The bulk of his work was in the western and science fiction genres. One of his early roles was uncredited as a Munchkin city father in The Wizard of Oz (1939). He had a featured role as part of the circus troupe in Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur (1942). He also appeared in Superman and the Mole Men (1951), a B-Picture intended as the pilot for the Adventures of Superman TV series.
Curtis's work in westerns included the Clint Eastwood feature, High Plains Drifter (1973) in which he featured as Mordecai, a friendly dwarf sympathetic to Eastwood, he also appeared in the Musical/Western The Terror of Tiny Town (1938). This film is, as far as is known, the world's only Western with an all-midget cast. Many of the actors in Tiny Town were part of a performing troupe called Singer's Midgets, who also played Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz. In 1972 he appeared as Arizona in an episode of Gunsmoke titled "Arizona Midnight." He had a starring role in American International Pictures' Little Cigars (1973), about a gang of small people on a crime spree.
Curtis died November 9, 1988, in Dayton, Nevada of a heart attack.