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American Prince: A Memoir

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  892 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
"Curtis spares few intimate details about his years as a Hollywood lothario, including his teenage affair with a redheaded, ponytailed Marilyn Monroe."–USA Today

He was the Golden Boy of the Golden Age. Dashing and debonair, Tony Curtis arrived on the scene in a blaze of bright lights and celluloid. His good looks, smooth charm, and natural talent earned him fame, women, an
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Three Rivers Press (first published October 1st 2008)
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Jan 28, 2009 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bestsellers
having now read the book, I can honestly say that it was a hard book to put down. curtis is so brash and bombastic, it's like listening to a favorite uncle regale you with stories from his youth. You suspect that they are somewhat embellished for your benefit, but yet you enjoy them just the same.
Curtis' stories of his early time in Hollywood are a delightful peek into the last days of the studio system. HIs story of returning to NY and meeting Walter Matthou (sp?) is probably the funniest thing
Mar 01, 2009 Pat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was hard to like this book because Tony Curtis comes across as such a macho pig egotist. He certainly had a tough childhood, but he's way too boastful about his conquests. You sorta wonder if he's all talk but not really that much action. He hardly ever mentions his children, as if they didn't matter. You find out that he had his first daughter only when he describes Janet Leigh's problems having his second, Jamie Lee. Anyway, his current wife may feel he's great, as she notes in her intro, b ...more
Joy H.
_American Prince: A Memoir_ (2008) by Tony Curtis, Peter Golenbock, Mitch Greenberg (Narrator)
Added 9/23/11

I listened to the audio version of this book.
It's a tell-all book and I enjoyed it very much.
There was something very charming about Tony Curtis.

He died in 2010 at the age of 85. He had a great career at the beginning but it went downhill as he aged. It's sad to think about it. He married 5 times and had 6 children altogether. Of course, the famous one is Jamie Lee Curtis, whom he had with
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mr. Curtis' autobiography. I appreciated his candor, and loved all the stories. After reading this book, I had a sense of the actor as a person. As a long time fan of his many fine performances, I read this book in a day--could not put it down. However, while the early part of the book gave me a sense of the man and his life, the latter part felt rushed, as if the author wanted to finish the book and was no longer interested in the project, or had nothing to say. Thi ...more
Tom Emory Jr.
Tom Emory, Jr. Review -- Tony Curtis never escaped his roots. The fame and success were not enough. He wanted everyone to love him and bow to him, and his way of demeaning people in his autobiography is indicative of his lack of upbringing, education, refinement and love. A suitable subtitle for this work could have been "It was everybody else's fault."

I'd recommend this book but as an education piece of what success and overindulgence does to a person who likely doesn't deserve the rewards he
Dec 13, 2011 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always thought that Tony Curtis was one of the most beautiful males ever created. This was a great insight into the man behind the pretty face. He took a lot of things in stride ( such as always being thought of as gay, he was not) I loved the parts when he first broke into Hollywood. Running around town, free and easy. A typical golden boy , he seemed to really love the ladies and presented himself as a true gentleman. Hated that he cheated on his wife constantly, but was all kinds of u ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Many years ago I read a ghost-written autobiography of Shelley Winters, in which she claimed Tony Curtis was her first cousin, and that he was instrumental in her breaking into Hollywood. She even included a long Hollywood story about being with him at a party and "accidentally" getting into a producer's home office while looking for a bathroom--and finding a portrait of Hitler on the wall. Uh-huh. Sure. Interestingly enough, in his own memoir Curtis makes no such claim of kinship with Ms Winter ...more
Apr 05, 2017 JOE C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved Tony Curtis. Story a little far fetched and maybe exaggerated but all in all very enjoyable.
Jul 20, 2012 Tlingit rated it really liked it
When I first saw Ray Liotta I thought of Tony Curtis.
I haven't read a book on Liotta yet so I can't compare the two except in looks. The dark hair, light eyes and pouty lip seem to have become a "look". Anyways, who cares? Looks are looks and substance is a bit deeper. I always thought of Curtis as a fop. Not much substance but pretty to look at. This book shows the detail behind the actor in his own words. It's actually a good study in a not so self aware person who wants people to like them b
I had to find out the difference b/w a memoir and an autobiography. Apparenetly an autobiography should go in sequential order of earliest memory to .... Where a memoir might just touch one topic of the person's life or one aspect and does not read necessarily in order. Both genres are told in the first person. The book itself was a easy read. Tony Curtis a womanizer who cheated on all his wives and went crazy (really came unbalanced) when one of his young wives did the same to him. He was once ...more
Dec 20, 2013 Lucas_Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seems like a lot of people were putt off by Tony's narcissism in his autobiography. This is understandable; he mentions how good looking he is several times throughout the book. But he is also pretty open about his insecurities. For instance, he complains at one point that he wanted to be taken more seriously as an actor, not just a 'pretty boy'. Thus, the overall impression I had of him was as a bit of a neurotic narcissist, but narcissistic in the way a child is. He had his faults, absolutely, ...more
Jan 02, 2009 Deodand rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, usa
I'm surprised to find that I haven't seen much of Curtis's screen work, in spite of the fact that I like him as an actor. And man, wasn't he gorgeous? They don't make them like that anymore.

