Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh were one of the biggest celebrity couples of the 60s and were almost the same age. But their marriage is often remembered for the bitterness and hatred that marked their final years together.
Hollywood is a community of style and glamor. An important part of the film industry’s flamboyant culture is the romance between some of its stars.
However, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh were the real Jack and Rose of the 60s. The couple defied all odds of being together, including putting their careers at stake, but the end was far from perfect and their relationship ended in divorce.
The American actress Tony Curtis (1925 – 2010) with his wife, the American actress Janet Leigh (1927 – 2004), around 1955. [gauche] Portrait of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh with their two daughters, Jamie Lee and Kelly Lee. [droite] | Source: Getty Images
THAT THE BIRTH OF JAMIE LEE CURTIS WAS A LAST ATTEMPT OF PEACE
Tony Curtis was famous for his flamboyance as much as his talent. In fact, he was among the celebrities who characterized what it meant to be a superstar actor in a stylish and charming way.
Tony, like other stars, has been associated with a number of women in his life and has had several marriages, but each of them has been convicted.
His romance with Leigh, however, was one of the things that shaped the actor’s life the most. Note that Leigh was Tony’s first wife, while the latter was the actress’ third spouse.
Tony Curtis at the Dorchester Hotel, London, England, around 1957 | Photo: Getty Images
This attractive couple was the center of attention throughout their relationship, which even stretched into their professional lives when they starred in five films together.
Leigh was already famous when she met Tony at an advertising party in the 1950s. That was a few years after her first role in the late 1940s. She was beautiful and had a reputation as a huckster in movies.
Promotional portrait of American actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis for the film Strictly for Pleasure directed by Blake Edwards | Source: Getty Images
The actress was more popular than Tony when they met. She had starred in hit films such as ‘The Romance of Rosy Ridge’ and ‘Little Women’, while Tony had not yet had a chance.
But things went quickly for the couple and they fell in love. Despite the many obstacles they faced, the couple bonded, and many expected that everything would last forever. But things got sour just as quickly as they had started.
American actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh smile at their daughter, Kelly Lee | Source: Getty Images
After receiving their first child, Kelly, Tony and Leigh realized that their love had lost its spark. Then they welcomed their daughter Jamie in hopes of saving what was left of their union. Jamie even later described himself as a “life-saving baby”. But her parents ended their relationship despite her birth.
Jamie talked about his experience with his struggling parents and said, “When I arrived … The bond between my parents had deteriorated abruptly as their fame grew. And like any other life-saving baby, I have failed.”
In fact, Tony filed for divorce in 1962. He left his family divided.
Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis pose with a child in a commercial portrait for the movie ‘The Perfect Furlough’, circa 1958 | Source: Getty Images
THE STORY OF TONY AND LEIGH
Leigh has always had love from his fans and his co-stars. When she met Tony, she was already in touch with the great powers of Hollywood. Hollywood mogul Howard Hughes was one of the people who supported her career. Hughes was also in love with the actress, but she does not seem to share his interest.
Her heart was already given to Tony. The two stars were seriously in love with each other and had an intense relationship. The duo was ready to leap through any obstacle that could thwart their love, even if it meant looking down on the people who supported their careers.
American actors married Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh on a carousel, around 1955 | Source: Getty Images
Like Leigh, Tony’s love for the actress was also tested by Universal’s giant ten thousand dollar offer to marry his co-star Piper Laurie. This union was seen as a much needed boost to his career. Money, however, could not keep him away from the one his heart had chosen.
Tony became a well-known figure on most of Leigh’s films, and their relationship quickly became public knowledge. Universal, however, became concerned about Tony’s affair with a rival actress and hoped he would side with them by marrying Laurie.
Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh at the 25th Annual Oscars on March 19, 1953 | Source: Public domain, Wikimedia Commons
Tony shocked his employers when he proposed to Leigh in 1951. She said yes without wasting time and they got married in a modest but glamorous event. Before their marriage, Leigh’s friends discouraged her from marrying the actress, but their love seems more genuine than their concern.
Life with Tony seemed perfect, but that happiness was made fleeting by privacy issues. On the surface, the pair seemed to be the best, but they struggled to stay on the same page.
Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh at an official event around 1955 | Source: Getty Images
Tony became more and more insecure about his wife’s success and was also jealous of her relationship with other men. The actress felt that she sometimes used her greatest stellar power against him. He said, “I saw signs in myself that I was becoming submissive.”
So Tony went into a dark room and found himself involved in drug and other drug problems. He also reportedly had affairs with actresses Gloria DeHaven and Natalie Wood.
Portrait of Janet Leigh for Photoplay around 1954 | Photo: Public domain, Wikimedia Commons
In fact, the couple began to move more and more away. About the state of their marriage, Tony recalled: “We settled into a functional but unromantic marriage, the kind of life that was less unusual in Hollywood than one might think.”
Tony then ended up leaving Leigh for Christine Kaufmann, a 17-year-old actress, but the couple also separated in 1968. Furthermore, before his death in 2010 due to congestive heart failure, the actor married four other women.
POSTED BY FAMOUS PARENTS
Being raised by famous parents has done Jamie more harm than good. The latter has often described itself as “the product of 13 divorces”. The 63-year-old actress admitted that her parents’ separation affected her and made it hard to believe in true love.
In fact, Jamie and his sister grew up in a home where hatred, competition, and jealousy reigned. The “Halloween” actress also observed the demands of a successful career in Hollywood and learned from the lives of her parents.
Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh and their two daughters Kelly and Jaimie Lee | Source: Getty Images
Growing up with Tony and Leigh as parents, Jamie and Kelly had to deal with public expectations and frequent comparisons. Jamie once shared a picture of his family with his thoughts on growing up with famous parents.
She wrote: “I was born of famous parents. My birth and childhood have been documented to the public. My parents’ fame and beauty preceded me. The comparison. The measurement. Everywhere I went. Everything I have done.”
Jamie had two father figures growing up: her enigmatic biological father, Tony Curtis, and Leigh’s fourth husband, stockbroker Robert Brandt. According to her, Tony passed the creativity on to her while Brandt showed her love.
Actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis pose for a portrait with their daughter Kelly Curtis at home on August 4, 1956 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images
The actress still fondly remembers her parents, especially for their role in her career. Jamie once shared a post in which he praised Leigh, who died in 2004, as a beautiful and talented actress. Although it had not been easy with Tony, she had no doubt that he had an incredible talent.
Jamie’s older sister Kelly also had some amazing things to say about their deceased mother. She once revealed that their famous mother taught her to be grateful and content.
Kelly Lee Curtis, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis at their Hollywood Home January 16, 1959 | Source: Getty Images
THE CHILDREN OF TONY AND LEIGH
Tony had six children during his multiple marriages. But when he died, the actor was hated by his children for depriving them of a crown of his inheritance. The former Hollywood star shared a broken relationship with his children from his first marriage.
Jamie, she followed in her footsteps and became a remarkable actress. Like her parents, the 60-year-old has enjoyed the limelight and starred in a number of high-profile films while receiving notable awards.
Jamie Lee Curtis speaks on stage at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards Los Angeles at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 28, 2019 | Source: Getty Images
Kelly is also a Hollywood star and has starred in films such as ‘Magic Sticks’ and ‘The Devil’s Daughter’. Her first appearance in the cinema world was in the action-adventure film “The Vikings”, where she starred with her parents.
Years after Tony and Leigh’s deaths, their children have passed on their legacy and are also successful in their careers. Tony may not have been the best father, but he was the best actor in Hollywood.