Tim Curry is turning 71 today. The English actor began a distinguished stage career as part of the original West End cast of the musical Hair in 1968. He is a three-time Tony nominee—for playing Mozart in the original Broadway production of Amadeus, Alan Swann in the musical adaptation of My Favorite Year, and King Arthur in Spamalot. He also has received two Olivier Award nominations, for playing The Pirate King in a revival of The Pirates of Penzance, and again for Spamalot.
Another of Curry’s stage roles led to the beginning of his film career: he played Dr. Frank N. Furter in the original London production of The Rocky Horror Show, and then returned to the role in the film adaptation in 1975. He has played a diverse range of characters on screen through the years, often but not always villainous and/or comic. He has played Cardinal Richelieu in a version of The Three Musketeers, Wadsworth the butler in Clue, and a Romanian philanthropist in Congo. He’s even worked with the Muppets.
They don’t make ’em like they used to. In the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Dream Factory took in hopeful actresses and turned them into big screen bombshells. In the March 2002 issue of Movieline, the magazine deconstructed the building of five cinematic sirens.
In the eighties, Don Simpson was one half of the hottest production team in Hollywood. But he died of a drug overdose midway through the following decade. Simpson’s death, while not exactly surprising given his lifestyle, sent shock-waves through Hollywood. In the June 1996 issue of Movieline magazine, David Thomson examined the phenomenon of death in Tinseltown.
Warning, this one is morbid and gruesome. Not for the faint of heart.