Tony Curtis’ six children with three different mothers were not included in his will when he passed away. Instead, part of it was given to his cherished widow.
Tony Curtis, a legendary actor in Hollywood, died of a heart arrest in September 2010 at the age of 85. After his passing, it was revealed that the late actor had left his entire assets to his widow Jill Vanderberg, omitting all of his children from his will.
The “Some Like It Hot” star allegedly included each of his living children by name in his will, only to make it obvious that he did not intend to leave anything to them.
Tony was the son of Hungarian Jewish immigrants Emanuel and Helen. He was born Bernard Schwartz on June 3, 1925. Tony was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, and his parents had a tailor shop.
Sadly, Helen had schizophrenia, which had an impact on their family. In the depths of the Great Depression, in 1933, their lives grew more complicated. Tony and his brother were placed in a state institution for a better life after their parents were unable to support them.
They met several anti-Semitic kids there, who physically harassed the brothers. Misfortune followed them there. At the age of 12, his brother Julius perished in an accident in 1938.
Tony was in mourning, yet Julius’ passing inspired him to pursue a better life. He joined the US Navy and went to Seward Park High School in Manhattan.
After receiving an honorable discharge, Tony became motivated to work in the entertainment industry and enrolled in acting classes at the New School for Social Research.
He eventually signed a deal with Universal Pictures thanks to his talent and excellent appearance. His hair was dark and curling in an Elvis Presley-inspired manner. Minor film roles led to fame, which then led to important parts in hit movies.
Tony was a beloved Hollywood actor who starred in notable films alongside Kirk Douglas and Marilyn Monroe. He was additionally given a financial incentive by Universal at one point in his career to wed co-star Piper Laurie.
At the time, it was thought that the union was a much required publicity gimmick for his professional life. He turned down the money, despite how alluring it seemed.
Tony had a number of women in his life during the course of his career. The relationship he had with Janet Leigh, though, seemed to have endless potential. Working on five movies together, the couple fell in love. Leigh was 23 years old when they first met.
Unfortunately, because of private problems, their happiness as a marriage was brief. Five years after their wedding, they made an effort to make things work for their two girls. In addition to beginning to drink and use drugs at the time, Tony’s infidelity was also made public.
In order to be with Christine Kaufmann, who was then 17 years old, the actor filed for divorce in 1962. His divorce wrecked his job in addition to his connection with his children. People sympathized with Leigh and took her side in the incident.
In the end, Tony had the same difficulty getting roles as previously. Not many people are aware, though, that Tony wasn’t the only one having affairs. Tony foresaw Leigh’s affair with Frank Sinatra before it actually occurred.
After they split up, Leigh married a businessman named Bob Brandt. They got married and had a happy life together until she passed away in 2004. In the meantime, Tony wed Christine Kauffman, a young actress, in 1963.
She was an entertainment industry professional who was born in Austria. She made her stage debut at age seven with the band “The White Horse Inn.” Her career was began by her role in the play “Rise Girl” in 1954.
Her additional international acting credits include Tony-staring films “Taras Bulba,” “Town Without Pity,” and “The Last Days of Pompeii.” Daughters Allegra and Alexandra were born into the marriage of Tony and Kauffman. Their union did, however, end in divorce in 1968.
Later, the actress acknowledged cheating on Warren Beatty. Leslie Allen, an Academy Award nominee, and Tony’s third marriage produced their two most recent children.
Benjamin and Nicholas were the couple’s sons; they were married from 1968 to 1982, and regrettably, Benjamin passed away in 1994 at the age of 23.
Tony had two more wives: Lisa Deutsch, who he married for a year in 1993, and “Stryker” actress Andrea Savio, whom he wed in 1984. Tony wed Jill Vanderberg, a horse trainer, in 1998, marking his sixth marriage. They stayed together until Tony’s passing in 2010.
