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Famous Like Me > Actor > C > Tim Curry

Profile of Tim Curry on Famous Like Me

Name: Tim Curry  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 19th April 1946
Place of Birth: Grappenhall, Cheshire, England, UK
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Tim Curry 2005

Timothy James Curry (born April 19, 1946 in Grappenhall, a district of Warrington, England) is a British actor, vocalist and composer perhaps best known for his role as mad scientist Dr. Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). He also had an earlier career as a rock musician. He studied Drama and English at Birmingham and then at Cambridge. His list of roles is extremely extensive, in both TV and movies, live-action and voice-acting for animated features, and it is notable that he almost always plays a villain of one kind or another. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

Early Life

Tim Curry's father James was a Methodist chaplain for the British Navy, though Tim himself was always a "cheerful agnostic" (his own words), and remains so to this day. Upon James' death in 1958, Tim relocated to South London, where he attended a boarding school founded by the father of Methodism John Wesley. Despite these roots, the school remained "quite liberal," and Tim found joy not in the religious aspect especially but rather in the vast number of hymns available. It was here that his desire for singing came out as he developed into a talented boy soprano. When his voice broke, he was fortunate to be under the tutelage of a music teacher who encouraged him to develop a mature singing voice.

When he was 19, he began his studies at the University of Birmingham, completing a joint honours in English and Drama before moving on to study at the University of Cambridge.

He cites Billie Holiday as his major musical influence, saying that he "listened to nothing but her records for 2 years" during a period of teenage depression as he contemplated on "which gloomy Sunday afternoon I was going to throw myself under a car".

Musical Career

"Read My Lips", Curry's first album release.

In 1978, A&M Records released Tim Curry's debut solo album. Entitled "Read My Lips", the album featured an eclectic range of songs (mostly covers) performed in diverse genre. Highlights of the album are a reggae version of the Beatles song "I Will", a rendition of "Wake Nicodemus" with full bagpipe backing, and an original bar-room ballad, "Alan".

The following year, Curry's second and most succesful album was released. Titled "Fearless," the LP was more rock-oriented than Read My Lips and mostly featured original songs rather than cover versions. The record included Tim Curry's only US charting songs: "I Do the Rock" and "Paradise Garage".

Curry's third and final album, "Simplicity", was released in 1981, again by A&M Records. This record did not sell as well as the previous offerings, due in part to a less appealling, more maudlin sound. This record combined both original songs and cover versions, and is commonly held to be the weakest of the three albums.

In 1989, A&M released "The Best of Tim Curry" on CD and cassette, featuring songs from his albums (including a live version of "Alan") and a previously-unreleased song, a live cover version of "Simple Twist of Fate".

Curry toured America with his band through the late 1970s and the first half of the 1980s.

Acting Career

Rocky Horror

Tim Curry as Dr Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Curry's first full-time role was as part of the original London cast of the musical Hair in 1968. Here he first met Richard O'Brien, who went on to create his next full-time and perhaps still most famous role, that of Frank N. Furter in the Rocky Horror Show.

Originally Curry played the character with a German accent and envisioned him simply in a white labcoat with peroxide blonde hair, but the character evolved (mainly for comedy reasons) into the Queen's English-speaking, sly, drag-wearing mad scientist incarnation that carried over to the movie version and made Curry both a star and a cult figure. He continued to play the character in London and New York until 1978.

For many years, Curry was reluctant to talk about Rocky Horror, feeling that it was a trend that had gone too far and had detracted attention away from his later roles. However, in recent years he has been much more open about discussing the show and now recognises it as a "rite of passage" for many young people.


In 1979, Curry took the part of the Pirate King in a London stage version of The Pirates of Penzance opposite George Cole. The role is one of his favourites even now.

In 1981, he formed part of the original cast in the Broadway show Amadeus, playing the title character, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He was nominated for his first Tony Award (Best Supporting Actor in a Play) for this role, but lost out to his co-star Sir Ian McKellen.

