CelebrityHollywood

October 19, 2021

Tony Curtis Changed Will before Death & Cut Off His 5 Kids — Wife 42 Years His Junior Got All

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Hollywood icon Tony Curtis shocked the world when reports emerged that he had changed his will shortly before his death. The documents left his children with no inheritance.

Over the years, there have been celebrities who did not believe in leaving a penny for their children, despite having careers that meant their loved ones did not have to suffer financially.

Actor Tony Curtis left his children heartbroken when he decided to join the celebrities who disinherited their kids. However, the will did benefit his wife, who was more than four decades his junior.

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Curtis married five times and had six children throughout his lifetime. Yet, five months before his passing from cardiac arrest in 2010, he ruled his children out of his will, leaving his entire estate to his widow Jill Vanderberg.

THE WILL AND AUCTION

Curtis and his widow married in 1998, and the actor spent more than 60 years in the entertainment industry, featuring in over 14 films, and winning some of the industry's top awards.

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In his will, Curtis stated he wasn't under undue influence; he noted that he acknowledge the existence of his children but deliberately decided not to list them in his estate. His will did not give his reason for cutting off his kids.

His children were reportedly shocked by the news that they had been left out of their father's will. Their pain was later worsened after the proceeds from Curtis's auction were given to his widow.

Julien's Auction House in Beverly Hills, California, carried out the online auction and raised more than one million dollars. Some of the proceeds went to Curtis and Vanderberg's favorite charity.

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Some valuable items sold in the auction included an Andy Warhol painting that sold for $53 125 and Curtis's Yachtsman Jacket from "Some Like It Hot," which fetched $48 000.

Other items included a Chagall painting, sold for $23,125, and a Firebird Convertible for $21,250. However, not every item sold brought in huge sums.

Curtis's widow also auctioned emotional letters exchanged between her and the late movie star and other icons such as Cary Grant, Picasso, Ted Kennedy, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

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In all, she sold about 500 items, including Navy medals and Hollywood awards, including her late husband's Hollywood Walk of Fame Plaque. She also sold some of his drawings and casino membership cards which someone purchased for $192.

CURTIS'S DAUGHTER REACTS

Following the sale, Curtis's daughter Allegra reportedly said that the family was upset because their father's widow, Vandenberg, was the sole benefactor of the auction. Allegra is Curtis's daughter from his marriage to Actress Christine Kaufmann.

Allegra accused Vandenberg of arranging the auction without informing her and her siblings. Additionally, she did not reserve anything of value for Curtis's kids through which they could remember his legacy.

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While Allegra argued that her late father would have been sad seeing his belongings sold off, Darren Julien, his auctioneer, disagreed. Julien stated that the late actor instructed what he wanted to be sold.

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Allegra also claimed her father's will was influenced, which led to them being cut off from his will. She noted that the close relationship they shared made her believe he was under undue pressure to change it.

In defense, Vandenberg declared her late husband had informed his children that they were being disinherited before his death. She also shared they had always had a fractured relationship that had nothing to do with her.

Allegra later noted that five of Curtis's grandchildren got a total of $30,000 each, but Jamie Lee's two children got nothing. Allegra also remarked that she feared that her father's will might tarnish what is left of his reputation as an icon in Hollywood.

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OTHER REACTIONS

Another of Curtis's children, Kelly Lee, did more than raise accusations to the press. She sued her father's Trust, accusing his widows and others of influencing her famous father to alter his will through duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence.

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Curtis's most popular child, Jamie Lee, an actress, remained silent on the situation, although she did reveal the fractured relationship she shared with her father after his death.

During a 2010 appearance on "The Talk," Jamie revealed that Curtis was far from a good father and showed little interest in his children. She added that she bore no grudge against the late star, despite his poor parenting skills.

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  MEMORIES OF THEIR FATHER

Despite the feud created by his estate, Curtis' children had fond memories of his legacy. His daughter Allegra remembers him as a fun dad who tried to connect with his children and build relationships.

Kelly, his oldest daughter, remembers him with sweet fondness, especially his love for flashy items. To his kids, his greatest significances included him taking care of his family despite the fame he wielded.

The "Spartacus" actor first became a father after welcoming his daughters Kelly, and actress Jamie Lee, during his marriage to "Psycho" actress Janet Leigh.

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Alexandra, and Allegra, followed after his marriage to German actress Christine Kaufmann. His third marriage to "The Last Tycoon" actress Leslie Allen produced sons Ben, and Nicholas who died in 1994.

Although he was a good provider, Curtis had his demons and made some mistakes. However, his shortcomings did not stop his kids from mourning his death and doing their best to preserve his memory.

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