I’m not sure about most people, but I think you probably know who Tim Curry is. I suspect most people think of him as The Guy From Rocky Horror And Maybe Clue. Well, yes, he is the guy from Rocky Horror and the butler in Clue, but he is so much more! Seriously, you’ll be shocked when you realize how many ridiculous movies included Tim Curry as some sort of pseudo-villainous secondary character. When I went to make this list there were a few that even surprised me! So, ordered by increasing magnitudes of surprise that Tim Curry was in it/movie awesomeness, here it is. The top 8 Tim Curry movies you’ve probably forgotten about (or never knew about in the first place).
8. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York was yet another classic 90s movie with a score by John Williams. Here Curry plays the antagonistic concierge who’s suspicious of the “adult” staying with young lost-in-New-Yorker Kevin (Macaulay Culkin aka the “aahhh” kid). of course, Curry is entirely correct– the kid’s pulling a goddamn shenanigan. Many of Curry’s best moments are when Kevin uses clips from the fictional movie Angels With Even Filthier Souls (the sequel to the similarly fictional Angels With Filthy Souls shown in Home Alone 1) to trick, humiliate and generally give Curry the chance to be an uncomfortable British guy. Unrelated but equally important, who didn’t want a Talkboy tape recorder like Kevin’s?
7. Barbie in the Nutcracker
Who possesses that deep silky British voice emanating from the lips of the Mouse King in every six year old’s favorite Christmas ballet film? That’s right, in 2001 the man who would go on to be nominated for a Tony for Best Actor voiced the lead villain in Barbie in the Nutcracker. Seriously though, his voice acting is really good. Way better than the rest of the cast. Turns out, Curry’s voice acted in something like seventy movies. Now, because I babysat a lot in high school and/or because I am a child, I’ve actually seen several of the newer Barbie movies. I swear, The Nutcracker is a pretty good one. Indeed, it’s actually an important Barbie movie since it was the first made since 1992 (there have been nineteen others since). I can’t believe I just wrote that last line.
We’re going to keep this one short because this movie scares the shit out of me. I saw Stephen King’s It exactly once at a sleepover in middle school and I haven’t slept since. Obviously there was no way in hell I was re-watching it for this article. Curry doesn’t play one of the grown-ups fighting against their childhood fears, no, he actually plays Pennywise the Dancing Clown a.k.a It! Like I said, I really can’t talk about it, I even had to look away while I was picking a YouTube video. Weirdly enough, It is also maybe being remade. I hope Curry doesn’t reprise his role because then I’d have to go see it and then I’d cry.
You bet your bottom dollar that Tim Curry was in Annie. Yes, exactly the version of Annie you’re thinking of. The 1982 version with Carol Burnett that everyone watched when they were kids in the 80s. Initially, the only scene of Annie I remembered was the one where Annie jumps in the pool with Daddy Warbucks (as a kid I thought her swimcap was bizarre). I was shocked when I realized that Curry plays the Rooster Hannigan, the scheming brother of evil orphanage owner Miss Hannigan. The Currmeister rocks, but unfortunately the parts of the movie that don’t include him or Carol Burnett are pretty painful to watch. Under no circumstances should you show this movie to a child unless you want to hear it on replay for the next year. Unfortunately Curry will probably not be in the recently announced Will Smith remake staring Willow Smith.
4. Charlie’s Angels
Just a year before his big debut as the Mouse king, Curry played a (no surprise) maybe-bad guy Roger Corwin in the 2000 Charlie’s Angels (not to be confused with the sequel with Demi Moore). I feel like this is the movie you all were most likely to have seen and least likely to remember Tim Curry in. Probably because that scene where Cameron Diaz dances in her underwear is all you remember. He was totally there though, I swear, and in a not-small roll. Seriously, watch the clip (and then google that underwear dancing scene because I know you want to).
3. The Wild Thornberrys
I’m sure as soon as you read that last title you thought, “Holy shit, Tim Curry was Nigel Thornberry?!?” Indeed, Curry did voice Sir Nigel Archibald Thornberry in The Wild Thornberrys TV show as well as all of the movies. Anyone else who watched tons of The Wild Thornberrys as a kid can agree that Nigel Thornberry was fucking badass. He was a knighted wildlife documentarian who pulled his kids out of school to drive them around the world is some sort of absurdly cool RV thing. He was by far the best character on the show after Eliza’s Mom Who I Totally Had A Crush On.
