I saw a brief and interesting interview from Michael Caine today about how at some Hollywood party 50 or so years ago, Tony Curtis literally grabbed his cigarettes and threw them in a fireplace to save his life.
Here’s the story Caine tells Yahoo Entertainment:
“You know who saved my life? Tony Curtis. I was at a party. This was when Tony Curtis was very famous. I knew who he was but had never met him. I was speaking to someone by a fireplace and took the end of the cigarette that was in my mouth, lit another cigarette with it, and went on talking and smoking,” Michael explained to esquire.com.
“Then I felt a hand come around behind me and go into my pocket. Tony Curtis took the cigarettes out and threw them in the fire. He said, ‘You don’t know me, but I’ve been watching you. That is, what, the fifth cigarette you’ve lit in less than an hour?’ He said, ‘You’re gonna die. I’ve just saved your life for you.’ He was right. You can’t smoke cigarettes like that and live. And I stopped.”
It’s true, you look at old photos of Michael Caine, and he seemed to constantly have a cigarette in his mouth.
The sad irony to this story is that Tony Curtis, after overcoming alcoholism and drug addiction and was battling cirrhosis of the liver, died in 2010 from COPD, even though he quit smoking some 40-plus years earlier.
Michael Caine is still going strong at 81 and starring in a lot of Christopher Nolan movies.