Template:Dmy Template:Infobox actor Timothy James "Tim" Curry (born 19 April 1946) is an English actor, singer, composer and voice artist, known for his work in a diverse range of theatre, film and television productions. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California. Curry first became known to audiences with his breakthrough role as Frank N. Furter in the 1975 cult movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He most recently has performed the role of King Arthur in the Broadway hit Monty Python's Spamalot.

Early life

Curry's father, James, was a Methodist Royal Navy chaplain, and his mother, Patricia, was a school secretary.[1] Curry was born and raised in Warrington and attended Lymm High School until his father's death in 1958, when Curry relocated to South London. He attended Kingswood School, Bath, and although he didn't enjoy the religious aspect of the Methodist school, he did enjoy the vast number of hymns available. There, he developed into a talented boy soprano.[2] Deciding to concentrate on acting, Curry graduated from Birmingham University with a combined degree in English and drama.[3]

Acting career

Rocky Horror

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[4] who went on to write Curry's next full-time and perhaps still most famous role, that of Dr. Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Show.[5]

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 movie 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.

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 all the fan attention after this role that he became "chubby and plain" in order to escape it. However, in recent years he has been much more open about discussing the show and now recognizes it as a "rite of passage" for many young people.


Shortly after the failure 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 huge 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 spectacular 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 Sir Ian McKellen, who played Antonio Salieri. In 1982, Curry took the part of the Pirate King in a London stage version of The Pirates of Penzance opposite George Cole.

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 1987/1988 Tim 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 Favorite Year, earning him his second Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.

In late 2004, Curry began his role of King Arthur in Spamalot in Chicago. The show successfully moved to Broadway in February 2005. It brought him a third Tony nomination, again for Best Actor in a Musical.

Curry reprised his 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 and he returned to his home in Los Angeles a few days later. On 18 January 2007, Curry was nominated for Laurence Olivier Award as the Best Actor in a Musical; this was one of seven nominations earned by the London production of Spamalot, including Best New Musical. On 9 February 2007, it was announced that Curry also won the Theatregoers' Choice Award (getting 39% of the votes cast by over 12,000 theatregoers) as Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as King Arthur.

Movies and television

Curry's television and movie credits are long and varied. A partial list of roles:

Voice acting

From the early 1990s onward, Curry has been also become known as a highly-acclaimed voice artist. Notable roles include:

Curry was cast as the Joker in Warner Brothers' Batman: The Animated Series, and even recorded several episodes worth of dialogue. Reports differ as to why he was replaced by Mark Hamill in the role. One source says that the producers felt his interpretation was too dark and frightening and replaced him with Hamill. At the 1993 San Diego Comic-Con, Bruce Timm told a panel audience that Curry could not maintain the Joker voice for long, and would violently cough between takes.

At the end of 2002, Curry served as the narrator in a parody of How The Grinch Stole Christmas for Nickelodeon.

Curry was also cast as the voice of SIR (Simulated Intelligence Robotics) at Walt Disney World's Alien Encounter, which ran from 1995 to 2003.


Musical career

Aside from his performances on various soundtrack records, Curry has had some success as a solo musical artist. 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 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 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".

Awards and nominations

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  1. Tim Curry Biography (1946-)
  2. Mervyn Rothstein, "Tim Curry Plunges Ahead Into the Past, Part IV", New York Times, 24 January 1990
  3. Harding, James (1987). The Rocky Horror Show Book. London: Sidgwick & Jackson. page 45
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Mark Brown (2006-10-20). 'We were all going to join this street theatre troupe. Tim got a job in Hair the next day. All he had to do was sing'. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2008-03-26.

External links



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