September 22, 2019

Every Inch a Star

In a gated community high above Los Angeles, Tony Curtis is holding court in the foyer of his two-story house in the shady corner of a cul-de-sac. Wearing white shorts and Birkenstocks, he is reclining on the staircase like a prince from one of his early movies. His famous blue eyes peer over spectacles as he simultaneously signs bills, rejects scripts, answers the telephone, and coordinates two assistants, a housekeeper, and sundry deliverymen.

He ignores the five cats and six dogs that pass to-and-fro in the foyer, where piles of Curtis’ still-life paintings are stacked here and there. He is more attentive to the stunning, six-foot platinum blond who inches down the stairs in four-inch heels: his thirtyish fifth wife, Jill. She gets an approving look over the half-specs. “You’re a very handsome woman,” he says.