2. Muppet Treasure Island
Muppet Treasure Island is the unrivaled best Muppet movie of all time. In fact, it’s the whole reason I wrote this article; basically I’m hoping this results in more people willing to watch Muppet Treasure Island with me. I love Muppets. I love Treasure. I love Islands. I love this movie. Curry plays Long John Silver, a fearsome pirate/cook/baritone who plots to steal Captain Flint’s treasure using Jim Hawkins map (for real, rent the movie). At this point you’re probably rolling your eyes that Curry plays yet another singing villain, but this is seriously his best role to date. Not just anyone can allude to a torrid former romance with Miss Piggy without sounding ridiculous. In this epic film, you will almost definitely be rooting for Curry and the Pirates. There’s no way the The Muppets, due out this November, will ever be able to top Muppet Treasure Island’s greatness.
1. Fern Gully
Yup. Timy Curry voiced Hexxsus. The bad guy sludge thing from Ferngully. I think we’re done here.
Tim Curry plays the clown in It?! I’ve been meaning to see it (haha) for years, and now I really MUST see it…
On a side note, Clue is my favorite movie of all time.
And I heart Nigel Thornberry.
Clue is also my favorite movie ever! I totally forgot about Fern Gully.
How could you forget Fern Gully?! It has what’s possibly the world’s only striptease starring a character that not only has not clothes but no BODY.
“They have big, big bottoms that they wear with bad shorts.” -Batty
Universal wisdom from Fern Gully
Clearly that is all that needed to be said…
How do people not remember that Tim Curry was Pennywise in IT? I feel like he’s just as famous for that as he is for Clue and Rocky Horror. That movie was the scariest shit ever. I still won’t watch it at night or by myself and I am a grown ass woman.
Because people who don’t like scary things don’t watch/read about/think about It and other scary things. Also, people who don’t like scary things but got coerced/tricked into watching It pretend that It doesn’t exist so that they don’t have to remember that they saw It and It was really really scary.
Also, we can’t forget Legend, aka the Movie Tom Cruise is the Most Embarrassed About.
Ah but see! Legend isn’t a Tim Curry movie you’ve forgotten about– indeed it’s one you remember! The same, I felt, goes for The Hunt for Red October.
Ummm…Clue, Clue, Clue, Clue, Clue, Clue!!!
He’s also in The Hunt for Red October, as the titular sub’s physician. <3 (I just watched that, is how I know.)
You used “titular” so very correctly, and yet…all I could do was giggle and think it’d be a WAY better word to use than, say, “tubular”…as in awesome, cool, killer (yeah, I went there, cuz I WAS there!). That’s so f*ckin’ TITULAR!!!
How could you forget The Pebble and the Penguin, one of the worst Don Bluth movies ever?
THE SHADOW. My favorite movie ever that combines both creepy Tim Curry with dynamic Alec Baldwin nose action.
The Shadow! I just rewatched that on Amazon Instant Prime Video Cloud Drive Streaming Whatchajig, and it was as amazing as I had remembered. The talking dagger! Ian McKellen! People sending things through pneumatic tubes! And a ridiculous Jim Steinman song sung by Taylor Dayne over the closing credits that I listened to in its entirety just to confirm that, yes, it was indeed Taylor Dayne.
So, basically, THE BEST.
Ferngully is my most favorite animated movie of all time! Also I could only watch about 50 seconds of that IT clip before I got goosebumps and had to turn it off. Scary!
Great list, but c’mon, Rooster has to be one of his most famous roles, considering that everyone in the known universe has seen that film at least four hundred times*.
*actual statistic might not be true.
This article’s description of Muppet Treasure Island is The Most Accurate Thing That Has Ever Been Accurate.
I second that emotion.
I’m still adamant that in my childhood Nigel Thornberry was Australian..
I love Tim Curry so versatile, so many unforgettable performances. Anyway one obscure movies I love him in is Oscar. Oscar was Sylvester Stallone attempt at breaking out of action film. I loved it, but I tend to err on the corny side. Tim Curry was amazing as usual as Dr Thornton Poole. Check it out.
what am I missing here?don’t get it.
being from europe is causing some gaps in the knowledge of american pop culture.fill me in.
well,still enjoyed this article about some actor whose face I might have seen before:D
It’s his voice that does it for me. That’s how I know who he is. The man is a chameleon though, so it’s often hard to tell if it is him. Until he talks. Then you know.
I think I actually never heard his original english voice.
my 7 year old self just understood the dubbed version of home alone.
I’m off to watch this timeless masterpiece how it was intended.
I would never ever forget that he was in “Muppet Treasure Island.” That movie simultaneously terrified me and thrilled me as a kid. My feelings on Muppets are very complicated.
Also, I loved him in “Annie,” just because of his awesome mustache and the fact that he was named Rooster. And “Easy Street” is easily (PUN) the best song in that movie.
In this case, Muppet Treasure Island was #2 not because it was so likely everyone forgot about it, but because it’s the best movie of all time.
Fact. I will watch Muppet Treasure Island anytime, anywhere.
Now: Off to Zanzibar to meet the Zanzibarbarians!”
