Tony Curtis, 85, died last night in Las Vegas

By Sean O’Connell Three recent deaths rocked the entertainment industry, casting a shadow over the Hollywood community.

Tony Curtis, the Oscar nominee who once wooed Marilyn Monroe and impressed the Academy as one half of Stanley Kramer’s “The Defiant Ones,” died Wednesday night in his Las Vegas home. The coroner reports that Curtis, who had heart surgery in 1994, died of cardiac arrest. He was 85.

Earlier in the week, “Bonnie and Clyde” director Arthur Penn passed away in his Manhattan home. Penn, who had just turned 88, died of congestive heart failure. His career began in the theater, but he eventually moved on to film, helming such classics as “The Miracle Worker,” “Little Big Man,” and “Alice’s Restaurant.” He also directed a handful of excellent genre flicks with the great Gene Hackman.

Curtis and Penn lived long and productive lives. Comedian Greg Giraldo, however, cut his own life short. The brilliant stand-up comic, most recently known for his judge spot on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” died days after being hospitalized for what is being reported as an accidental overdose to prescription drugs. Giraldo was 44.

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