Actor Alan Curtis

Alan Curtis (born Harry Ueberroth or Harold Neberroth, July 24, 1909 – February 2, 1953) was an American film actor who appeared in over 50 films.

Early life and career

Born Harry Ueberroth or Harold Neberroth in Chicago, he began his career as a model before becoming an actor, appearing in local newspaper ads.

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 (1939) and a memorable role in High Sierra (1941). He was one of the romantic leads in Abbott and Costello’s first hit film Buck Privates (1941) and played composer Franz Schubert in The Great Awakening (1941).

His chance for leading-man stardom came when he replaced the unwilling John Garfield in the production Flesh and Fantasy (1943). 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 (1944). 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.

Personal life

Alan Curtis was married four times and had no children:

  • Actress Priscilla Lawson, widow of Gerald Lawson. Curtis and Lawson married in Las Vegas, Nevada, on 14 November 1937 and divorced 11 March 1940.
  • Actress Ilona Massey, married 1941, divorced 1942
  • Model Sandra Lucas: born Alexandra Beryl Crowell in 1917, she was married 1939 to 1945 to musician Lyn Lucas (brother of Clyde Lucas). Curtis and Lucas married in Las Vegas, Nevada, on 8 February 1946: the couple were still married in May 1949 divorcing prior to Curtis’ fourth marriage in November 1950. Lucas, identified as socialite Alexandra Crowell Curtis, wed actor John Payne on 27 September 1953, becoming his widow 6 December 1989.
  • Elizabeth Sundmark Dodero (died 1959), a onetime showgirl, former wife of Argentine millionaire Alberto Dodero, and a close friend of Eva Peron. They married in New York City on November 21, 1950, and divorced the following year. She died in 1959, after marrying, in 1952, saloon singer Hugh Shannon.
  • Death

    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 Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, Illinois.


    Curtis has a star at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in the Motion Picture section of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was dedicated on February 8, 1960.


    Year Title Role Notes
    1936 The Witness Chair Reporter in Courtroom Uncredited
    1936 Undersea Kingdom Guardsman Uncredited
    1936 The Last Outlaw Convertible Driver Uncredited
    1936 Swing Time Minor Role Uncredited
    1936 Walking on Air Fred Randolph
    1936 Don’t Turn ‘Em Loose Wedding Attendant with Telegram Uncredited
    1936 Without Orders Co-Pilot Uncredited
    1936 One Live Ghost Alan Short, Uncredited
    1936 Smartest Girl in Town Male Model Who Escorts Cookie Uncredited
    1936 Winterset Sailor Uncredited
    1937 Don’t Tell the Wife Second Stockbroker at Shaw & Allen Uncredited
    1937 Sea Devils Radio Operator, Yacht Mona Uncredited
    1937 China Passage Ship’s Officer Uncredited
    1937 The Woman I Love Uncredited
    1937 Between Two Women Interne Uncredited
    1937 Bad Guy Prison Switchboard Operator Uncredited
    1937 The Firefly French Soldier Uncredited
    1937 Mannequin Eddie Miller
    1938 Yellow Jack Brinkerhof
    1938 The Shopworn Angel Thin Lips
    1938 The Duke of West Point Cadet Strong
    1939 Burn’Em Up O’Connor Jose ‘Rocks’ Rivera
    1939 Sergeant Madden Dennis Madden
    1939 Good Girls Go to Paris Tom Brand
    1939 Hollywood Cavalcade Nicky Hayden
    1940 Four Sons Karl
    1941 High Sierra ‘Babe’
    1941 Come Live with Me Bit Part Uncredited
    1941 Buck Privates Bob Martin
    1941 Blood and Sand Minor Role (scenes deleted)
    1941 The Great Awakening Franz Schubert
    1941 We Go Fast Bob Brandon
    1942 Remember Pearl Harbor Bruce Gordon
    1943 Hitler’s Madman Karel Vavra
    1943 Two Tickets to London First Mate Dan Driscoll
    1943 Crazy House Himself
    1943 ‘Gung Ho!’: The Story of Carlson’s Makin Island Raiders John Harbison
    1944 Phantom Lady Scott Henderson
    1944 Follow the Boys Himself Uncredited
    1944 The Invisible Man’s Revenge Mark Foster
    1944 Destiny Cliff Banks
    1945 Frisco Sal Rio Jordan aka John Warren
    1945 See My Lawyer Charlie Rodman
    1945 The Naughty Nineties Mr. Crawford
    1945 Shady Lady Marty Martin
    1945 The Daltons Ride Again Emmett Dalton
    1946 Inside Job Eddie Norton aka Eddie Mitchell
    1946 Flight to Nowhere Hobe Carrington
    1946 Renegade Girl Capt. Fred Raymond
    1947 Philo Vance’s Gamble Philo Vance
    1947 Philo Vance’s Secret Mission
    1948 The Enchanted Valley Johnny Nelson
    1949 Apache Chief Young Eagle
    1949 The Masked Pirate Commodore Van Diel
    1951 Amore e sangue Paolo Giacomo (final film role)

    External Links

    Actor Alan Curtis – Wikipedia

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