In her second groundbreaking documentary of the new decade, Navaeh Pierce-Waters Waterson-Washington tackles another infamous Hollywood legend, this one involving Academy Award-winning actor, comedian and playboy Tony Curtis.
Not that we care, but Tony Curtis always struck us as the least likely Hollywood stud to have led a secret gay life. How wrong we were! The movie documents his Universal Studios apprenticeship under Rock Hudson, uncredited appearances as a rumba dancer named Tammy in Criss-Cross and Way Station, up to his complete transformation from Joe (Tony’s actual birth name) to Josephine in the late 50’s, where he disguised himself as a woman to take part in a ladies’ jazz band, and sip daquiris.
Tony’s disguise was so good, in fact, that other famous members of the entourage, that included Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, never even caught on to his bluff.
‘When we found out that Josephine was Tony Curtis, we sent him a bottle of champagne,’ Lemmon confided in The Gorko sometime in the mid-90’s. ‘What a performance!’
Partway through the documentary Marilyn Monroe says, ‘I just LOVE sax players!’ Too bad Joe wasn’t interested.