1925 – 2010
Tony Curtis passed away today at age 85. He was always a good one, enjoyable to watch in those movies back in the late 50s like “Some Like It Hot“, as the Great Leslie in “The Great Race” and, of course “Operation Petticoat”, the yarn of the US Navy submarine USS Sea Tiger and its mad cap adventures in the opening days of WW2 – highlighted by its ending up being painted pink..
In addition to being a pretty good actor (Academy Award nomination in 1958 for The Defiant Ones), Curtis was also a Navy man, serving aboard USS Proteus, a submarine tender, during WW2 and was able to watch the surrender of Japan from his ship about a mile away.
I had made mention a while back here that the submarine tower memorial they have on the Washington Navy Yard is that of the USS Balao, which was the submarine used in “Operation Petticoat” – and had the ignominy to suffer through a pink coat of paint for that movie.
From the old Photo of the Day project, 4 Feb:
Shortly after that post back in Feb of 2009, I received an email from a fellow naval aviator, Oyster, who passed on the following:
My father was a Naval Officer from 1940-1965. In the late 50’s/early 60’s Mom, Dad and my sisters were stationed at Key West. I read, and enjoy, your blog on occasion and today ran across your post (pic of the day #35 I think) about the USS Balao. I think you’ll get a kick out of the attached pictures which were taken by my Mom on the set of, you guessed it, Operation Petticoat.
Thanks, Oyster! Sorry it took so long to get these up!
No pics of Tony Curtis in these, but still, hat’s off to the Navy vet.
God speed, Tony Curtis.