Tony Curtis Fathered Jamie Lee & 5 Other Children with 3 Wives – No One Was Named in His Will

Pedro Marrero
Jul 24, 2019
07:39 A.M.
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When Tony Curtis passed away, he left behind a will that did not include his six children with three different women. Instead, a chunk of it went to his beloved widow.

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In September 2010, Hollywood icon Tony Curtis passed away at the age of 85 due to a cardiac arrest. After his death, it surfaced that the late star had excluded all of his children from his will, leaving his entire estate to his widow Jill Vanderberg.

Media obtained a copy of Curtis’ will, on which the “Some Like It Hot” actor allegedly listed each one of his surviving children by name only to make clear that he chose not to leave anything to them.

Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh with their children Kelly Curtis and and younger daughter Jamie Lee Curtis in 1959. (Left), Jamie Lee Curtis visits the SiruiusXM studios at SiriusXM Hollywood Studio on November 25, 2019 (right) | Photo: Getty Images

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INSIDE HIS WILL

“I acknowledge the existence of my children… and have intentionally and with full knowledge chosen not to provide for them,” are the words attributed to Curtis.

According to this source, the fortune the actor earned from his more than 140 films made during a career of over 60 years, was destined solely to his widow, to whom he had married in 1998.

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AUCTIONING HIS ITEMS

To make things more interesting for the media at the time, just a year after the actor’s death, the Tony Curtis Estate auctioned hundreds of items that belonged to Curtis.

More than one million dollars were made from the online auction, and while some of the money went to charity, most of it ended up in Vanderberg’s hands.

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MODIFICATIONS TO HIS WILL

This was apparently too much to tolerate for some of Curtis' children, with his daughter Allegra opening up about her and her sibling’s feelings regarding the way their father’s widow and heir was handling his material legacy.

But even when this apparently responds to her father’s explicit desire, considering the modification of his Will and Trust made in May 2010, Allegra believed that this wasn’t the way his memories were supposed to end up.

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TAKING LEGAL ACTIONS

Daughter Kelly Lee went even further and sued Vanderberg, accusing her of getting into the actor’s head to convince him of cutting his children off from his will.

But according to Vanderberg, Curtis made the decision in its entirety, and he supposedly informed his children about this while still living. Curtis' most famous child, actress Jamie Lee Curtis, didn’t comment on the subject.

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JAMIE'S THOUGHTS

During a visit to “The Talk” in 2010, Jamie shared that Curtis wasn’t a good father and he had little if any interest in any of his children. Jamie and her older sister Kelly, Tony’s first child, are daughters of Janet Leigh, with whom the actor was married from 1951 to 1962.

Although she said not to hold any grudge on her father about this, for it was something she was very aware of since early in her life, it could help us understand why Tony showed such disregard for his children in his final days.

Jamie Lee Curtis on November 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

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TONY'S ROMANTIC LIFE 

Tony then married then-teenager German actress Christine Kauffman in 1963, spending the next five years with her and having daughters Alexandra and Allegra.

Tony’s last two children were the product of his third marriage, to Leslie Allen. The couple was married from 1968 to 1982 and shared sons Benjamin and Nicholas, who sadly passed away in 1994, aged 23.

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TONY'S CAREER

Tony was well-loved as a Hollywood actress, starring in high-profile movies with the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Kirk Douglas. At one point in his career, he was also offered thousands of dollars by Universal to marry co-star Piper Laurie.

At the time, it was believed the marriage was a much-needed publicity stunt for his career. While the money was tempting, he declined the offer. 

Tony Curtis at the Dorchester Hotel, in London, in 1957 | Photo: Getty Images

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LIFE WITH JANET LEIGH

Throughout his career, Tony was linked to several women. However, it was his marriage to Janet Leigh that seemed as if it could last a lifetime. 

The pair were smitten with one another, working on five films together. They met in 1950 when Leigh was 23, and at the time, they were blown away by each other.

Portrait of Janet Leigh for Photoplay circa 1954 | Photo: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

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THE END OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP

Unfortunately, their happiness as a couple was short-lived due to personal issues. Five years after their wedding, they were trying their best to make things work for their two daughters. 

At the time, Tony's infidelity was exposed, and he also started drinking and using drugs heavily. By 1962, the actor filed for divorce to be with then-17-year-old Kaufmann. 

Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis in a 1957 Photoplay article. | Source: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

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THEIR MARITAL PROBLEMS

His divorce did not only affect his relationship with his children, but it also ruined his career. People took Leigh's side, sympathizing with her for what had happened. In the end, Tony struggled to land roles the same way he did before. 

However, what not a lot of people know, was that it wasn't just Tony who was having affairs. Leigh had an affair with Frank Sinatra, something that Tony feared would happen before it did. 

Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh at 25th Annual Academy Awards on March 19, 1953 | Photo: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Following their separation, Leigh settled down with Bob Brandt, a businessman. They got married, and they lived life peacefully until she died in 2004. 

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