It was claimed in Peter Golenbock’s autobiography, “American Prince: A Memoir,” that Tony also had a relationship with Marilyn Monroe in 1984, when they were both still relatively unknown and young.
Tony had two daughters with Leigh while they were married. Kelly Curtis, their first child, was born in 1956, and Jamie Lee Curtis followed in 1958. Kelly and Jamie Lee were also raised to be actors. The parts Kelly played in “Hunter,” “The Sentinel,” and “Judging Amy” are well-known.
Jamie Lee, meantime, is well-known for the worldwide phenomenon “Halloween” and the action comedy “True Lies,” for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. Despite their demanding occupations, Kelly and Jaime Lee get along well with Tony. “I know dad loved me, and my sisters, and my brothers, sincerely, and we loved him with all of our hearts,” Kelly added. We shared a strong bond.
They welcomed Allegra in 1966 and Alexandra in 1964 when the actor wed Kauffman. Although Alexandra had previously featured on screen, as she grew older, she avoided the spotlight. Allegra, meantime, maximized her career in show industry.
She built her reputation on German television while working in the makeup department of many productions prior to becoming an actress. During her 20s, Allegra lived with her father in Hawaii.
She recalled, “I was 22 and didn’t know what I wanted to do with myself. Tony had two sons during his third marriage: Nicholas was born in 1970, and Benjamin was born in 1973. “So, he took me in, and I went to college.”
Nicholas was a musician who attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston before he passed away from an overdose. When Tony found out that his son had died, he was devastated. Tony uttered:
“He came out to California, and his behavior was weird. I knew he was hooked, but I didn’t know how much. Then, these two people he was hanging out with created him some kind of concoction, and he just stopped breathing. They tried to pump him to breathe again, but he was gone.”
Benjamin is the only one of his children who didn’t pursue a profession in performing. He lived in a quiet neighborhood and raised two sons.
On September 30, 2010, Tony passed away in Henderson, Nevada. He experienced heart arrest and passed away at age 85. He had pre-existing conditions and had heart bypass surgery in 1994. Years prior, after his divorce from Allen, Tony also battled his own addiction issues.
He went into recovery in 1982 and emerged as a wonderful artist. He wrote two autobiographies during that time, “American Prince: A Memoir” and “Tony Curtis: The Autobiography.”
Tony’s $60 million fortune was given to Vandergerg rather than his children, who were left out of his will, when he went away. Some of Tony’s kids reportedly found it to be intolerable.
Allegra revealed how their feelings about their father’s widow and heir managing their father’s material estate.
Allegra stated, “We were all taken by surprise, and it was quite terrible. Although it is stated there, I don’t think those were the man’s final intentions.
Allegra thinks her father’s decision to make such a significant choice was affected. Five of his grandchildren each received $30,000 from him, but Jamie Lee’s two children received nothing.
Vanderberg also auctioned off a number of Tony’s belongings after his passing, including his renowned “Some Like it Hot” jacket and cap. Other goods included a Firebird convertible, an Andy Warhol painting, and a Chagall artwork.
Additionally, Vanderberg auctioned off letters her spouse wrote to her and other well-known figures. The online auction brought in more than a million dollars, most of which went to Vanderberg, though some was donated to charity.
Kelly Lee, the actor’s daughter, went even farther and sued Vanderberg, claiming she had gotten inside his head and persuaded him to exclude his children from his will.
But according to Vanderberg, Tony made a final decision and informed his children while he was still alive. Jamie Lee Curtis, the actress who is Tony’s most well-known child, had no comments on the matter.
Jamie revealed that Tony wasn’t a decent father and showed little to no interest in any of his kids during a 2010 appearance on “The Talk.” Tony’s first kid, Kelly, and Jamie are the children of Janet Leigh, to whom the actor was married from 1951 to 1962. Jamie is Tony’s older sister.
It may help us understand why Tony treated his children with such disrespect in his latter days, despite her advice that we shouldn’t have any resentment toward her father because she was well aware of this from a young age.