By Amy Chesler
There are few actors as prolific as Tim Curry. His 40+ years in the biz has introduced us to innumerable characters, from hotel concierge in Home Alone 2 to what nightmares are made of in the original IT. And as April 19th is his 73rd birthday, I’m celebrating by listing my top seven favorite roles of his in no particular order (because how can I possibly rank them?).
I’m going out on a limb here (*badum-chh*), but I’d venture to say that Ferngully was one of the most impactful cartoon films of the ‘90s. In it, fairy Crysta is under the impression humans don’t exist anymore. That is, until she comes across a team of loggers hacking her jungle. She ends up shrinking one of them down to her size and a serious adventure ensues, but I bet you forgot that Curry lent his voice to the evil cloud of smog named Hexxus. However, I bet you didn’t forget how creepy Hexxus was.
I’m also willing to bet nothing caused more nightmares in the early ‘90s than Tim’s original embodiment of Pennywise the Clown. What I do know for certain is that whatever haunted the kids of Derry (including a young Seth Green and Jonathan Brandis) haunted me for years after watching, too. Cheesy special effects aside, IT was masterfully creepy, mostly thanks to Tim‘s deadpan portrayal of the terrifying Pennywise.
When I found out that the concierge from Home Alone 2 was also the clown from IT (after longer than I’d like to admit), I almost lost my mind. It was my childhood dream to vacation alone, so when Macaulay got to do it for a second time (in New York City to boot), I was enthralled. And even though Tim was a total thorn in every kid’s side, his hilarious antics and superb sneer make for the perfect balance to Macaulay’s shrewd on-screen presence.
There have been few movies as clever as Clue, and its hijinks wouldn’t have been the same without Curry’s impeccable comedic timing. Did the butler do it? Is he even a butler? This board game came to life with such humor and gusto, movie lovers are still obsessed with it. I’ve seen it umpteen times and still find scenes and quotes that speak to me differently with each watch.
Of course both versions of Annie are great, but there’s just something so convincing about Curry’s sleazy con-artist character. As Ms. Flanagan’s brother, who pretends to be Annie’s long-lost father, Curry turns a supporting character into a lasting impression. As per usual.
No Curry list would be complete without Rocky Horror Picture Show, of course! Tim actually had his Broadway debut in 1973 as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, then reprised the role for the big screen in 1975. I’d venture to say his epic portrayal of the transvestite mad scientist pretty much defined RHPS’s cult classic status.
As made clear in RHPS right at the start of his career, Tim has quite a set of lungs on him. So, it’s no shocker that he’s offered the voice to dozens of productions. However, one of my favorites of his voice-over credits may shock you: Tim lent his voice to several different characters on the 90’s show Dinosaurs alone. Now I kind of want to order a couple of seasons and binge watch so I can catch them all.
Happy birthday, Tim! Thanks for all the movie memories!
Amy Chesler is an author, content creator, blogger, and family woman from Los Angeles, California. Her most recent publications include four different contributions in six different Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, as well as her first solo children’s book, A Man and His Books. Follow her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ABCauthor1), Twitter (@abcauthor), or Instagram (@abc_author) for updates, giveaways, and much more!