For several years, the name of British actor Tim Curry was known only to the privileged few who'd seen his performance as transvestite mad scientist Dr. Frank N. Furter in the stage and screen versions of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. By one of those wondrous quirks of fate, the 1975 Rocky Horror film was resuscitated from its disappointing initial run and became the archetypal "midnight movie," and for nearly two decades its faithful fans have lined up in front of theaters in bizarre costumes and makeup, toting toilet paper and toast (suitable for throwing at the screen). Unlike these fans, Curry was not content to relive his past triumphs, but moved on to such prestige assignments as the role of Mozart in the Broadway production of Amadeus and the part of William Shakespeare in a TV movie biography. A polished farceur, Curry was seen at his best in comedy film roles, notably the repressed music teacher in Oscar (1991) and the supercilious concierge in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992). But audiences must have their villains, and Curry has aimed to please in such insidious roles as Cardinal Richelieu in 1993's Three Musketeers (possibly the most lascivious Richelieu ever -- so much so that Milady De Winter pulls out a knife and threatens to "change his religion.") Curry's heart remained in the theater, and for an unfortunately short period in the early '90s he excelled in the Peter O'Toole role in a musical stage version of the 1982 film My Favorite Year. He has also contributed his vocal talents to such animated cartoon series as Peter Pan and the Pirates, winning an Emmy for his con brio portrayal of Captain Hook. Curry's reputation preceded him when he was hired to give voice to a nasty character on Hanna-Barbera's Paddington Bear cartoon series in 1988; appropriately, even the character's name was Mr. Curry.
In 1990 Curry played one of pop culture's scariest clowns when he took the part of Pennywise in a small-screen adaptation of It, and a few years later he was the fiendish Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers. He continued to work steadily in projects as diverse as Congo, Muppet Treasure Island, McHale's Navy, and Addams Family Reunion where he took over the part of Gomez Adams after the passing of Raul Julia.
He became well-known to a whole new generation of fans doing voices for The Wild Thornberrys, Rugrats, and Jimmy Neutron at the beginning of the 2000s. He was eventually cast as Mr. Salamone, the forever put-upon hotel employee who is subjected to the whims of little Eloise in a series of made-for-TV movies based on the enduringly popular children's books. In 2010 he appeared in John Landis' comedy Burke & Hare.