Tuesday, July 27, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Tony Curtis Illness Cost A Role

Legendary actor Tony Curtis will make a full recovery from his breathing-difficulty episode, but reports by TMZ.Com and others cost the 85-year-old actor his first film part in years, his wife complained.

Jill Curtis told me today that Curtis is now in a rehab center after being hospitalized three weeks ago because of an asthma-like attack at a CostCo. It's a symptom of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the result of decades of smoking, she said. He was in a hospital for two weeks and in the rehab center for a week, and Mrs. Curtis expects him to remain there for two more weeks.

"This happens sometimes and it was serious but he has to deal with it," she said. "He was able to talk a little bit today. He's 85, they just want to keep a close eye on him. gone through this before. He's not been asked to walk yet, they're just taking it slow with him. ... He should make a full recovery. We're know we have a long road ahead. He'll be back to doing the things he does soon."

The illness could not have come at a worse time for the Academy Award-nominated actor and Henderson resident, given that he was expected next month to shoot scenes for the Sigourney Weaver film "Vamps," a satire by "Clueless" director Amy Heckerling. Tony Curtis had even done wardrobe fittings, his wife said. He did a bit part in an independent flick in 2008 but this would've been his first Hollywood picture in many years.

"He was very excited about it but unfortunately, TMZ and National Enquirer got false information and before we could say anything, they dropped him," Curtis said. "There were rumors that he had passed away."

I can't find any reference to Curtis' possible death from any legitimate news source. In fact, this overly optimistic TMZ report says he'll "be released soon" which was not true unless "soon" equals five weeks of care.

Anyhow, could he have really done the role, given his rehab?

"He probably would have been able to," his wife said. "That's why we didn't want to say anything but the damage is done. We just move on."

This is a great moment to trot back out this classic shot of the Curtises with me and my pal Amy at a fundraiser in 2009. Yeah, I can see the vampire-flick potential.


new2vegas said...

Well, it's good he wasn't shot to death at Costco.