10 Years Ago, Tim Curry Had a Stroke. He’s Now in a Wheelchair but Continues to Make Jokes and Dedicate Himself to the Job He Loves

Tim Curry has devoted his life to acting. His roles have been varied and memorable, even when taking up very little screen time. The butler from Home Alone 2 is a case in point. But in 2012, Tim suffered a stroke, which changed his life. He had to go through a tough recovery and has been using a wheelchair ever since. It was only laughter and the job he loves that saved him from falling apart.

Tim has been drawn to all things stage-related since he was a child. He sang from the age of six, studied drama at university, and even started his own street theatre company with friends. And in order to get his first professional role in a musical, Tim even resorted to trickery. He lied about having both experience and membership in a special actors’ association. When his lie was uncovered, the producers were already impressed by Tim’s talent and even paid his union fees.

Courtesy Everett Collection / East News

Tim’s success in that very first musical was resounding and that was just the beginning. He played Dr Frank-N-Furter in the theatrical production of Rocky Horror Picture Show and it was so phenomenal that Tim was asked to do it again, this time for a Hollywood film of the same name. This made him truly famous.

That said, he didn’t comment on this iconic role for years, breaking silence only in 2005.

That first performance that introduced me to everybody was so out there, so outrageous, I was a very quiet boy for a while to make sure that people got it, that it wasn’t necessarily who I was.

Afterwards, Tim’s career gained more and more momentum. He was the intimidating Pennywise in It, the flattering concierge in Home Alone 2 and the charismatic villain in Charlie’s Angels. Incidentally, his Pennywise was so frightening that children didn’t even have to feign fear; they really were scared of him.

The actor also excelled musically: he released three solo albums. But Tim’s career came to a very abrupt halt in 2012.

In 2012, Tim Curry suffered a stroke. His friends and family did their best to keep the actor’s illness a secret, but the news leaked to the tabloids anyway. Tim admits that humor was the one thing that helped him overcome all the difficulties, and it’s basically built into his DNA. He even said that maintaining the ability to make jokes about himself was vital to his recovery.

Michael Germana / Everett Collection / East News

Tim Curry in 2015.

Even after such a tough challenge, Tim didn’t leave the job he loved. Only now the actor was mainly involved in voice-over work and rarely appeared in public. But in 2015, Tim delighted fans by appearing on the red carpet to receive an award for his artistic achievements. After that, the actor started meeting fans regularly at various conventions, and in 2020 he even reprised his iconic role as Dr Frank-N-Furter by reading the original script in a live stream.

Tim Curry in 2021.

Most recently, in 2022, he returned to work again. Tim became the voice of the narrator in the film Fork. The actor has definitely proven that there’s nothing that can break a person, and that no illness can hinder one’s love for their work. And the recognition he keeps receiving gives him the strength to carry on.

“It means that it just sort of solidifies the kind of work the American acting community has given me for years now. It’s very gracious of them, I think. I was thrilled when they told me and I am thrilled now.”
Preview photo credit Home Alone 2: Lost in New York / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producers, Michael Germana / Everett Collection / East News
Cheery/People/10 Years Ago, Tim Curry Had a Stroke. He’s Now in a Wheelchair but Continues to Make Jokes and Dedicate Himself to the Job He Loves
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