I’d have to say it probably is the best Muppet movie, but I just have to skip over the creepy opening credits and that bit with the blind Muppet who scared the shit out of me as a child and continues to scare the shit out of me.
I loved the Wild Thornberry’s! I should have placed the voice as a kid but damned if I actually did.
I thought I had gotten over Pennywise the Dancing Clown. I really did. Now I saw that picture and I won’t be able to sleep for approximately a week.
Maybe I’ll just picture him with Nigel Thornberry’s face and it will all be okay.
I know, after spending all that time looking for good clips, I was in the shower yesterday kind of freaking out.
He was also the evil mad scientist Dr. Sevarius in the classic 1994-96 cartoon series Gargoyles. (You remember–the one with the hot lady detective in the red car, and then later in the series you felt really weird for crushing on the hot purple gargoyle?) Anyway, dude captured the Loch Ness Monster, made evil clones of the main cast, and in his first appearance had an elderly ugly Eastern European robot decoy of himself in his place as a safety precaution. It was awesome.
I. Loved. Gargoyles.
ONE THOUSAND YEARS AGO, SUPERSTITION AND THE SWORD RULED. IT WAS A TIME OF DARKNESS, IT WAS A WORLD OF FEAR, IT WAS THE AGE… OF GARGOYLES!
*high-five* They have all the episodes on YouTube, if you want.
I wish I had forgotten about Pennywise. :(
Don’t forget Tim Curry in the Monk series. He was the one not overacting like most of the other bit-parters used to do.
It may not be a movie, but it was a great show…Roseanne, season 5-ish I believe; Tim Curry dated ‘Nancy’, played by Sandra Bernhard
I managed to score my own Talkboy for Christmas the year Home Alone 2 came out, because I wouldn’t leave my mom alone about it. It was mainly used for recording terrible renditions of “Champagne Supernova” with my friends.
And I have FernGully on VHS.
Dude, how could you forget his role as The Grand Wizard in The Worst Witch? I watched that movie every Halloween on HBO when I was a kid and I loved it.
Seriously, watch the Youtube vid. That is the most amazing Tim Curry thing I’ve ever seen.
Also, the chick that played Ethel Hollow was hot.
I loved The Worst Witch when I was a kid! It had Charlotte Rae (Mrs. Garrett from The Facts of Life) and Fairuza Balk in it too.
Yes yes yes. EVERYONE WATCH THAT VIDEO. It is one of probably the three funniest things in the universe.
His enormous cape at first made me think he was wearing one of those giant parachutes from elementary school gym class.
YES. Worst Witch is the BEST.
He was also in “The Pebble and the Penguin”, a horribly-wonderful Don Bluth film and he was the Cat King in “The Cat Returns”. But really, what movie hasn’t he done some sort of voice acting for?
Hahaha oh man, I used to be the biggest RHPS/Tim Curry geek; this article made me feel 14 again, in the best way possible, thanks!
Every year I get super excited around Halloween time because then I can spam my Facebook with this video.
OMG! This is my favouritist movie of. all. time.
I got my parents to take me to the filming location (a school not too far from my house) for my 28th birthday. I took along a cape and witch’s hat I had hastily made at the last minute. They took photos of me in all the key places!
IT WAS AWESOME!
Oh, my late twenties…when magical dreams became reality…
How about the Disney’s Three Musketeers? He played the cardinal, if I recall correctly
You do remember correctly. It was like watching a shark in a bordello’s bedsheet stalk around a set.
OMG Fern Gully! I always thought that voice sounded familiar but I never thought to check who it was. I love that movie.
People! But seriously in the “How Could You Forget” Department.
What about TIMES SQUARE! You know, the cult rock and roll teen girl lesbo-subtextual NYC adventure movie in which Tim Curry presides as the radio disc jockey over the amazing affection between Pammy and Nicky (Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson).
Please watch the trailer:
And then come read my overview of the film:
Then add to Netflix queue:
And after you watch it come back and discuss.
All of that said, thanks for the awesome overview — great piece!
Times Square is seriously amazing, if for no other reason than the soundtrack. But of course there are other reasons.
Tim Curry was also in SyFy’s Alice miniseries from a few years ago. Most people didn’t like it but I loved it. If you are a fan of Alice in Wonderland adaptations, check it out.
I loved ‘Alice’! I thought it was a fun re-imagining. And Alice herself was super cute.
I also loved ‘Dead Like Me,’ which is why I want to give you a high five for your icon.
I realise this is unrelated to the content of this article (which was awesome, by the way) but was there ever any consensus on Tim’s sexuality? The first query that comes up on google after his name is ‘tim curry gay’. I imagine mostly because of Rocky Horror, but ya know, I’m curious too.
Ooh, what about when he played the butler in Clue? Yeah…it had a movie…haha
I know it’s not a movie, but can we talk about his terrifying/disgusting role as a serial killer in Criminal Minds? Totally creepy and the grossest teeth I have ever seen.
