The first time Tim Curry scared the crap out of me, I was four years old. He played Rooster Hannigan in Annie and I was stunned at how evil a human being could be. The next time Tim Curry scared the crap out of me, I was somewhat older but his effect was just as powerful. As the creepy clown in Stephen King's It, the made-for-TV movie version, Curry was a combination of bizarre and freakishly malevolent. And then, several years later, I attended my very first screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and I was convinced he was brilliant (and pretty disturbing in that movie, too).
Tim Curry is 67 years old today! Happy birthday, you crazy old kook.
It's not very well known that Curry began his prolific career on the stage in London. His breakthrough role in theater would be the one he is ultimately always associated with, the sweet transvestite Dr. Frank-N-Furter. The London production eventually went to New York and Curry hit the broad white way. But the New York production was a bomb and it closed rather quickly. Right around the same time, the movie of the musical was released, with Curry in the same role, and it, too, was a box-office failure.
Curry went back to England for a time and appeared in several television programs there. While he was doing all this, he was recording albums. His first record, called Read My Lips, was released in 1978. What can't this guy do?
The '80s proved very fruitful years for Curry. In addition to staring in several stage productions, he made his name in Hollywood in some amazing movies such as Legend, Clue, the aforementioned Annie and the TV series Wiseguy. He spent the next decade hiding behind various animated versions of himself. Curry lent his voice to some 100 cartoons. He was one of those voice actors that you would hear all the time and have to stop and rewind (because you were watching a VCR) because...was that just Tim Curry?
Curry can basically do anything or nothing at this point in his career. I won't say he's made anything specifically good or award-winning over the past few years, but every time he shows up in a movie, he steals the whole thing. Home Alone 2 is the perfect example of Curry's master-scene-thievery.
For his birthday, here are the top six Curry moments.6. It
Ahhh!!! They all float! I don't even understand what that means, but it is sure as shit frightening.5. Legend
How is this Tim Curry? Did you know that it was him for most of your childhood? You are lying if you said yes.4. Annie
As the nefarious Rooster, Curry sang, he danced, he flirted with his own screen-sister and in the end he almost seemed like a good guy. He just wanted an easier life. Was that so wrong?3. I Do the Rock
Look how much fun he's having, shaking his butt in those tight '70s pants and that shaggy hair. He would probably fit in with this whole look/angle down on Montrose just fine.2. Clue
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Why is Mr. Body called that? Did he have a real name? Was Tim Curry actually Mr. Body? I don't remember, given all of those fake endings. My money was always on Martin Mull.1. Rocky Horror Picture Show
Sadly, the apex of Curry's career was also one of his first films. But, regardless, this is the role he was born to play. All others should bow in his presence.