Tim Curry

Tim Curry

Today is the 52nd birthday of Tim Curry, the singer and actor best known

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for playing the crazed transvestite scientist Dr. Frank N. Furter in

the stage and film versions of the rock musical 'The Rocky Horror

Show.' The camp-classic film, 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show,' is

famous for its portrayal of debauchery and for the frenzied

audience-participation parties it has spawned at midnight screenings

throughout the decades.

Curry was born in Grappenhall, Cheshire, England, the son of a Navy

Methodist chaplain. He was a boy soprano in church at age six and

tackled Shakespearean roles at 10. He attended Cambridge and Birmingham

universities, studying drama and English. Curry was featured in the

London production of 'Hair' from 1968-70 and then studied with the

Royal Court and Glasgow Civic Repertory companies. In 1973, he won the

Frank N. Furter role in the original London production of 'The Rocky

Horror Show' after auditioning with the Little Richard song, 'Tutti

Frutti.' He re-created the role in L.A. and on Broadway, as well as in

the 1975 film version, and is featured on all of the stage-cast recordings

and on the movie soundtrack. Curry's first album, Read My Lips , was

released on A&M Records in 1978 and featured covers of songs by Joni

Mitchell, the Beatles and Burt

Bacharach. 'I Do The Rock,' from his 1979 follow-up, Fearless , brought

him the most non-'Rocky Horror' attention on the rock scene. The Curry-penned

song, a hilarious send-up of British and American culture past and present,

received FM airplay in the States and was a club hit.

After a less successful 1981 album, Simplicity ,

Curry began to shift his career emphasis to stage and screen. In 1981, he

received a Tony Award nomination for playing Mozart in 'Amadeus.' He

starred in 1982's 'Annie'; 1985's 'Clue,' the film version of the

popular board game; 1990's 'The Hunt For Red October'; and 1993's

'National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1'; among other movies. In 1992, he

was again nominated for a Tony, this time for 'My Favorite Year.' He

spent the latter half of the decade providing comic voices to such children's

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films as 'The Pebble and The Penguin' (1984); and 'Beauty and The Beast: An

Enchanted Christmas' (1997). Also in '97, Curry starred in a failed television

series with Annie Potts, 'Over The

Top.' According to Reuters, he has just signed a deal with the Warner

Bros. network to star in a new series, 'The Tim Curry Show.' Curry

has said his favorite music is that of Billie Holiday and his favorite album is Lou

Reed's Berlin (1973).

Other birthdays: Mark Volman (the Turtles), 54.