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Monday, June 21, 2010

Random Celebrity Photos Vol 9: Tony Curtis!

Andy Martello and Tony CurtisPerhaps it is just something that "happens" if you live in Vegas long enough. Maybe it was just a lucky day for me. Ultimately, it was one more reason why I love living in Las Vegas.

Today, I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of the legendary Hollywood actor, the gifted artist, and a true Las Vegan, Tony Curtis.

Now 85 years old, Mr. Curtis (even though he insisted, I respect him too much to simply call him, "Tony") was a guest at a luncheon I attend once a month. This "Media Club" luncheon is filled with long-time Las Vegas residents, many of whom have ties to public relations, newspapers, and other media in the area who get together to share memories. I was fortunate enough to not only attend, but emcee the thing.

As you know I generally don't get all "can I have an autograph" or "please take a photo with me" around celebrities in general. However, for me this was something of a rarity as I was truly giddy at the though of sharing a lunch, a story, and a few moments of conversation with the man.

Mr. Curtis was easily one of the more charming and gracious people I'd ever met in show business. He was a true gentleman and as interested in what I did for a living as I was in what he does. Without even batting an eye, he was more than kind enough to share some stories, and sign a little piece of memorabilia I bought at a local antique store some time ago.

What you are looking at is a ticket for admission to see "40 pounds of Trouble!"(watch the trailer on which came out in 1962 and starred Suzanne Pleshette, Phil Silvers, and Larry Storch, among others. I bought this for three reasons.

1) It was just too cool and would make a fine addition to my wall of Vegas oddities (Check out the perforated playing cards on the ticket!)
2) The price was right
3) I knew Mr. Curtis lived in Las Vegas and I thought that MAYBE someday I'd get a chance to meet the guy and have him sign it.

Not even a full couple of years later I had my chance to meet him.

Not only did he sign it, and was genuinely pleased to see such an artifact, but he took the time to ask me about it, about me and my life, and my time in Las Vegas - all while sketching out a little scene on top of the ticket to memorialize out meeting at a luncheon. He added the little tag "Andy - At last we meet."

If you were not aware, Mr. Curtis is an accomplished artist and his works are truly respected across the world. To have him simply sketch out a silly doodle and personalize it to me in such a fashion make the whole memory of the event that much more amazing and surreal to me. What a great honor!

During his time as our guest speaker he spoke fondly about his life, his career, and the friendships he's made. he reflected upon how wonderfully Las Vegas and the world has treated him over the years. He even offered to come and see my show at the Four Queens (being a magician himself), though I'm confident I'll not see him there anytime soon. Mr. Tony Curtis was and is a class act and it was my honor to meet him and be able to share these images with you today.

UPDATE: September 29, 2010

With the passing of Mr. Tony Curtis I thought I'd add more form that day. CLICK HERE to read more.



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