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There are some actors that have truly defined a generation, many who have created iconic characters that we all cherish to this day. One of those actors that I often think of is Tim Curry, an actor who has had a career that has spanned decades, and created some of the most memorable movie characters.
I’m talking about the film adaptation of Clue, the legendary Rocky Horror Picture Show, even the miniseries, IT. Tim Curry had a huge role in those and deserves all the praise in the world. If you’re looking to check out some of Tim Curry’s best films, look no further than here to find where you can watch them streaming.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
In this classic musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show pays tribute to the science fiction and B movies of the 1930s, telling the story of a newly engaged couple who are seeking shelter from a storm, and come to the home of a cross-dressing mad scientist, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, and his new creation.
I feel like if you’ve heard of Tim Curry, this is the first film you ever saw him in - and it was for me too. And there’s a huge reason why Curry ended up blowing up after his appearance. He perfectly captures the wackiness of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, while also providing a very comical movie full of tunes and dance breaks that will make anyone get on their feet, no matter the age.
The movie might be a bit out of date nowadays, but that still doesn’t change the fact that it’s a fun time.
Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)
In this sequel to the original film, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York follows Kevin McCallister as he accidentally gets on the wrong plane on a family vacation, and ends up heading to New York instead of Florida. There, he goes on a crazy Christmas adventure, filled with new friends and old enemies.
Tim Curry plays one of the many Plaza hotel workers in the film, but there’s a reason why his character is much more memorable than the others. His facial expressions are so memorable, paired with some comically-timed phrases (“Have a lovely day!”), creating a hysterical character for Kevin to encounter.
Based on the Broadway musical of the same name, Annie tells the story of a young orphan during the Great Depression in 1933, who is taken in by America’s richest billionaire, Oliver Warbucks.
Tim Curry plays Daniel Francis Hannigan, otherwise known as “Rooster" -- the con-artist brother of Miss Hannigan (the woman who runs the orphanage, played by Carol Burnett) -- and he plays the role perfectly. Annie also has some amazing music as well, from “It’s a Hard Knock Life” to “Tomorrow,” songs that will either lift your heart up in happiness or make you nod your head along to the beat. It’s a great musical that everyone will enjoy. Genuinely one of the best movies on Amazon Prime right now.
The Three Musketeers (1993)
Loosely based on the book of the same name, The Three Musketeers is an action-comedy adventure, recounting the adventures of d’Artagnan on his quest to join the three title characters in becoming a musketeer like his father before him.
Tim Curry stars as Cardinal Richelieu, and since this is a comedic film, he delivers perfectly through the character, alongside the rest of the Three Musketeers cast, which includes Charlie Sheen, Chris O’Donnell, Oliver Platt and many more. With this film, you’re also getting super fun action scenes, mixed in with some comical dialogue that will for-sure make you snicker.
If you’re looking for a “who dunnit?”, then this is the film for you. Clue, a black comedy mystery film, is based on the board game of the same name, when six strangers receive and ominous invitation at a New England mansion, a night that will end in murder and mystery.
Tim Curry stars as Wadsworth, the butler of the home (and honestly, a perfect role for him), but the rest of the Clue cast shines as well. Not only is Clue a super fun mystery that reminds me of films like Knives Out or Murder Mystery, but there are three different endings you could get in the film - three. It’s so detailed, so entertaining, and will have you putting on your own mystery cap while trying to deduct who the murderer is.
Scooby-Doo! And The Witch's Ghost (1999)
In this voice performance from Tim Curry, Scooby-Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost is a mystery-animated film starring the classic Scooby-Doo gang, as they travel to a New England town in Massachusetts with Ben Ravencroft, a famous author, only to find that his hometown is getting haunted by the ghost of his ancestor, Sarah Ravencroft.
Tim Curry voices Ben Ravencroft and fits the role perfectly. I could never imagine anyone else pulling off this awesome character more than him. But to be honest, Tim Curry only adds onto the amazingness of this film. Scooby-Doo! And the Witch’s Ghost is by far my favorite Scooby-Doo film, with plenty of spooky moments, twists, and cool characters like the Hex Girls.
Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
In Muppet Treasure Island, this adaptation follows the book of the same name, following the story of Jim Hawkins, and his search for the buried treasure of an evil pirate, Captain Flint, only this time with a Muppet twist.
Who doesn't love the Muppets? Muppet Treasure Island captures the same charm we've come to know and adore from the Muppet crew, while also maintaining that pirate adventure that you would expect from a film adaptation of Treasure Island. Tim Curry stars as Long John Silver, a charming pirate with a devious plan, and again, Curry is the perfect choice for this villainous role, working surprisingly well alongside these Muppets, and created a fun musical adventure.
In this epic dark fantasy film, Legend revolves around the character, Jack, a pure being who has to stop the Lord of Darkness who plots to cover the world in an eternal night.
Tim Curry is, of course, the Lord of Darkness, another villainous role that showcases his acting abilities and that amazing, iconic voice of his, but Legend had more than just Tim Curry to love. The Legend cast is stellar in their roles, including Tom Cruise (the film released the year before Top Gun), the cinematography is beautiful, and the make-up is super impressive, and even nominated for an Academy-Award. I wish that it had gotten more praise than it did back then, but now we can enjoy it as the ultimate cult classic.
Honorable Mention: IT (1990)
While this isn’t a film, I can’t have a Tim Curry article and not talk about IT, the 1990 drama miniseries adaptation of the Stephen King novel. In a small town, a group of children have to come together to stop a mysterious monster, known as IT, who is hunting down children and eating them.
Curry's masterful portrayal of Pennywise the Dancing Clown has since become an iconic character in horror history, as well as the whole IT miniseries cast. I can appreciate what Bill Skarsgard brought to the table in terms of making Pennywise truly terrifying in the recent movies, there’s just something about Tim Curry’s version that hits me harder. Maybe it’s because he acts more like a friendly clown before consuming his victims - regardless, I’ll never forget his version of Pennywise, and neither should you if you’re into horror movies.
Truly, this man has been in so many films of my childhood, it would be a sin if I didn’t dedicate a list dedicated to some of his best movies. It's great to look back on his films now and find myself smiling still just as much as I did when I was younger.
While this list focused almost entirely on movies, Tim Curry has also been celebrated for his work in theater over the years, including numerous Tony Award nominations. And among his achievements for his work in television, he won a Daytime Emmy Award for voicing the role of Captain Hook in Fox's 1991 animated series Peter Pan and the Pirates.
Now, I think I’ll go back and re-watch IT one more time in honor of fall finally being here.
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Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!