1993 saw him play Alan Swann in the Broadway musical My Favourite Year, earning him his second Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.

In late 2004, he began to play King Arthur in Monty Python's Spamalot in Chicago, Illinois. The show transferred successfully to Broadway in February 2005. His part in the show got him his third and most recent Tony Award nomination, again for Best Actor in a Musical.

Movies and television

Curry's television movie credits are long and varied. Amongst his most notable roles are:

  • Dr Frank N. Furter The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
  • Jerome K. Jerome in the BBC's TV movie "Three Men in a Boat"(1975)
  • Has-been rock star Stevie Streeter in Rock Follies of '77 (1977)
  • The disc jockey Johnny LaGuardia in Times Square (1980)
  • One-time guest host on Saturday Night Live (1981)
  • Larry Gormley in BBC's TV comedy Blue Money (1982)
  • Rooster in the musical Annie (1982)
  • Darkness in the film Legend (1985)
  • Wadsworth the Butler in the film Clue (1985)
  • The Grand Wizard in "The Worst Witch" (1986)
  • Dr Thornton Poole the elocutionist in the film Oscar (1991)
  • Pennywise the Dancing Clown in the miniseries It (based on the Stephen King novel) (1991)
  • The arch hotel concierge Mr Hector in the film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
  • Dr. Petrov in The Hunt for Red October (based on the Tom Clancy novel) (1992)
  • Cardinal Richelieu in Disney's "The Three Musketeers" (1993)
  • Gaal in Earth 2 (1994))
  • Herkermer Homolka in Congo (1995), a role he would probably rather forget due to a Razzie nomination for Worst Supporting Actor.
  • "Poet Man" in Lexx (1997) in the episode "Supernova"
  • Roger Corwin in Charlie's Angels (2000)
  • Thurman Rice in Kinsey (2004)
  • Dale "The Whale" Biterbeck in Monk, the second person to take the role, after Adam Arkin. (2004)

Voice acting

Nigel Thornberry from The Wild Thornberries, voiced by Tim Curry

From the early 1990s onwards, Curry has been known not just as an accomplished actor of stage and screen but also as a highly-acclaimed voice artist. Notable roles include:

  • Captain James T. Hook in Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates TV series (1990)
  • Hexxus in FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
  • Gabriel_Knight in the computer games Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (1993) and Gabriel Knight III: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned (1999)
  • Maelstrom in Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? (1994)
  • George Herbert Walker "King" Chicken on Duckman (1994-1997)
  • Dr Sevarius in "Gargoyles" (1994)
  • Pretorius in the cartoon series The Mask (1995)
  • Count Nefarious in 1995 video game "Toonstruck" (1995)
  • Trader Slick in the Jumanji cartoon series (1996)
  • Forté in Disney's Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, earning him an Annie Award nomination.
  • Nigel Thornberry in The Wild Thornberries TV series and subsequent movies (1998)
  • Stratos the air god in the video game "Sacrifice" (2000)
  • The Mouse King in Barbie in the Nutcracker (2001)
  • The Cat King in the English dubbed version of Neko no ongaeshi (2002)
  • General Von Talon in "Valiant" (2005)
  • Narrator of the Lemony Snicket audio books
  • Dr. Doom in the Fantastic Four 1994-1995 Animated Series

Awards and nominations

  • 1981 Tony Award nomination, Best Actor in a Play (for playing the title role in "Amadeus")
  • 1993 Tony Award nomination, Best Actor in a Musical (for playing Alan Swann in "My Favorite Year")
  • 1994 Emmy Award nomination, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (for a trio of roles in Tales from the Crypt, in an episode entitled "Death of Some Salesmen")
  • 1996 Razzie Award nomination, Worst Supporting Actor (for playing Herkermer Homolka in the movie "Congo")
  • 1998 Annie Award nomination, Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Feature Production (for playing Forté in "Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas")
  • 2005 Tony Award nomination, Best Actor in a Musical (for playing King Arthur in "Monty Python's Spamalot")

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Tim Curry