Don’t Dream it; Be IT — Top 5 Tim Curry Roles
Tim Curry is a man of a thousand faces. His decades-long career has allowed him to play a variety of roles; all of which have endeared him to legions of fans. He’s been a clown and a concierge; a Wild Thornberry and a Sweet Transvestite. He’s provided the voice for countless animated characters and he has been a force to be reckoned with for over forty years. Audiences like Tim Curry when he’s good, but they love him when he’s bad. Whether he’s trying to seduce Brad and Janet or murder little Georgie, Tim Curry is at his absolute best when he’s at his absolute worst.
5) Nigel Thornberry, The Wild Thornberry’s (1998-2004)
Sir Nigel Archibald Thornberry is an English gentleman who also happens to travel the world filming wildlife documentaries with his family. Nigel is not the main character of The Wild Thornberrys, but he just might be the best character, largely thanks to Tim Curry’s portrayal of him. The Wild Thornberrys was an animated show on Nickelodeon that told the story of Eliza Thornberry, daughter of Nigel and Marianne, who is able to speak with animals. In other words, the show was a hit and Tim Curry was a big reason why. His performance as Nigel was hilarious, educational and always entertaining. He could play serious, or for laughs. Nigel was absent-minded but brilliant and Curry conveyed that perfectly. Tim Curry has voiced countless animated characters throughout his career, but it his Nigel Thornberry who is best remembered.
4) Professor Oldman, Scary Movie 2 (2001)
Listen, Scary Movie 2 wasn’t a great film. But any movie that has Tim Curry portraying a Vincent Price-like host is okay in our book. Scary Movie 2 was a sequel to the original smash hit and, while its jokes missed more often than they hit, Tim Curry was delightful in his role as Professor Oldman, a teacher who wants to study and document the paranormal activity occurring at a local haunted house. He brings in the kids from the original Scary Movie and all hell breaks loose. Curry had limited screen time in this film, but he used what he had perfectly, before finally succumbing to the ghost of Hugh Kane’s mistress. Oldman is seduced and then murdered, and we can’t think of a better way for Tim Curry to have gone out.
3) Ma/Pa/Winona Brackett, Tales from the Crypt episode ‘Death of Some Salesmen’ (1995)
If anybody ever doubted Tim Curry’s acting ability, one need look no further than the first episode of the fifth season of Tales from the Crypt. The episode, entitled ‘Death of Some Salesmen,’ featured Curry in three supporting roles, all of which focused on the Brackett Family, as they dealt with a conniving salesman, played by Ed Begley Jr. Curry played the role of Ma, Pa, AND daughter Winona Brackett as they turned the tables on this unfortunate salesman. While Begley did great in his role as the salesman, it was Curry that really impressed. His characters were gross and terrifying but somehow still lovable.
2) Pennywise the Dancing Clown, IT (1990)
For many people, Tim Curry is Pennywise, end statement. Bill Skarsgard did a tremendous job in the most recent IT film, but Curry will always be remembered as Pennywise. The fact that we’re still talking about a TV movie almost 30 years later speaks to the iconography of Curry’s performance. If you didn’t already know, you’d never be able to guess that it was Tim Curry under all of that greasepaint. Pennywise is terrifying. He is, in fact, “everything you ever were afraid of,” and both the character and the actor portraying him seem to delight in scaring the pants off of everybody he comes in contact with. With his bright suit, bulbous head and sinister laugh, Tim Curry’s Pennywise has become the stuff of legend. His performance has transcended time and space and, if it weren’t for another antihero in makeup, it would be the defining role of Tim Curry.
1) Dr. Frank ‘N Furter, Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
The problem, of course, is that you just can’t define Tim Curry. He’s been an English gentleman and a backwoods hillbilly. Tim Curry’s greatest performance, however, was that of Dr. Frank ‘N Furter in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. This sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania captured the hearts of theater-goers way back in 1975. Rocky Horror Picture Show is a cult classic, thanks largely to Tim Curry’s performance as the seductive, manipulative, but somehow still child-like, Frank. Susan Sarandon, Richard O’Brien, Barry Bostwick, and more all delivered great performances, but it was Curry who embraced the role of Frank ‘N Furter and gave himself over to the character.
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