) starring Wallace Beery (1885 - 1949), and Mutiny on the Bounty (1925) starring Charles Laughton (1899 - 1962) and Clark Gable.  In 1938 he was in You Can't Take it With You and Blondie.  He was in Hitchcock's Saboteur in 1942.  I think I better move on because his roles are so varied and interesting, it could take an entire blog.

Connie Gilchrist (1901 - 1985) played in 117 titles from 1940 and a movie called Hullabaloo with Frank Morgan (the Wizard of Oz) and Billie Burke (The Good Witch of the East).  Possibly her biggest role was in Long John Silver (1954), and her last role was with Dick Van Dyke in 1969's Some Kind of Nut.

Some others in Houdini include Frank Orth (1880 - 1962) as a safe expert.  Frank has 176 titles on IMDb.  Barry Bernard (1899 - 1978) who has 68 titles, and Douglas Spencer (1910 - 1960) with 84 roles. 

Tony Curtis was a handsome man!  I am glad that we can continue to enjoy his movies, and I also appreciate Jamie Lee Cutris who wouldn't be here without him

BTW, my post about Blondie was just selected for re-posting on a new blog, Movie Fan Fare, which is hosted by Movies Unlimited.  Movies Unlimited is one of the most respected sources for movies, and they have an incredible catalog that is also sold by Turner Classic Movies.  It is a very good site and well worth a look.  I will add a button link on my page this weekend.

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