This Man Is a Huge Movie Star – He Hid Illness Which Confined Him to Wheelchair, Changed His Speech & Look

This man is one of the most prolific actors known for his diverse roles in TV, theatre, and film. His timeless works have lasted decades, and he prides himself in being an industry trailblazer. Unfortunately, the actor suffered a life-threatening illness in 2012 that slurred his speech and changed his looks. Nevertheless, he remains optimistic and continues to impact lives.

This actor is celebrated for numerous films. His journey toward stardom started when the actor took his first breath on April 19, 1946.

Born in Grappenhall, Warrington, United Kingdom, his family relocated to Hong Kong when he was only an infant but moved back to England when his father suffered a stroke. In his formative years, the actor spent much time with his maternal grandfather.

Growing up, he knew he always wanted to be an actor, but he discovered his voice first and began singing in church. He could already hit high soprano notes at age six, and at ten, he appeared in his first William Shakespeare play.

Even though none of his family members were actors — his mother, Patricia, was a school secretary, and his dad, James, a Methodist Royal Navy chaplain — he seemed destined for a life in show business.

After completing high school at the Kingswood School, he attended Birmingham University to study drama, and while there, he had his first brush with fame. He shared a house with actor, screenwriter, and director Patrick Barlow, who thought he had an incredible singing voice:

“I remember being amazed by his extraordinary singing voice – it was just completely perfect, just something he was born with – it came ready-made.”

Barlow recalls how they would go out for drinks and fun, and at the end of the night, the actor would break out in song. However, despite his rich bluesy singing voice, the actor’s talent was still undiscovered.

Shortly after graduating with a combined drama and theatre studies degree at Birmingham University, he was denied admission to the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Still, he was determined to reach his acting goal one way or another. He and his friends got into a car and headed to London, and within a day of being there, he had landed his first professional gig.

Tim Curry during 1994 Cable Ace Awards in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
Tim Curry during 1994 Cable Ace Awards in Los Angeles, California, United States | Source: Getty Images

His first role was to sing in the beloved yet controversial musical “Hair,” a part he almost missed out on. The producers soon discovered that he had no prior acting experience, but they were so impressed with his voice that they decided to give him a chance. “Hair” became the actor’s saving grace, and he was instantly thrown into fame.

The stage was set for him, and soon after, he started working with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Glasgow Civic Repertory Company. However, it was while working with the Royal Court Theatre that he delivered his first-ever acting role that would redefine the course of his life and cement his place in the business.

Actor Tim Curry attending ‘ABC Summer Press Tour’ on July 21, 1997 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Pasadena, California | Source: Getty Images

His magnificent rendition of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in “The Rocky Horror Show” in London and Los Angeles in 1973 and 1974 shot him to instant prominence. Still, his reprisal of the role in the 1975 Hollywood production of the show became a game-changer.

The show was an instant success and became a cult classic, throwing the actor into unprecedented levels of stardom. From there, he hit the ground running, appearing in other fan favorites such as the Broadway production of “Amadeus,” and “My Favorite Year.”

Besides Broadway, the actor also receives acclaim for playing diverse roles as Pennywise the Dancing Clown in “It,” Wadsworth in “Clue,” Darkness in “Legend,” and Rooster Hannigan in “Annie.” In 1992, he again garnered further acclaim with his appearance as the stuffy and suspicious Mr. Hector in the timeless “Home Alone: Lost in New York.”

His talents are, however, not limited to acting as he has also voiced numerous characters such as Sir Nigel Thornberry in “The Wild Thornberrys,” Hexxus in “FernGully: The Last Rainforest,” Captain Hook in “Peter Pan & the Pirates,” and Palpatine in “Star Wars” The Clone Wars.”

Actor Tim Curry presents the award for Excellence in Film, Contemporary during the 5th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on March 16, 2003 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Over the years, he continued taking on exciting roles that have made him successful. For someone who has been in the limelight for decades, Tim Curry has remained relatively private about his personal life.

He does not fancy talking about his love life as he feels it should not interest his fans. However, what’s known about him is that he has never married and has no children.

Tim Curry during “The Shadow” Press Conference, 1993 at Universal Studios in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

Tim Curry during “The Shadow” Press Conference, 1993 at Universal Studios in Universal City, California, United States | Source: Getty Images

And while we cannot entirely dismiss the possible existence of a partner, there is no public reference or sightings of the actor’s significant other. What we do know, however, is that he had an older sister, who is since deceased, and is an uncle of three — two nieces and a nephew.

What Happened to Tim Curry After the Stroke?
Even after decades of staying on top of his game, Curry did not seem to be slowing down until a life-changing event stopped him in his tracks. In 2012, the actor suffered a stroke that confined him to a wheelchair.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – OCTOBER 14: Actor Tim Curry attends the premiere of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do The Time Warp Again” at The Roxy Theatre on October 13, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Actor Tim Curry attends the premiere of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do The Time Warp Again” at The Roxy Theatre on October 13, 2016 in West Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

The stroke changed his appearance and slurred his speech, and while he thankfully survived, it altered the course of his life.

For a while, his illness remained a secret, with those who knew about it — close friends and family — keeping mum for close to a year after it happened. But ultimately, DailyMail caught wind of the tragedy and let the cat out of the bag.

