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The Marriages of Tony Curtis

Five Marriages -- Maybe Six

By

Tony Curtis and Jill Vandenberg

Tony Curtis and his wife Jill Vandenberg on July 11, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California.

Photo: Stephen Shugerman / Getty Images
Leading man Tony Curtis was married five times -- maybe six times. Here is information about his many marriages.

Born:

Tony Curtis aka Bernard Schwartz: June 3, 1925 in The Bronx, New York.

Died:

Tony Curtis: Tony Curtis died on September 29, 2010 at his home in Henderson, Nevada at the age of 85. Tony died of a cardiac arrest.

Tony's Children:

Tony Curtis had six children and seven grandchildren.
  • Kelly Lee Curtis: Born June 17, 1956 iin Santa Monica, California. Kelly is an actress. Her mother is Janet Leigh.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis: Born November 22, 1958 in Los Angeles, California. An actress and director, Jamie has been married to Christopher Guest since 1984. Jamie's mother is Janet Leigh.
  • Alexandra Theodora Curtis: Born in 1964. Her mother is Christine Kaufmann.
  • Allegra Curtis: Born in 1966 in Los Angeles, California. An actress. Her mother is Christine Kaufmann.
  • Nicholas Curtis: Born in 1971, Nicholas was an actor, keyboard musician, poet, and artist. Nicholas died due to a drug overdose on July 2, 1994 in Provincetown, Massachusetts. His mother is Penny Allen.
  • Benjamin Curtis: Born in 1973. His mother is Penny Allen.

Occupations:

Tony: Actor, artist, flute player, author, U.S. Navy signalman on a submarine..

Residence:

Tony's last home was in Henderson, Nevada.

Tony's Thoughts About Marriage:

Tony: "My whole life I've had one overriding philosophy: Don't marry someone who reminds you of your mother. And I'm happy to report that I never did."
Source: Tony Curtis, Peter Golenbock. American Prince: A Memoir. 2008. pg. 88.

Tony: "What amazes me is not that Hollywood marriages fail at such an overwhelming rate; it's that any survive at all."
Source: Tony Curtis, Peter Golenbock. American Prince: A Memoir. 2008. pg. 159.

Tony's Sixth Marriage -- Jill Ann Vandenberg:

Born: Jill was born abt. 1967. Jill is 42 years younger than Tony.

How Tony and Jill Met: Tony met Jill in 1996 at Nicky Blair's restaurant.

Wedding Info: Jill and Tony were married on November 6, 1998 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. There were 75 guests at their civil ceremony. Jill wore a white beaded minidress and a fox fur trimmed white coat. The couple's wedding cake had three tiers. They honeymooned for three weeks in Europe.

Jill's Occupation: Horse trainer. Jill runs a wild-horse refuge, Shiloh Horse Rescue and Sanctuary in Sandy Valley, Nevada.

Quotes About the Marriage of Tony and Jill Curtis: "Tony is still married to Jill today, making their marriage the longest lasting and most successful relationship Tony has ever enjoyed. Tony attributes his health, well-being, and happiness to Jill."
Source: "Tony Curtis Biography." TonyCurtis.com.

Tony: "This is one marriage in which the bride didn't change after we got married, and she didn't want me to change either."
Source: Tony Curtis, Peter Golenbock. American Prince: A Memoir. 2008. pg. 330.

Tony's Fifth Marriage -- Lisa Deutsch:

Born: Born abt. 1963, Lisa was 37 years younger than Tony.

How Tony and Lisa Met: Tony and Lisa met in September 1992.

Wedding Info: Tony and Lisa were married on February 28, 1993 in a small, private ceremony is his Bel-Air home garden. According to a new article from the Orlando Sentinel on March 2, 1993, a rabbi and a judge officiated the double-ring ceremony. Tony Curtis' six adult children were among the 40 guests at the wedding.

Divorce: Citing irreconcilable differences, Lisa filed for divorce in August 1994.

Lisa's Occupation: Attorney.

Tony's Fourth (?) Marriage -- Andrea Savio:

Born: Andrea was born abt. 1963. She was 37 years younger than Tony.

Wedding Info: News articles from May 1984 state that Tony married Andrea in April 1984 about the time he was released from the Betty Ford Alcoholism and Drug Center in Ranch Mirage after several weeks of treatment for substance abuse.

Yet, Tony's marriage to Savio may not have happened. Tony's own memoir does not mention Andrea and several biographies state he was married five times -- not six. "Actor Tony Curtis walked hand in hand with actress Andrea De Savio to a Los Angeles-bound plane at London airport but snapped at reporters who asked whether they were married. A year ago, Curtis, 59, said the 21-year-old actress would become his fourth wife. But De Savio later said Curtis had asked her to play along with the marriage story while he went into a hospital to try to beat a drinking problem."
Source: "Curt Curtis." European Stars and Stripes. 7/03/1984. pg. 7.

Divorce: The maybe marriage of Tony and Andrea supposedly ended in divorce in 1992, but we could not find news articles supporting this information.

Andrea's Occupation: Actress, singer.

Tony's Third Marriage -- Leslie "Penny" Allen:

Born: Leslie Meredith Allen was born abt. 1945. Penny was 20 years younger than Tony.

