Timothy James Curry, born April 19, 1946. 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. (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 1993, which is set in France, or Fern Gully, 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 and The Pirates, a role for which he got an award.
Tim Curry has also done extensive voice work for video games; a recent, memorable (live action) role is as Premier Cherdenko in Red Alert 3 (pictured above), 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 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.
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).
Tim Curry has appeared in
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
- Clue (1985)
- Legend (1985)
- The Hunt for Red October (1990)
- IT (1990)
- Fern Gully (1992)
- Home Alone 2 (1992)
- Loaded Weapon 1 (1993)
- The Three Musketeers 1993
- The Shadow (1994)
- Congo (1995)
- The Wild Thornberrys (1998-2004)
- Scary Movie 2 (2001)
- Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 (2008)
Tim Curry is known for these particular tropes
- Ascended Fanboy: Reportedly he is 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.
- Badass Baritone: When he's not playing a villain, he's this. Interestingly, he was apparently a boy soprano in his youth.
- Money, Dear Boy - Much like Christopher Lee, Curry is not particularly picky about the roles he plays, especially in cartoons, as he's been in hundreds of them. While he usually plays the roles (which is the villain approximately 97% of the time) quite well (in fact, he usually outshines the rest of the entire cast), a great many of these features are not well known for being very good.
- 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
- Axe 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 Brutal 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 a talking
- 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's British, he mostly plays evil characters.
- Evil Sounds Deep - Being a baritone and playing villains, obviously.
- 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 the villain Doviculus in Brutal Legend, who is basically a kinky version of his role in Legend. Tim Schafer sought him out specifically for this role.
- The Hedonist
- Hey, It's That Voice!: 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 accented Taurus Bullba 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".
- Humanoid Abomination: His role as Pennywise, and, in turn, one of his most well-known.
- Jerkass - Most of Curry's characters. Even many of the relatively few who aren't actually villains are complete and total asshats.
- Large Ham - To the point that the catchphrase could be changed to "Did somebody order some TIM CURRY?"
- 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 are not exactly his strong suit.
- Playing Against Type:
- Nigel Thornberry from The Wild Thornberrys is just about the least-villainous character he's ever played.
- There's his role as "Mr. French", the butler from the 2002 version of Family Affair who is 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 (though when her father is Sylvester Stallone...), 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 Jerkass, 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.
- He also played the kind, loving, and compassionate King Acorn on Sonic SATAM.
- And, of course, 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.
- Renfield 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.
- In one episode of Phineas and Ferb, he plays Stubbings, the butler. He's more Lawful Neutral than anything.
- He voices Dovilicus, the Big Bad of Brutal Legend, in both the campaign and multiplayer modes.
- 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 is 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.
- Slasher Smile - He uses these when the Cheshire Cat Grin isn't evil enough. Most notably in 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.
- Villain Song - He's performed several over the years:
- "Sweet Transvestite", "I Can Make You A Man", "Planet Schmanet Janet", "Don't Dream It", and "Wild and Untamed Thing" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show
- "Easy Street" from Annie
- "Toxic Love" from Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest
- "Don't Make Me Laugh" from The Pebble and the Penguin
- "Professional Pirate" from Muppet Treasure Island
- "Don't Fall In Love" from Beauty and The Beast The Enchanted Christmas