Hallmark Birthday Greetings: Anderson Cooper & the memory of the legendary Tony Curtis

Coop

Anderson Cooper stands out as the fresh-faced broadcast TV journalist with dashing salt-and-pepperish hair that belies his youthful appearance. He comes from a noted American family and is the son of socialite Gloria Vanderbilt and her fourth husband, Wyatt Emory Cooper.

Anderson graduated from the Dalton School and enrolled in Yale, from where he graduated with a degree in political science.

Anderson began news reporting for Channel One. By 1993 he found himself in such global hot spots as Somalia and Bosnia. He worked the overnight shift on ABC’s World News Now. He later served as host of “The Mole,” an ABC reality game show.

He now appears on “AC 360,” a news show that he hosts weeknights on CNN. Anderson recently came out as gay and by doing so was hoisted up as the subtle champion and sweet-faced poster boy for the LGBT movement. His boy-next-door look, easy smile and nice-guy charm have endeared him to American audiences as the news guy with a combination of youthful exuberance and anchorman authority.

Hallmark crown

Tony Curtis has more than 100 films to his credit, including bombs and classics such as “Sweet Smell of Success,” 1957 and “Some Like It Hot,” 1959, plus his Oscar-nominated “The Defiant Ones.”

Born Bernard Schwartz, the son of Hungarian immigrants, Curtis escaped a life of poverty, anti-Semitism and an abusive mother by dropping out of high school and joining the Navy at 16. His father was a tailor. A brother aged nine years was hit by a truck and young twelve-year-old Curtis had to identify the body. Another brother was afflicted with mental illness and lives in an institution. Following his stint in the Navy he went to Hollywood with a seven-year contract after an agent from Universal Studios saw him in “Golden Boy” in New York. His handsome looks turned him into a teen idol.

He appeared in a series of films including “Houdini,” “Trapeze,” “Sweet Smell of Success,” “The Great Impostor,” “The Outsider,” “Sex and the Single Girl,” “The Vikings,” “Taras Bulba” and “Spartacus.” After two TV series foundered in 1971 and 1979 his career gave him time to author a first novel. From youthful promise and talent, he moved into a personal life that was a jaded morass of entanglements and indulgences, progressing to younger women as he aged. He claimed that he bedded every one of his leading ladies, including Marilyn Monroe in 1950. He had four marriages with bitter divorces and a total of six kids. His first marriage was to actress Janet Leigh. Their second daughter Jamie Lee Curtis has gone on to stardom. His son Nicholas with his third wife, Leslie Allen, died of a drug O.D. in Provincetown, MA on 7/02/1994. He made a fourth marriage 2/28/1993 to Los Angeles attorney Lisa Deutsch, 30, that lasted 17 months. (A fifth marriage was made to horse trainer Jill Vanden Berg, 11/06/1998 with 75 guests and family members in attendance at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.)

Curtis indulged in barbiturates in the 1960s to cocaine in the 1970s and 1980s. Friend Peter Lawford helped him check into the Betty Ford Clinic in 1984. In his later years, Curtis appeared happy and seemed to enjoy life. He painted and sold his own original artwork.

He passed away in 2010 at his Henderson, Nevada home.

Astro.com contributed to portions of this post.

 

 

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