He got more ass than the town bicycle seat, which he freely admits in this memoir. I found his complicated relationships with women were the most interesting part, and I'm sure Curtis would agree. Looks like it all starts with his terrible mother abusing him - he has spent the rest of his life looking for th
Briana Alzola
What this book boils down to is this paraphrase:
"You guys, Tony Curtis may be troubled but he's really, really handsome and he totally slept with Marilyn Monroe." - Tony Curtis
I found Curtis a bit pompous (although he did earn back some humility credit toward the end), hypocritical (Furious when his wives he had affairs even though he did all the time, at least he "was discrete about it) and ill-focused (I spent more time learning about his sexual conquests than his brother's childhood death).
Apr 02, 2017 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book but not brilliant.... reading between the lines it was everyone else's fault but his. Got a bit repetitive xx
Mar 09, 2011 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pretty good. You really get a feel for the person, and can hear his "voice" through the narrative. The pacing is about right, not too overboard with his films, nor his life, a good balance like you're listening to him as a friend.

And the little bits you pick up about other actors he encountered, Janet Leigh, Marilyn Monore, Frank Sinatra, Mae West are priceless bits.

You see how through his rough childhood, it influenced the women he was involved with and the films he took on until his d
I really like Tony Curtis as an actor. Based on this book he was probably pretty fun to be around. But be warned, this is definitely a tell-all book. And he tells it in the gritty language he grew up with on the streets of New York. And the story is all Tony, all the time.

Tony covers his childhood and his escape from home into the Navy. Then his discovery of acting and being discovered as an actor and sent to Hollywood. There are the struggles of a new actor who is just a pretty face (with great
Oct 27, 2008 Rhonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
For those of you who like honest, open memoirs written with "no holds barred"....this ought to be very appealing. I prefer when writers write openly about their revelations, confessions, regrets and joys with readers...and I felt Mr. Curtis did this. There is also plenty of info in here that I didn't know before but I can't say for sure if a die hard Curtis fan would already know these facts about his marriages, estrangements from children, resentments about roles that went to other actors, etc. ...more
Mark Macatee
Aug 17, 2012 Mark Macatee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I tried. I really did. I have never particularly cared for Tony Curtis but I liked a lot of the movies he was in so I was hoping for some interesting stories. Unfortunately, the only thing that comes across in this book is that Tony Curtis was a complete and absolute pig. He was selfish, whiny, arrogant, pathetic excuse for a human being, let alone a man. He treated women like objects and used the fact that he had a tough childhood as a Jew on the east side of New York as an excuse for every pro ...more
Laura Jet
May 29, 2012 Laura Jet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book pretty quickly as I became immersed in the mans life. It was very personal, as if he was telling me the story directly, I could imagine his monotone voice speaking to me (mainly because of the dialect that he uses).I think I loved it so much because he is generally a good person, whom everyone loves to be around, and very easy to sympathise with because of this. Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was finding out about some of the people whom Curtis looked up to in the movie ...more
Tony Curtis was never one of my favorites, but the Golden Boy of the Golden Age had a life story that I wanted to read. He truly lived life, regardless of whether we agree with it or not. He started with a multitude of swashbuckling screen roles before expanding into some classics. He always had charm and that trait also comes across in his memoir.

