As a performer, Mr. Curtis drew first and foremost on his startlingly good looks. With his dark, curly hair, worn in a sculptural style later imitated by Elvis Presley, and plucked eyebrows framing pale blue eyes and wide, full lips, Mr. Curtis embodied a new kind of feminized male beauty that came into vogue in the early 1950s. A vigorous heterosexual in his widely publicized (not least by himself) private life, he was often cast in roles that drew on a perceived ambiguity: his full-drag impersonation of a female jazz musician in “Some Like It Hot,” a slave who attracts the interest of a Roman senator (Laurence Olivier) in Stanley Kubrick’s “Spartacus” (1960), a man attracted to a mysterious blond (Debbie Reynolds) who turns out to be the reincarnation of his male best friend in Vincente Minnelli’s “Goodbye Charlie” (1964).
Tony Curtis was great. I recently watched the second-rate movie "Sex and the Single Girl" and noticed how funny Curtis made lines that were really not very good. But "Some Like It Hot" is as good as a movie can be and Tony Curtis is part of what makes it fabulous. Here's one of my favorites scenes, where Tony sets up an encounter with Marilyn in which he's not dressed in women's clothes, he's pretending to be a millionaire: