I encountered Tony Curtis twice in my life, once at a junket in Los Angeles for a TNT movie, “Christmas in Connecticut” where I ended up getting stuck in an elevator with him, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kris Kristofferson, one of my favorite unlikely celebrity combos of all time. He was funny and outrageous and sure of himself in a way that you’d have to be Tony Curtis to pull off.
But my favorite memory will always be the day we spent together in Tucson, Ariz, when he was grand marshall of the rodeo parade and I was doing a profile of him for TV Guide. He was “on” all day, charming every woman, and half the men, he met. Wearing a cowboy hat and drinking booze out of a flask and clearly happy to be him. We ended a long day with a dinner in some hotel restaurant, Tony, his wife, a retinue of publicists. He drew a picture of my left hand and gave it to me. He loved telling stories about the old days, talking about art, reciting poetry. One of my best days ever. He invited me to come see him in Las Vegas. I never made it. And now I wish I’d gone.
You can read the TV Guide story here. Please do.