I just couldn't get past his constant whining about not being taken seriously as an act-or. Good grief. Get over it. Cary Grant, Oliver Reed, Richard
Vincent Eaton
Being a Hollywood born boy, I still enjoy getting some eye candy with autobiographies of that time. Curtis subtitled this book "An American Prince". It would have been more precise if it was about a man who didn't know himself. A sexual addict (before the term became a term) full of inferiority complexes and a crap childhood. Hard to impossible to find an insights or interesting reflections in some of his greater movies and actors he worked with and encountered. He was one lucky son of a bitch ( ...more
Feb 08, 2014 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before I read Tony Curtis' autobiography, I hardly knew anything about him.After finishing the book, I know more about him than I ever cared to know. He's extremely open and honest and doesn't hold anything back.
The most interesting chapters are those at the beginning where he discusses his childhood and the chapter on "Some Like It Hot".
He's a wonderful actor, but what most people aren't aware of is his tattered childhood, which seemed to mold him into what he became.I started to feel sorry for
Paul Green
Sep 15, 2010 Paul Green rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The perfect companion to Roger Moore's autobiography. Tony Curtis tells the same story about Joan Collins on location for "The Persuader" TV series. He vowed never to work with her again.
Curtis is truthful and at times blunt about his fellow actors including Ray Milland who he avoided at all costs. Being a Jewish actor in Hollywood wasn't always pleasant for Curtis.
Curtis' vivid description of his cocaine addiction as his career stalled is a warning to all who attempt to trivialize the problem
Ben Campbell
Delve, that word describes the American Prince. Dedicated-Energetic-Levity-virtuosity-Efficacious. This work isn't the most intelligently written story, or the most linear autobiography, but it is entertaining. There is less insight into his daily personal life as there is much more info on his professional life; the people he loved and hated, his prolific womanizing of celebrities and fans, multiple marriages, including six marriages. Including his filmography in the back of the book was a smar ...more
Aug 07, 2009 Verna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was impressed with Tony Curtis in this frank memoir. He comes across as very human and likeable despite his sucess in the movie business. He never seems to lose sight of his early childhood struggles just to survive. He is also very honest and forth-coming about his love affairs with women of which there were many. I was glad to see he finally grows up and finds the right woman later in his life. Like many beautiful Hollywood actors, he chafed at being typecast into B movies. I agree, he could ...more
Bookworm Erica
Apr 26, 2015 Bookworm Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i enjoyed this book. an easy going read. He did stress his love of ladies and sex more than his kids tho. He would just randomly mention janet had a kid...and another.
Also the whole part where he thought janet was having an affair...tho he'd had many already...and nd had no proof and said he then didn't feel guilt for cheating :-/ come on man
he did blame alot of people as well
Crystal Luberecki
Jun 29, 2014 Crystal Luberecki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read. He was very full of himself and it seemed everything was everyone else's fault. However, I still like him and enjoyed the book and the factoids it contained. I am sure there are also embellishments as well. I recommend if you like biographies, old hollywood, or (of course) Tony Curtis.
Oct 06, 2014 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating read about old Hollywood and one of its most popular actors.
May 23, 2017 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put it down. Sometimes he comes across as a pig, but I think he just wanted to have fun and tell his story. Really good book.
Gail Heaslet
Nice read but it came off as kind of full of himself...which made me wonder what the 'real' story was. The glimpses into his family life seem genuine and he admits his share of the blame.
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Tony Curtis was an American film actor whose career spanned six decades, but had his greatest popularity during the 1950s and early 1960s. He acted in over 100 films in roles covering a wide range of genres, from light comedy to serious drama. In his later years, Curtis made numerous television appearances.

In October 2008, Curtis's autobiography American Prince: A Memoir, was published. In it, he
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