Creator / Tim Curry
Timothy James Curry
(April 19, 1946-) is an English actor. With a handful of exceptions, every
character he's ever played is a) evil, b) dead by the end of the film
, or c) both. Has played Satan
a couple of times, most spectacularly in Ridley Scott
's Legend (1985)
. (And he topped even that
with Pennywise the Dancing Clown
in the TV miniseries It
.) And it'd probably be easier to list the cartoons that he hasn't
voiced a character in.
His first on-screen role was that of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show
(carrying on from the original stage production), which rather set the tone for his later roles. He even recorded a few rock albums in the late 1970s/early 1980s in the wake of its success, and he's done more than a few musicals since, usually animated ones. He's British, which is also convenient
because most of the heroes he plays against have American accents (even in movies such as The Three Musketeers
, which is set in France, or FernGully
, which is set in an Australian rainforest. Even the goanna
in that movie managed to be from South-Central L.A.). He played Captain James Hook in the TV series Peter Pan & the Pirates
, a role for which he won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series.
Tim Curry has also done extensive voice work for video games; a memorable (live action) role is as Premier Anatoly Cherdenko in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
, in which he once again plays a Magnificent Evil Deadpan Snarking Bastard... but strangely not a British one, though it doesn't make the role any less effective or awesome.
Sports a Beard of Evil
, for convenience.
A little known fact is that Tim Curry was originally cast to be the Joker for Batman: The Animated Series
, but was replaced by Mark Hamill
. The DVD Commentary
stated that Curry was too
creepy (keep in mind his performance as Pennywise) and the role was threatening to damage his throat. He was also the actor chosen to play the Doctor
in the 1996 TV movie, but he suggested Paul McGann
for the role instead due to a scheduling conflict.
He returned to the forefront for his work in The Wild Thornberrys
as Nigel Thornberry (who for once
is not an Evil Brit
), due to the various memes
surrounding the character.
For his lovable villain roles, it is not surprising that he'd be considered to be the Anglo-American counterpart of Norio Wakamoto
(or vice versa).
His voice is rather distinctive in the animation roles he's performed, but not always. Darkwing Duck
fans might be surprised to learn that the Spanish (or is it Russian?) accented Taurus Bulba is actually Curry. Likewise, his role as the Goose God in Courage the Cowardly Dog
doesn't sound much like him at first. Nor does his role as Zimbo (the one-legged fly who is often seen around the Snorch) on Ahhh! Real Monsters
, which he, according to an interview, based on an "Argentinian gigolo".
Sadly, in 2012 Tim suffered a stroke
. As of October 2015, footage of him promoting the 40th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
shows that he is able to speak (though more slowly and deliberately), but he uses a wheelchair now and has some facial paralysis. He has been cast in the 2016 TV movie remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
as The Narrator, which hopefully means his voice has recovered even more.
In person, Tim Curry has appeared in:
Tim Curry's voice has appeared in:
Tim Curry is known for these particular tropes:
- Badass Baritone: Interestingly, he was apparently a boy soprano in his youth.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Compare the page image to this video of him in the Made-for-TV Movie of The Worst Witch from the 80's. Yes, that's the same guy.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor
- Money, Dear Boy: Much like Christopher Lee, Mr. Curry isn't particularly picky about the roles he plays, especially in cartoons, as he's been in hundreds of them. While he usually plays the roles quite well, a great many of these features are not well known for being very good.
- Promoted Fanboy: Reportedly, he's a huge Scooby-Doo fan (he appeared in The Witch's Ghost and The Goblin King). He was supposed to be Emile Montivarious in the live-action film, but turned down the role once he learned that Scrappy Doo was involved.
- Stalker with a Crush: Not Tim himself, but rather his fans. In fact, it's the main reason why he was so reluctant to talk about being in Rocky Horror for so long.
Tim Curry's characters provide examples of the following tropes:
- Affably Evil: While he's generally playing jerks or Faux Affably Evil characters, he did a great job as the charming Anti-Villain John Long Silver in Muppet Treasure Island.
- Ax-Crazy: Many of the villains he's played can be considered completely and utterly insane. Played painfully (and literally) straight with Dr. Frank N. Furter.
- Bondage Is Bad: His role as Emperor Doviculus in Brütal Legend.
- Casting Gag:
- His guest-star appearance on Will and Grace. Let's see - flirts with the other characters, makes references to cross-dressing, has effeminate traits (the character he plays is named "Marion"), the character's last name begins with the letter "F" (IE: Marion Finster), and he even tries to get one of the characters' fiancee to sleep with him. Now, why does that sound so familiar?
- Likewise, an episode of the short-lived 1997 sitcom Over the Top featured Tim in drag. Keep in mind that this was during the years in which he was still quite reluctant to talk about his role in Rocky Horror.
- The PC game Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster brings it full circle by casting him as the character Dr. Frank-N-Furter originally parodied.
- And in an episode of Regular Show, he voiced an evil talking frankfurter.
- His appearance in Phineas and Ferb was partially due to the creators being Rocky Horror fans and having used Richard O'Brien and Barry Bostwick before.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: Often gives one of these to show when a character he plays is up to something devious. Interestingly enough, one of his nicknames is "Cheshire Cat".
- Deadpan Snarker: Often plays this kind of character.
- Evil Brit: He mostly plays these types of characters.
