The se­ries in which we in­ves­ti­gate the Semitic qual­i­ties (or oth­er­wise) of some­one in the news

The Jewish Chronicle - - FEATURES -

Tony Cur­tis — who starred in clas­sic movies Some Like It Hot and Spar­ta­cus — has been in Lon­don pro­mot­ing his art ex­hi­bi­tion. But just how Jewish is the Hol­ly­wood vet­eran? AGAINST: In his 60year film ca­reer, Cur­tis has played many roles, among them an es­caped con­vict, a se­rial killer, a Vik­ing, a Cos­sack, and a Ro­man slave. None of them what you call haimishe. He has been mar­ried five times, and not one of his wives has been Jewish, al­though one was Ger­man. In his younger days — he’s 85 now — he, shall we say, took full ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­ni­ties af­forded by be­ing fa­mous and good­look­ing. “I had more ac­tion than Mount Ve­su­vius,” he boasted. Not some­thing that would have made his mother kvell. FOR: Cur­tis is Jewish — but don’t be put off by that name. He was born Bernard Schwartz, in the Bronx, New York, in 1925, the son of Hun­gar­i­anJewish im­mi­grant par­ents Emanuel, a tai­lor, and He­len Schwartz. Be­sides, he has a Jewish sense of hu­mour. When he mar­ried his cur­rent wife, Jill Van­den­berg, 42 years his ju­nior, he was asked whether he was wor­ried about the po­ten­tially life-threat­en­ing phys­i­cal de­mands of con­sum­mat­ing the re­la­tion­ship. “No,” he replied, “if she dies, she dies.” VER­DICT: For­get the promis­cu­ity and the fact he was a Cos­sack — Bernie’s one of us.


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