That was an amazing performance. Creepy as fuck.
/Criminal Minds nerd-out
I <3 Tim Curry, and I <3 this article. Thank you.
he’s in ALL the childhood things
“I saw Stephen King’s It exactly once at a sleepover in middle school and I haven’t slept since.”
OMFG, we are living parallel lives of nightly residual adolescent fear.
what a coincidence! i just took a chem test and had tim curry’s pirate song, from muppets, goin through my head!i actually think it helped calm me down and focus. haha i luv tht movie!
What?!?!?!?!?! Ferngully and It?!?! That was him?!?!??! Day just got better :)
Has anybody else seen this tumblr of songs remixed with Nigel Thornberry saying “BLARGH?”
It is wonderful.
The Smells like Teen Spirit one is the best.
I just realized that Tim Curry was in almost all of my favorite childhood movies and about half of my favorite not-childhood movies. Probably need to have a Tim Curry-a-thon soon.
Now I’m going to watch Muppet Treasure Island all weekend to get ready for Talk Like a Pirate Day.
I loved him on Broadway in “Spamalot”, but “Annie” has to be my favorite. I’m totally in love with Bernadette Peters.
Muppet treasure island muppet treasure island muppet treasure island
Best movie of my childhood
This article is so relevant to my life, seeing as my friends and I just watched Muppet Treasure Island a few nights ago.
Did anyone else, when first seeing Rocky Horror, have the spit-take reaction ‘THE TRANSVESTITE WAS MY CHILDHOOD. BEFORE HE WAS MY CHILDHOOD. THINGS MAKE ALL OF THE SENSE NOW.’ … or was that just me?
See also, Addams Family Reunion.
A few years ago there was talk about a Clue remake and I wrote a strongly worded letter expressing that there was no subsitute for the amazingness of the original. Plus, I was just upset that Madeline Kahn was no longer with us and therefore would be unavailable to reprise her role as Mrs. White. I totally realize I need a life…but I would like to state for the record that the idea was shelved. Coincidence? I like to think not.
I love Tim Curry, SO MUCH. I was never scared of Pennywise. I recognized Tim immediately when I saw him and was just giggling the entire time. I also need to have a marathon with every single movie/show he’s been in.
Thanks to my children’s crippling Netflix addiction, we’ve been watching a lot of Annie around here lately, and the one Rugrats movie that had the Wild Thornberrys in it. I totally didn’t realize it, but Tim Curry had a hold on me looong before I was old enough to see RHPS.
I read the subhead as “DID” you love Tim Curry and I was like WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO TIM CURRY AND WHY DIDN’T I READ ABOUT IT ON JEZEBEL.
I adore Tim Curry, but nothing on this earth could get me to watch ‘IT.’ No fucking way! I just don’t think my fragile psyche could survive it. When I was a teenage punk, I even had a hard time listening to the song “Pennywise” (by the band Pennywise, natch). *shudder*
this is only tangentially related, but after I saw Follies a few weeks ago I was on youtube looking up different renditions of the songs, and Tim Curry does a lovely and emotive “Losing My Mind”
He recorded 3 albums: Read My Lips(1978)… Fearless(1979) and Simplicity(1981)
oh my god muppet treasure island. oh my god fern gully. i love this list. and tim curry.
my main reason for reading this article was in hopes that “muppet treasure island” would be mentioned…i will forever love that movie and tim curry for being in that movie. also, “fern gully” was my favorite movie when i was little, but i haven’t seen it in about 20 years and will definitely re-watch it now that i know tim curry was involved. loved this article!
but i will never watch “it.” not even for tim curry.
I would jut like to say thank you for writing this, I fucking love Tim Curry, and that probably 15 years after I first saw Fern Gully, Hexxsus still scares the bejesus out of me.
“sliiiiiiime beneath me, sliiiiiiiime up above, ooh you’ll LOVE my–ah, ah, AH!–TOXIC LOOOVE”
for a cartoon villain song about pollution, this’d make a suprisingly great burlesque performance
Besides rocky horror , i always thought IT was his best role
i’ve seen tim curry in annie, worst witch, a little bit of stephen king’s It”, and i watched some cool clips of him on youtube when he was on the show ”Wiseguy”, he played a real ruthless guy on that show. I also love him as hexxus in ferngully. I just developed a infatuation on him recently. I like his green eyes,and his british accent too.
I love tim curry so much! he is such a fantastic actor and in a whole bunch movies(over 225)YAY
Another movie for children that Tim Curry was in is Beauty and the Beast Enchanted Christmas. He plays Forte the pipe organ.
Does no one remember “Peter Pan and the Pirates” animated show? He did the voice of Captain Hook. It ran on FOX and it’s one of my favorite animated shows. Tim Curry was fabulous as the voice of Hook.