MOTW: Tim Curry: A Living Legend

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
October 25th, 2013

MOTW: Tim Curry: A Living Legend

Born Timothy James Curry in Grappenhall, Cheshire, England to a Methodist Royal Naval chaplain and a school secretary, Tim Curry is a prolific actor beloved for his roles across various genres. His career has spanned five decades and has earned him plenty of accolades from fans and critics alike. This deeply fascinating man has prided himself in a career rich with talent and range, free of the personal drama other celebrities seem to struggle with.

Curry's early years were spent with his family in Grappenhall. As a young child, he was noted for his singing talent, receiving lessons and performing as a boy soprano in the church choir. He attended Lymm High School until his father's death in 1958, when the family relocated to South London, and he attended Kingswood School in Bath, Somerset. Curry went on to study English and drama at the University of Birmingham.

His break into stardom came with his first full-time acting gig performing in the musica lHairin London in 1968. Following this success, Curry found more work on the stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal Court Theatre. During this time, he took on the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a transvestite mad scientist in the stage show,The Rocky Horror Show. This musical role proved wildly successful, and Curry went on to star in the role in 1975's film adaptation, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." The role earned him modest success at the time, but has since made him a lasting cult icon.

After "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," Curry went on to play in Transvestitesas Tristan Tzara in New York City and London from 1975 to 1976. The role garnered good reviews from critics and the show itself proved to be a hit and went on to earn two Tony awards. His role as Mozart in 1981'sMozartbrought more success for Curry, as he was nominated for his first Tony Award, though he lost to costar Ian McKellen. From there, Curry continued to earn rave reviews for his stage work in plays such as The Pirates of Penzance, Me and My Girl, and Dalliance.

While Curry was very successful on stage, he continued to branch out into film. Many of his roles, though supporting, proved memorable, such as Daniel "Rooster" Hannigan in the film adaptation of "Annie" and Robert Graves in "The Shout." Curry starred as the Lord of Darkness in 1985's "Legend," a move that took his career to new heights and is one of his best-known roles. Curry's work in film, as in theater, has never been limited. He has starred in comedies, horror films, and fantasy films. From making viewers laugh in "Scary Movie 2" to making them shudder in fear in "It," Curry's talent has touched audiences year after year.

Curry is mostly known for his acting, but the famed thespian also has a knack for music. His first album,Read My Lips, was released by A&M Records in 1978. The album is diverse, comprised mostly of covers with Curry's unique spin on them. In 1979, he released Fearless, his most popular album. The record was much more rock and roll than his debut and featured more original material from the artist. His third and final solo album was released in 1981. Titled Simplicity, the album proved less successful for the star.

Tim Curry's career further widened as he took on television, appearing in guest roles in hit shows such as Roseanne, Monk, and Will & Grace. In 1991, he won an Emmy Award for his role in the animated show Peter Pan and the Pirates, and his appearances in Tales of the Crypt and Mighty Max earned him nominations for the prestigious award. His starring roles in shows proved less successful, as Over the Top and A Family Affair were both canceled after a single season. Younger generations would know him as the voice of Nigel Thornberry, the lovably goofy father of Eliza Thornberry inThe Wild Thornberrysor as the voice of Professor Finbar Calamitous from Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.

Curry has never married and has no children. Fiercely private, the actor has never revealed a partner to the media. He currently resides in Hollywood Hills. Sadly, the actor suffered a major stroke in 2012 and is still recovering. His publicist told tabloids that he's excelling in physical therapy and even has a bit of humor about the situation. With so much grace and talent, fans around the world are wishing him a speedy recovery and return to work, whether it be on stage, in film, or on television.