How Tony and Penny Met: Tony met Penny while he was filming The Boston Strangler. They had a whirlwind romance.

Wedding Info: Penny and Tony were married on April 20, 1968 in Las Vegas, Nevada in comedian Buddy Hackett's suite at the Sahara Hotel.

Tony and Penny had originally planned on having their wedding in California, but Judge Lester E. Olson canceled their California marriage license "on the ground that California does not recognize Mexican divorces unless they are obtained in the same manner as in California."
Source: "Tony Curtis Weds Model in Vegas." Oakland Tribune. 4/21/1968. pg. 3.

Children: Leslie and Tony had two sons.

Divorce: Penny and Tony divorced in February 1982.

Leslie's Occupations: Actress, model.

Tony's Second Marriage -- Christine Kaufmann:

Born: Christine Maria Kaufmann was born on January 11, 1945 in Lengdorf, Styria, Austria.

Wedding Info: Christine and Tony were married on February 8, 1963 in a solemn and simple Las Vegas wedding. Kirk Douglas was the best man and Anne Douglas was maid of honor. Tony and Christine had twelve guests at their wedding.

"The friendship had ripened in Argentina during filming of Taras Bulba (LIFE, May 18, 1962), But Tony, 37, was married to Actress Janet Leigh and Miss Kaufmann was only 17. In time Miss Leigh got her divorce, Christine became 18 and the way was cleared."
Source: "Look Who's Marrying Tony!" Life. 2/22/1963. pg. 35.

Divorce: In 1967, Christine went to Juarez, Mexico and got a divorce.

Children: Christine and Tony had two daughters.

Christine's Occupations: Actress, entrepreneur.

Christiine's Other Marriages:

  • Reno Eckstein: Married in 1979. Their marriage ended in divorce.
  • Achim Lenz: Divorced in 1982.
  • Klaus Zey: Married in 1997.

Residences: Christine lived in Hamburg and Munich.

Quotes About the Marriage of Christine and Tony Curtis:

Tony: "To make the situation even more ticklish, Christine was only seventeen years old. That gave me pause, but there was a freshness about her, an esxuberant joy in living that made me go all funny inside. To me, she represented all those girls I would have liked to have dated when I was a poor kid living in New York ... If Janet and I had been getting along, I might not have been so emotionally vulnerable, but that was not the case."
Source: Tony Curtis, Peter Golenbock. American Prince: A Memoir. 2008. pg. 232.

Tony's First Marriage -- Janet Leigh:

Born: Janet Leigh aka Jeanette Helen Morrison was born on July 6, 1927 in Merced, California.

Died: Janet Leigh died on October 3, 2004 at the age of 77 from vasculitis in Beverly Hills, California.

How Tony and Janet Met: In 1950 Tony crashed a party and saw Janet there. A few days later, Tony used his Cary Grant voice to ask Janet for a date.

Tony: "[Janet was] a chick like nothing I had ever seen in my whole life. She had a sparkly dress and hair fixed like earphones and -- well, she was the wildest."
Source: Shana Alexander. "Bee-yoody-ful Life of a Movie Caliph." Life. 11/17/1961. pg. 170.
Janet: "At one point I was introduced to a devastatingly handsome young man -- beautiful, really -- with black unruly hair, large sensitive eyes fringed by long dark lashes, a full sensuous mouth -- and an irresistible personality. His name was Tony Curtis."
Source: "Best of Hollywood Gossip." Weekly World News. 10/1/1985.

Wedding Info: Tony proposed to Janet over the telephone. In spite of studio pressure to not marry, Tony (26) and Janet (23) eloped and were married on June 4, 1951 in Greenwich, Connecticut. Jerry Lewis was best man and his wife was matron of honor. The ceremony was performed by a judge. Janet wore a short sleeved knee-length dress and a stylish hat. Their wedding night dinner was at Danny's Hideaway in New York City. They had a party the next day to celebrate their marriage.

Divorce: Janet was granted a divorce from Tony in June 1962.

Janet's Occupations: Actress, author.

Children: Janet and Tony had two daughters. Prior to the birth of their daughters, Janet had a miscarriage in 1954.

Janet's Other Marriages:

  • John Kenneth Carlisle: Janet and John Carlisle eloped when she was 14 in 1942. Their marriage was annulled in 1942.
  • Stanley Reames: Janet's marriage to Stanley Reames lasted from 1946 to 1948 when the couple divorced.
  • Robert Brandt: Janet's marriage to Robert Brandt was long-lasting. They married on September 15, 1962 and their marriage lasted until Janet's death in 2004.

Quotes About the Marriage of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh:

Janet: "Tony and I had a wonderful time together; it was an exciting, glamorous period in Hollywood," Leigh, who died in 2004, once said. "A lot of great things happened, most of all, two beautiful children."
Source: "Tony curtis, Hollywood legend, Dies at 85." CBSNews.com. 9/30/2010.

Tony: "Our marriage wasn't thriving by this point [1954], as you may have guessed. Neither Janet nor I was the best of spouses, so we'd gotten pretty distant ... I couldn't believe how flimsy our relationship had become, but I stayed in it."
Source: Tony Curtis, Peter Golenbock. American Prince: A Memoir. 2008. pgs. 150-151.

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