American Prince: A Memoir by Tony Curtis, Peter Golenbock

By Tony Curtis, Peter Golenbock

"All my existence I had one dream and that used to be to be within the movies."

He was once the Golden Boy of the Golden Age. A prince of the silver monitor. rushing and debonair, Tony Curtis arrived at the scene in a blaze of brilliant lighting and celluloid. His beauty, soft appeal, and usual expertise earned him repute, ladies, and adulation--Elvis copied his glance and the Beatles placed him on their Sgt. Pepper album hide. however the Hollywood lifetime of his desires introduced either invincible highs and debilitating lows. Now, in his alluring, no-holds-barred autobiography, Tony Curtis stocks the soreness and ecstasy of a personal lifestyles within the public eye.

No uncomplicated tell-all, American Prince chronicles Hollywood in the course of its heyday. Curtis revisits his enormous physique of work--including the unforgettable classics Houdini, Spartacus, and a few love it Hot--and regales readers with tales of his institutions with Frank Sinatra, Laurence Olivier, director Billy Wilder, and movie heavyweight Lew Wasserman, in addition to paramours Natalie wooden and Marilyn Monroe, between others.

As forthright as he's captivating, Tony Curtis bargains intimate glimpses into his succession of failed marriages (and the one who has endured), his damaging drug habit, and his ardour as a painter. Written with humor and charm, American Prince is a testomony to the facility of residing the lifetime of one's goals.

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Then my father formed a more modern orchestra for the Iraqi Broadcasting Authority which also played on the radio and was a little bigger and played more modern music, which he composed. But this entire affair lasted only four years. Why did it end? One day, in 1942, the prime minister, Nuri el-Said—who treasured Iraqi music and was said to have loved their broadcasts—turned on the radio and there was no music. ” They told him, “It’s Yom Kippur. ” he exclaimed. “Jews don’t work so there is no radio today?!

My father came along and broke the existing pattern: instead of five fasl, he did seven. My father didn’t come from a background of Western music, so he didn’t integrate it into his music to the extent that Abdul Wahab did, but my father did listen to waltzes and so on, on records, and he did make use of some of those Western elements. And he did it in a way that the Arab ear would appreciate. He also integrated Western rhythms and tones and half tones. Middle Eastern music has quarter tones and eighth tones, so this was an addition that made the music richer.

He feared that this group or others like it would try to harm the family or continue to steal from us, so that’s when he decided to leave Iraq for Beirut. He left the bank to be run by the managers who had worked with him and my father moved the family to Beirut, but he kept our home in Baghdad which was sold many years later. I never returned to Iraq. We left by car to Damascus over western Iraq’s and eastern Syria’s desert terrain, as there were no roads yet in those areas. From Damascus to Beirut, we drove on proper roads.

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