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American Prince: My Autobiography [Kindle Edition]

Tony Curtis
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Book Description

He has appeared in over a hundred films. Elvis copied his looks. The Beatles put him on the cover of Sgt. Pepper. Tony Curtis is without question a Hollywood legend and part of its Golden Age. In American Prince he tells the whole story, from his hard-knock childhood growing up in the Bronx to his wild days as a Hollywood playboy, his destructive drug addiction and his life now as an artist in his eighties. He talks frankly about the people he has known during his long and illustrious career, from the studio owners and directors to his famous friends, such as Jack Lemmon, Cary Grant and James Dean, and the women in his life, including Janet Leigh and Natalie Wood.

Forthright and enthralling, and sparing no detail and no ego, American Prince is the true record of a life lived to the full.

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`I enjoyed American Prince by Tony Curtis immensely. I have known Tony and counted him as a friend since the early 1960s, and even shared with him some of the adventures he records. A wonderful read and long may he continue'
-- Sir Peter Blake

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for fans of Hollywood's golden age! 28 Oct. 2008
I was never the biggest Tony Curtis fan, but this is a fun and interesting read for fans of the Hollywood golden age. Curtis was a smooth character back in the day and a big time movie star. His life intersects with many of the biggest and brightest stars of the time including lovers such as Marilyn Monroe. A lot of the book does come off as "look at me, look who I knew and who I slept with," (Which I must admit was a guilty pleasure to read about) but the is more than that. It is also an interesting look into Hollywood during its golden age after world war two and prior to television taking over pop culture. The reader is taken behind the scenes of some of his great films "Houdini [1953] (REGION 1) (NTSC)", Some Like It Hot [1959] (with Marilyn Monroe), and Spartacus [1960] (with Kirk Douglas). I found the book less interesting as it moves into the late years of his life but overall this should be of interest to Curtis fans and fans of the old Hollywood. For more great reading on the end of Hollywood's heyday do try "Misfits Country" Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable brought to life!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Product of the Hollywood Dream-Factory 9 Mar. 2012
Tony Curtis wasn't initially the best actor in the world but he pulled himself up by his bootstraps when he made some tremendous films - The Sweet Smell of Success, Trapeze, Some like it Hot and The Boston Strangler - which displayed his talents as a serious and a comic actor. Many of his other films were also eminently watchable. However, as he slid into a decline with cocaine and dating (and marrying) girls so young, it's likely he met some of them at `Toys`R'Us', some of his later films were truly terrible.

So does this - probably heavily ghosted - autobiography adequately do him credit? Well, yes and no. To repeatedly tell the reader how attractive he was and recounting his exploits as a serial adulterer does get a bit much and there's a strong self-pitying streak with regards to the anti-Semitism he encountered. But in addition, Curtis is frequently self-mocking; and when he refers to the often misquoted line from Son of Ali Baba, "Yanda lies the castle of me fadda", this is a case in point. He also frankly describes the trauma of the death of his younger brother and also the mental illness suffered by a second brother, as well as his mother; plus, of course the distress when one of his sons died of a drugs overdose.

This is no literary masterpiece, nor does it measure up to the memoirs of David Niven or Errol Flynn; but it's a good, readable and often amusing book about a man who was very talented, exceptionally vain, emotionally insecure and sometimes rather sad, written with an easy style.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars American Prince My Autobiography by Tony Curtis 24 Jun. 2009
Great if you love the movies of 50' and 60's. I loved the gossip of old Hollywood and getting a peep into those years. Carol Weston
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-rate Hollywood memoir 3 Mar. 2009
This really is a cracking autobiography, and all the more authentic given Tony Curtis's frank acknowledgement of his failures as a husband, his life-long insecurities and his descent into drug addiction. It's a very easy and compelling read, and gives a real insight not only into the life of a genuine Hollywood star, but also into the darker side of celebrity.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars American princely 11 Sept. 2009
A great read for all those interested in Hollywood from the 1950's and in this charismatic and under-rated actor in particular. Tony Curtis has appeared in some of the greatest films ever produced from Some Like it Hot to Spartacus to Sweet Smell of Success. Tony's life has been a heart-rending mixture of lows and highs and he has an insightful and lovable reading style able to reflect on the anti-semitism of Hollywood and his own inability to hang on to love and keep his zipper shut!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From Pauper to Prince 12 May 2010
As you would expect Curtis's own account of his life is both fascinating and revealing as he takes us on a journey from his poor childhood days through to becoming a Hollywood star and beyond. His various accounts of time working on movies as well as several romances he embarked on are exactly what you expect and also want. But there is also a sense of Curtis's ego at work as well through out as he often not so much moans but questions why he was never offered the sort of roles which friends from the time like Brando was being offered. It's almost like he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder about this, which whilst makes it an honest account of how he felt about his movie career does get a bit grating by the time you finish.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Opportunity missed.... 28 Aug. 2010
Tony Curtis is probably one of the most underated screen actors of his generation, his pretty boy looks and early career casting at low budget Universal really didnt do him any favours on the acting credability front.
This isnt really the book that his life story deserves, you get the impression that there is so much more to tell that he probably doesnt want in the public reads like a 1950's fan magazine telling you all the insider stories about his co workers and friends but alas with hardly any real substance..Im sure there is a story to be told about Mr Curtis and his fascinating life but this sadly isnt Mr Curtis says..'This will be the true record of my life'..if it is i think hes forgotten a lot....
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