July 24, 1909
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||February 2, 1953
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Cause of death||complication of surgery|
|Resting place||Memorial Park Cemetery and Crematorium, Skokie, Illinois|
(m. 1941-42; divorced)
Alan Curtis (July 24, 1909 - February 2, 1953) was an American film actor who appeared in over 50 films.
His looks did not go unnoticed in Hollywood. He began appearing in films in the late 1930s, making his screen debut in Winterset (1936). His film activities included a Technicolor appearance in the Alice Faye-Don Ameche film Hollywood Cavalcade and a memorable role in High Sierra (1941). He is probably best known as one of the romantic leads in Abbott and Costello's first hit film Buck Privates.
His chance for leading-man stardom came when he replaced the unwilling John Garfield in the 1943 production Flesh and Fantasy. Curtis played a ruthless killer opposite Gloria Jean. However, the studio cut their performances from the final film version. The footage was later expanded into a B-picture melodrama Destiny. The film failed to establish Curtis as a major-name star, but it did typecast him in hardbitten roles, like the man framed for murder in Phantom Lady (1944) and the detective Philo Vance. Curtis starred in over two dozen movies.
Alan Curtis was married four times, including to actresses Priscilla Lawson and Ilona Massey. On November 21, 1950, he married Elizabeth Sundmark Dodero in New York. He was also married to Alexandra Crowell.
Curtis had a routine kidney operation on January 28, 1953, at Saint Clare's Hospital in New York City. Several hours after the surgery, as he sipped some tea, he "died" for four minutes when his heart failed. He was revived and seemed to be improving but died five days later, aged 43. He is buried in the Ueberroth family plot in Skokie, Illinois.
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