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.
Picking up where we left off.
Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (1971)
Today it’s regarded as one of the quintessential family films (along with The Wizard Of Oz and The Princess Bride) and a touchstone for many Generation Xers. But upon its release in 1971, Mel Stuart’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic novel ended the year as fifty-third of the highest grossing films of that year.
However, by the mid-late 80s, repeat showings of it on TV along with increased sales on VHS (and later DVD and Blu-Ray), helped it find a following with a new generation. This continues to this day. Wonka has also survived a not-bad but unnecessary 2005 remake by Tim Burton.