Jill Vandenberg Curtis is mourning the loss of her husband actor Tony Curtis after the actor suffered a fatal heart attack yesterday.
“He died peacefully here, surrounded by those who love him and have been caring for him,”said Jill in a statement from their Las Vegas home today. “All Tony ever wanted to be was a movie star. He didn’t want to be the most dramatic actor. He wanted to be a movie star, ever since he was a little kid.”
Jill provided additional details on Tony’s declining health over the past year and the smoking addiction that she says ultimately led to his death.
He revealed that he died peacefully in his sleep following a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She stated that his lung problems were caused by a battle with a smoking addiction 30 years ago.
“His heart survived things that Tony would always say would kill an ordinary man,” she added. “This time, his heart was ready to go and ready to be at peace.”
In recent years, Tony Curtis and his wife Jill Vandenberg Curtis have operated the Shiloh Horse Rescue and Sanctuary, a refuge for horses that were abandoned or abused, on the California-Nevada border.