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Curry at Museum of the Moving Image's Salute to Alec Baldwin in New York City.
|Born||Timothy James Curry
19 April 1946
Grappenhall, Cheshire, England
Timothy James "Tim" Curry (born 19 April 1946) is a British actor, singer, composer and voice actor, known for his work in a diverse range of theatre, film and television productions. Curry first became known to film audiences with his breakthrough role as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the 1975 cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, reprising the role he played in the 1973 London and 1974 Los Angeles stage productions of The Rocky Horror Show, then later for his supporting roles as Rooster in the film adaption of Annie (1982), Lord of Darkness in the film Legend (1985), Wadsworth in the film Clue (1985) as well as a starring role as Pennywise the Dancing Clown in the horror film It (1990), which is one of Curry's most acclaimed film performances aside from Rocky Horror.
He voiced Nigel Thornberry, the father in the Nickelodeon children's TV show The Wild Thornberrys. He originated the role of King Arthur in the Broadway hit Monty Python's Spamalot. He is notable for often playing or voicing villainous characters in film. Curry resides in Beverly Hills, California and London.
Curry's father, James, was a Methodist chaplain in the Royal Navy, and his mother, Patricia, was a school secretary. Curry was born and brought up in Grappenhall, Cheshire and attended Lymm High School until his father's death in 1958. Curry's family then moved to South London, but Curry himself went to boarding school and attended Kingswood School in Bath, Somerset. As a child, he developed into a talented boy soprano (treble). Deciding to concentrate on acting, Curry graduated from Birmingham University with a combined degree in English and drama.
Curry's first full-time role was as part of the original London cast of the musical Hair in 1968, where he first met Richard O'Brien who went on to write Curry's next full-time role, that of Dr. Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Show. Originally, Curry rehearsed the character with a German accent and peroxide blond hair, but the character evolved into the sly, very upper class English mad scientist and transvestite that carried over to the film version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and made Curry both a star and a cult figure. He continued to play the character in London, Los Angeles and New York until 1975. Critics praised Curry's performance as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Roger Ebert called him "the best thing in the movie, maybe because he seems to be having the most fun. He's also a capable actor".
For many years, Curry was reluctant to talk about Rocky Horror, feeling that it was a trend that had gone too far and had distracted attention away from his later roles. A VH1 Pop-Up Video Halloween special even quoted Curry as saying he grew so unnerved by the fan attention from this role he became "chubby and plain" in order to escape it. However, he has become much more open about discussing the show and now recognizes it as a "rite of passage" for many young people.
Shortly after the end of Rocky Horror Show on Broadway, Curry was back on Broadway with Tom Stoppard's Travesties, which ran in London and New York from 1975 to 1976. Travesties was a Broadway hit which won two Tony Awards (Best Performance by an Actor for John Wood and Best Comedy), as well as the New York Drama Critics Circle Award (Best Play), and Curry's performance as the famous dadaist Tristan Tzara received good reviews.
In 1981, Curry 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 Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play) for this role, but lost out to his co-star Ian McKellen, who played Antonio Salieri. In 1982, Curry took the part of the Pirate King in the Drury Lane production of Joe Papp's version of The Pirates of Penzance opposite George Cole, earning enthusiastic reviews.
In the mid 1980s, Curry performed in The Rivals (Bob Acres 1983) and in several plays with the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, including The Threepenny Opera (MacHeath 1986), Dalliance (Theodore 1986), and Love For Love (Tattle 1985). In 1987-88, Curry did the national tour of Me and My Girl as the lead role of 'Bill Snibson', a role originated on Broadway by Robert Lindsay and followed by Jim Dale. In 1989-90, Tim Curry returned once again to the New York stage in The Art of Success. In 1993, Curry played Alan Swann in the Broadway musical version of My Favourite Year, earning him his second Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.
In 2001, Curry starred as Scrooge in the musical version of A Christmas Carol that played at Madison Square Garden. In 2004, Curry began his role of King Arthur in Spamalot in Chicago. The show successfully moved to Broadway in February 2005. The show sold more than $1 million worth of tickets in its first 24 hours. It brought him a third Tony nomination, again for Best Actor in a Musical. Curry reprised this role in London's West End at the Palace Theatre, where Spamalot opened on 16 October 2006. His final performance came on 6 January 2007. He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award as the Best Actor in a Musical for the role and also won the Theatregoers' Choice Award (getting 39% of the votes cast by over 12,000 theatregoers) as Best Actor in a Musical.
From May to August 2011, Curry was scheduled to portray the Player in a Trevor Nunn stage production of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at the Chichester Festival Theatre and then in London. He withdrew from the production on 27 May, citing ill health.
Along with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Curry has starred in several live-action and animated films. Some of which include Annie (1982), Clue (1985), and most notably, the 1990 horror miniseries Stephen King's It in which he stars as "Pennywise the Dancing Clown", an alternate physical appearance of the titular antagonist, It. His performance received universal critical acclaim and praise from both critics and audiences alike. Curry was most praised for his realistic portrayal and ability to accurately portray the character as he was portrayed in the source material, giving off both a terrifying and humorous performance. Surprisingly, Curry has never publicly acknowledged his role in the film, aside from one magazine interview with Fangoria in 1990 when the film first aired.
Aside from his performances on various soundtrack records, Curry has had some success as a solo musical artist. In 1976, he recorded a 9-song album for Lou Adler's Ode Records which was unreleased in its entirety until February 2010, when it was made available as a legal download (4 tracks from these sessions had been released on a 1990 Rocky Horror box set). In 1978, A&M Records released Curry's debut solo album, Read My Lips. The album featured an eclectic range of songs (mostly covers) performed in diverse genres. Highlights of the album are a reggae version of the Beatles song "I Will", a rendition of "Wake Nicodemus" featuring the Pipes and Drums of the 48th Highlanders of Canada, and a bar-room ballad, "Alan", composed by Canadian singer/songwriter Tony Kosinec.
The following year, Curry released his second and most successful album, Fearless. The LP was more rock-oriented than Read My Lips and mostly featured original songs rather than cover versions. The record included 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, which did not sell as well as the previous offerings, combined both original songs and cover versions.
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 Bob Dylan's "Simple Twist of Fate".
Curry toured America with his band through the late 1970s and the first half of the 1980s. He also performed in Roger Waters' (of Pink Floyd fame) 1990 production of The Wall in Berlin, as the prosecutor. Curry's voice also appeared on the Clash's Sandinista!, on the track "Sound of Sinners".
Apart from his activities as an actor, Curry has also developed several properties in the city of Los Angeles. Among these is a 1926 Mediterranean Italianate Revival estate located on Nottingham Avenue just below Griffith Park Observatory in the Los Feliz district.
Curry's television and film credits are long and varied. A partial list of roles:
||This biographical section of an article needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. (October 2011)|
From the early 1990s onward, Curry has also become known as a highly acclaimed voice artist. Notable roles include:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Tim Curry|
|New show||Actor playing King Arthur in Spamalot (Broadway)
17 March 2005 (Opening) -
19 December 2005
Simon Russell Beale
21 December 2005 -
26 April 2006
|New show||Actor playing King Arthur in Spamalot (West End)
30 September 2006 (Opened 16 October 2006) -
6 January 2007
Simon Russell Beale
24 January 2007 -
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