He was born Joseph Levitch.
He is known as a clothes horse. He donates his suits rather than having them cleaned and his socks after wearing once.
He was presented the French Legion of Honor in 1984 and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977.
In Italy he has been given the nickname 'Picchiatello' (which means something like "nut" or "crazy").
In 1969, he announced an ambitious project of franchising a chain of (his name here) Cinemas. A firm believer in family entertainment, he said that the one inviolate rule of the chain would be that nothing other than family-oriented films would be shown. The project ran into trouble (including changing tastes in entertainment) and was never realized.
He always wore tiny lady's sized wristwatches, usually made by Cartier. They are easy to spot in all of his films.
Sammy Davis Jr. called him the "greatest white faker" when referring to him as a dancer.