that would have killed an ordinary man." Interesting.To be driven to such extremes by just coming into contact with a woman he's already slept with multiple times, including just a few nights before. He was a young man, and she was one of the most desirable women of the era.He was Born Bernard Schwartz into a Jewish immigrant family from Hungary and barely spoke English until he was enrolled in grade school.
But if you live long enough, you can thwart any film historian by simply limiting your fantasies to those people you were actually in a room with.But Curtis is all details in describing the yacht scene shoot, in which Sugar (Monroe) tries to seduce Curtis, who is pretending to be impotent.She lay on top of him, an event which prompts Curtis' single greatest line: "I got an erection ...He had a gigantic fan following and eventually earned the respect of his colleagues in a diversity of roles from Hungarian escape artist Houdini ('53) to a trapeze artist opposite Burt Lancaster and Gina Lollobrigida, in "Trapeze" to the lowlife sidekick of Lancaster's in "Sweet Smell of Success" ('57}, a racist chain-gang escapee tied to Sidney Poitier in "The Defiant Ones" ('58) and finally displayed his comedic skills in Billy Wilder's "Some like it Hot"('59) Opposite Jack Lemmon and Marilyn.
His last great role was as "The Boston Strangler"('68) in the film of that name in which his interpretation of the notorious serial killer was an astounding departure from his earlier matinée idol image.
Curtis got into films basically on his good looks, quickly became a matinée idol and sex symbol in gobs of youth oriented B movies and was so incredibly handsome that it was a long time before he was taken seriously as an actor.