It’s been a few days now, but I’m still getting over the shocking reports of actor Tim Curry suffering a major stroke. I’m choosing to believe the updates that say the 67 year-old legend is “doing great”, and that he has not lost his ability to talk. Allow me to speak for his legion of fans in saying that we all want that information to be 100% true. A renowned performer on stage and screen, most people have by now seen Tim Curry in something. A sampling of his major stage work? How about Broadway’s “Spamalot”, the winner of the Tony award for Best Musical in 2005? Also in 2001, he was Ebenezer Scrooge in the seasonal “A Christmas Carol” at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. And in 1980, he was Broadway’s first Mozart in Peter Shaffer’s “Amadeus”. After Curry left the play, it continued to run for years before being adapted into the 1984 Academy Award-winning film starring Tom Hulce as the composer. Film roles? The list is equally impressive. 1982’s “Annie” as Rooster. 1985’s “Clue” as Wadsworth. He was Dr. Petrov in 1990’s “The Hunt for Red October” and Mr. Hector in 1992’s “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”. There are dozens more, but have I left anything vital out? Of course I have!
Whether Mr. Curry likes it or not, he’ll always be, first and foremost, Dr. Frank N. Furter from 1975’s “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. It’s the biggest cult film of all time, after all! He originated the role on stage in London in 1973, in Los Angeles in 1974, and finally Broadway in 1975. Curry was then immortalized in the film version later that year, and became a major celebrity and icon when the movie began its legendary midnight runs in 1976. Throughout all of this Tim was under the age of 30…so it’s difficult to fathom that the “Sweet Transvestite” is now a senior citizen. I believe I first saw “Rocky Horror” at a midnight showing around 1979 at the age of 14. Instantly, I was hooked. I spent a period going to it on Fridays and Saturdays at 12 A.M. every weekend in the early 1980’s. I also saw the London, West End stage revival in 1995 and the New York Broadway revival in 2001. The movie soundtrack? It’s one of my 5 “desert island” discs—if you know what that means. I can sing it verbatim. So, Tim Curry has been a HUGE part of my life, for a very long time. And I want to wish him a full and speedy recovery. Get well soon, Dr. Frank! The world will always need its most “wild and untamed thing”!