- Evil Is Hammy: A lot of his villainous roles are quite hammy.
- Surprisingly averted with Arl Howe in Dragon Age: Origins, who is more subtly evil and detestable as opposed to over-the-top.
- Evil Laugh: Is quite fond of them.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Comes with having a baritone voice.
- Genre Blindness: His character in Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost, Ben Ravencroft, who missed the memo about how Sealed Evil in a Can does not automatically do your bidding just because you freed it.
- Head-Tiltingly Kinky: He plays Doviculus in Brütal Legend, who's basically a kinky version of his role in Legend (1985). Tim Schafer sought him out specifically for this role.
- The Hedonist
- Humanoid Abomination: His role as Pennywise, and, in turn, one of his most well-known.
- Jerkass: Most of his characters. Even many of the relatively few who aren't actually villains are complete and total jerks.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: His rock albums were never released on compact disk and have been long out of print.
- Large Ham: Often overlapping with Evil Is Hammy.
- Mad Scientist: Has played several over the years. The most well-known being Dr. Calamitous from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron (and, by extension, the Nicktoons Unite series) and, of course, Dr. Frank N Furter.
- Monster Clown: His version of Pennywise the Dancing Clown in the movie It.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Accents aren't exactly his strong suit.
- Playing Against Type:
- Happens frequently with his VA work when he plays non-villainous roles. Nigel Thornberry and King Acorn certainly qualify.
- There's his role as "Mr. French", the butler from the 2002 version of Family Affair who's essentially a Deadpan Snarker Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Dr. Thornton Poole from Oscar, who's about as far from Frank as can be. His idea of being forward is complimenting Lisa (Marisa Tomei) on her diction and any innuendos are perfectly innocent. Well, to him, at any rate.
- He also played King Arthur in the original Broadway cast of Spamalot.
- His role as Simon Ferguson in Over the Top. While Simon is a jerk, he's not the villain and does have Hidden Heart of Gold moments.
- In Congo, he plays Herkimer Homolka, a "Romanian philanthropist" who is "Travelink de vorld and doink goot!" The part that's against type? He's a complete wuss.
- Arl Howe is probably one of his most downplayed villainous characters; sure, Howe is a monster in every possible way while still being human, but the portrayal focuses much more on subtlety and less on overt hamminess. Howe is one of the most despicable villains that he's ever played because of it.
- He also played the kind, loving, and compassionate King Acorn on Sonic SatAM.
- Dr. Petrov in The Hunt for Red October. He first seems kind of weaselly and cowardly, and also quite chatty and goofy, but shows a strong concern for the well-being of the crew.
- The Jerk with a Heart of Gold hero Gabriel Knight in the first and third games.
- Farley Claymore in the 1994 film version of The Shadow.
- He originated the role of Mozart in the original Broadway production (but not the earlier London production) of Amadeus.
- And he played a sympathetic disc jockey in Times Square.
- Sir Gawain in The Legend of Prince Valiant.
- In one episode of Phineas and Ferb, he plays Stubbings, the butler. He's more Lawful Neutral than anything.
- Although he did voice a villainous character on a later episode. Subverted when it turns out that he was just Buford and Baljeet in a costume.
- Likewise, Marion Finster on Will and Grace, not evil as much as a Depraved Bisexual who goes for Anything That Moves.
- Wadsworth in Clue is a bit complex, in that he plays to type... in one of the three endings. In the other two, he isn't really bad, or even that much of a jerk. It all depends on whether he's an FBI agent or a murderer.
- In Young Justice, he plays Talk Show host G. Gordon Godfrey. The character claims on his show that aliens and the Justice League are untrustworthy, but he's not exactly evil. On the other hand, his original comic book counterpart was an alias of Glorious Godfrey, an agent of Darkseid, so this might be subverted in the long run.
- As of Endgame, he is working for Darkseid.
- Melek in Wing Commander is the toady that the villain has around to have someone to talk to for Character Development... until the end of the third game (the first game where Tim Curry voiced him), where he ends up in charge (through no fault of his own) and promptly surrenders.
- He is a Punch Clock Villain in Home Alone 2, but his character is still a smug jerk who seemingly wants to have Kevin arrested, just for the hell of it.
- He plays a Corrupt Corporate Executive in Charlie's Angels, but he turned out to be a Red Herring.
- In Criminal Minds his depiction of Billy Flynn, a prolific Serial Killer. While he's villainous, he's also unpleasant, uneducated, kind of stupid, slovenly, thoroughly repulsive and utterly terrifying, with none of the Evil Is Cool or Evil Is Sexy aspects usually present in Tim Curry villains.
- In a case of Cross-Dressing Voices, he plays Auntie Whisphers in Over the Garden Wall, a low-key Creepy Monotone governess who keeps her charge Lorna constantly at work in order to prevent the man-eating evil spirit possessing Lorna from killing again.
- Slasher Smile: He uses these when the Cheshire Cat Grin isn't evil enough. Most notably in the The Rocky Horror Picture Show, right before Frank hacks Eddie to pieces with a pick axe.
- Smug Snake: If he's not one of the above, he's one of these. And he plays them well.
- The Butler Did It: Clue. Subverted in that he's actually the real Mr. Boddy, depending on the ending.
- Villain Song: He's performed several over the years, and he is talented at them:
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: The bizarre Czech-Jamaican voice he sings with in "I Do The Rock."