When I was a national writer with the Associated Press, I was assigned to interview Tony Curtis in a townhouse that he rented briefly off Lexington Avenue sometime in the 1970s.
The “peg” for the piece had to do with his leading role in a play that I think was called “The Runner.” (Memory fails, and the Internet has proved to be unhelpful in a cursory search that I attempted to verify the name.)
In any case, let’s just say it was strange interview, perhaps rivaled in its weirdness by my interview with Roy Cohn, who greeted me on the roof of his grand townhouse reclining in a bathing suit and glistening with suntan lotion.
What made my Curtis interview memorable were two things.
First, he felt compelled to demonstrate to me how fit he was. That was because he would have to run in place on the stage of a Broadway theater for his upcoming role.
To prove his point, he dropped onto the floor and wheezed through a number of pushups.
The second, even more remarkable bit of behavior, was the characterization he volunteered of his former wife, Janet Leigh. He used a word unprintable then and even now in a blog. You won’t have to think too hard to imagine what he called her.
But you gotta admit they looked damn fine together.
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