Actor Tim Curry poses for a photo during Emerald City Comic Con at Washington State Convention Center on December 04, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. | Source: Getty Images

He had to undergo rigorous physical and speech therapy in the ensuing years. Yet, he has managed to maintain a sense of humor through it all:

“It’s not tough to maintain. It is just part of my DNA.”

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – DECEMBER 04: Actor Tim Curry blows a kiss to fans during Emerald City Comic Con at the Sheraton Grand Hotel on December 04, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)

Actor Tim Curry blows a kiss to fans during Emerald City Comic Con at the Sheraton Grand Hotel on December 04, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. | Source: Getty Images

Despite his predicament, the actor has remained optimistic and chooses to see only the good side of the situation. “I do try to look on the bright side of life because I think it’s dull and annoying to look on the dark side of life, and you’re no fun to be with. And I think that’s a personal responsibility of everyone,” he said.

In the years following his stroke, Curry did not sit and sulk. Instead, he has become involved in numerous charity works. He has done a few benefits for the Actors Fund, which he says is a marvelous organization but one he hopes he never gets to use.

Gradually, he is returning to public events, and in 2016, he attended a movie premiere and a comic convention in North Carolina in 2019. In 2020, he also appeared at the live stream reading of the original “Rocky Horror” script.

He has also kept in touch with his fans, and even though he once disclosed that he did not open fan mail that made its way to his house, he will occasionally catch up with fans via video calls and talk about his life as an actor and his films. His speech remains slightly slurred due to the stroke, but he is still just as funny and engaging as he’s always been.

Despite all the changes he has survived, his fans will forever remember his iconic films. Curry has been part of many famous films which have been passed down through generations. Although the actor won’t be seen on screens, his fans still raved about him, “That’s SO sad. He’s a brilliant actor. Bless him,” said a commenter.

Many more shared the same sentiments saying, he was “excellent” and “funny,” but as he continued to live with the changes of his stroke, his die-hard fans still sent him “prayers and hugs.”

Tim Curry’s Once-Home and Gorgeous Garden
In 1992, at the height of his career, the actor purchased a gorgeous Spanish colonial-style villa with a jaw-dropping garden. The home, constructed in 1922 by Los Angeles architect Stiles O. Clements sits on a 2.2 acres parcel of land at 2666 Aberdeen Avenue in Los Angeles. It was one of the first houses built in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The actor disclosed that at the time of purchasing the property, he had not been looking to buy a house, and it was “a total mistake.” A friend, who understood the actor’s love for gardens, had come across the property, and when the realtor saw it, he came to Curry and told him:

“There’s an extraordinary house that’s come on the market with what could be an amazing garden.”

The house — painted a Campbell’s tomato soup color — was a wreck, and it would take them serious work and effort to make it look habitable. Nevertheless, Curry went, saw it, and put in a bid immediately.

Despite the state of the property, the actor remained undeterred by the apparent amount of work it would require before it looked anything close to a home, “I wanted a lifetime garden that I could work on till I fell off a twig,” he said.

His determination unwavering, he got to work; but taming the garden was rigorous work because of its enormous size and because it had remained untended for so long. The garden was filled with weeds and skunk nests, and he says coyotes strolled by and looked at him as if he was trespassing their territory.

Landscaper Barry Sattels says they removed 40 tons of weeds, but soon their efforts started bearing fruit as they came upon stone paths beneath the dirt. Sattels and his team restored the pathways with Lompoc stone and divided the grounds into higher and lower sections. They enhanced the dramatic appeal of the garden by combining plants and textures.

The lower section bore an English garden with silver and lavender mound artemisia and 150 rose bushes. They created a Mediterranean area with potato vines dangling from an old avocado tree and a higher section with cacti and succulents backed by a black volcanic rock and a white stone amphitheater. And above that, a tropical poolside area with toyon pines and camellia bushes.

Curry also made two patios with benches where he could watch the sunrise from one and the sunset from the other. The garden became a source of pride for the actor, and he would often be pictured tending to it and watering the flowers. Every morning, he would inspect it, preen it, and prune it, eventually turning it into a breathtaking haven. He shared his plans for the garden, saying:

“The idea is organizing nature not just into pleasing shapes but also as a kind of spiritual resource.”

While he never was a party circuit, he occasionally loved hosting in his garden and became known as a generous host. Curry also shares his scenic house with his beloved dog, Frank.

While only a little information is available concerning the house’s interior, photos from Tim Curry News Facebook page show a picturesque interior with shades and hues of orange dominating the space. The home featured high windows that brought in plenty of natural light and furniture that matched the theme. It also boasted a reading nook with a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf and comfy-looking couch.

The bedroom contained simple furniture, arched ceilings, doors, and oversized windows. And like the sitting area, it also featured photos and art pieces mounted on the walls.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 07: Actor Tim Curry and Marcia Hurwitz attend The Actors Fund’s 19th Annual Tony Awards viewing party at Skirball Cultural Center on June 7, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

A few years after enjoying the picturesque home, the actor sold it in 2000, and the ownership has since shifted from Curry to Robert Pattinson, Noah Wyle, and Jim Parsons. However, the actor never abandoned his city and still lives in Los Angeles in a home with a much more modest garden and a little sunny sanctuary where he works on his tan.

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