Tim Curry once got booted from a movie theater, mistaken for a Rocky Horror impersonator

The actor made a rare onscreen appearance as Monk’s nemesis in 2004. In 1975, he took a break from acting to distance himself from Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail," an iconic actor fills in for the role of "Dale the Whale," one of Monk’s greatest enemies, but you have to look under a lot of makeup to see which iconic actor it is.

In 2004, Tim Curry became the second actor to play Dale, a financier whom Monk saw as ruthless. It was a role previously played by Adam Arkin in the show’s first season.

Curry only filled in for this one guest spot on Monk, but in his career, this one guest spot marks a rare onscreen appearance for the actor who distanced himself from onscreen acting after he famously became disenchanted by fans who were obsessed with his Rocky Horror Picture Show character, Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

These fans became so fascinated by the cult film, that starting from its debut, they would notoriously dress up like characters from the movie and make mayhem disrupting screenings at movie theaters nationwide in 1975.

Curry said this rampant fandom even once got him booted from a movie theater where he had gone with friends to see his own movie – because he was mistaken for being his own impersonator.

The actor told The Ottawa Citizen in 1979 that the New York movie theater where they went had a manager who was so sick and tired of all the Rocky Picture fan antics – which included dancing in the aisles and shouting added lines throughout the film – he banned all impersonators from attending viewings.

So when Curry went to buy his ticket, a gum-chewing cashier rolled her eyes at him.

"They said I was just another look-alike and kicked me out," he sighed.

Curry protested, but he said the cashier wouldn’t crack, asking him in a heavy Brooklyn accent if he was Tim Curry how come he didn’t have long black hair like Frank-N-Furter: "What happened to your hair?"

"It was dyed, miss," Curry explained.

The cashier squinted, allowing, "Well, you do look a bit like him." Then she asked, "Smile, willya?"

Curry smiled, but his grin didn’t gain him entrance, and instead he said they kicked him out of his own movie screening.

By this point in Curry’s career, he was just as sick as the movie theater manager was of how much fans loved him as Dr. Frank-N-Furter. He had even decided to distance himself from acting altogether, turning to his first passion: rock & roll.

Even onstage at rock shows, though, he said fans expected him to sing and dance like his famously campy movie character.

Abstaining from acting was difficult for Curry, and he told The Los Angeles Times in 1979 that his time away from acting was beginning to wear on him, hinting he’d be back soon.

"I do miss acting," Curry said. "I’m having withdrawal symptoms from acting. I’m sure I’ll act again at some point, but I don’t want to think about acting now."

In the Eighties, Curry did return to acting onscreen, appearing in movies and TV shows, but he ended up getting more involved with voice work.

Voice acting would comprise most of his career in the Nineties, outside of memorable roles like Pennywise in It, Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island and the concierge in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

By the early 2000s, it became rarer and rarer to see Curry onscreen, until he suddenly joined the cast of a Family Affair reboot by stepping into the iconic shoes of Mr. Giles French, but unfortunately that role didn’t stick with audiences quite like Dr. Frank-N-Furter, and the reboot was soon canceled.

The next year, that freed him up so Curry appeared on Monk, and since then, glimpses of the iconic actor onscreen have seemed even fewer and further in-between.

In 2017, when It was being rebooted, the actor tapped to play the new version of Pennywise, Bill Skarsgård, explained why fans continue to treasure Curry’s character work, whenever he does make time to step back onscreen.

"Tim Curry is Tim Curry and no one will do Tim Curry as good as Tim Curry," Skarsgård said to The Tribune News Service.

We just wish Skarsgård had been with Curry that night at the movie theater to defend him against that gum-chewing cashier that kicked him out.

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Runeshaper 29 months ago
That's a funny story now, but I'm sure Tim wasn't feeling the greatest at that movie theater. He truly is a GREAT actor! I love him in Clue! (-:
SilentJay2099 30 months ago
Still the best Halloween video ever made:
bnichols23 SilentJay2099 29 months ago
"You're not the worst witch any more." -- Half-Holiday to SilentJay :) I remember that vid from when my kid was a kid & we watched it a lot. He's still a RHPS fan, & is indoctrinating his almost-2-yr-old.
Reginia 30 months ago
They did a remake with Laverne Cox which I didn’t care for but it’s always hard to top the originals
Reginia 30 months ago
Just watched Rocky Horror last night on streaming. Love it
JimmyD 30 months ago
I can't believe the article didn't mention his role as "Darkness" in the movie "Legend". Talk about a makeup job.
Runeshaper JimmyD 29 months ago
That was a GREAT film!
AnnieM 30 months ago
I thought he was the best Pennywise.
KeithJ 30 months ago
Going to RHPS, dressing up, singing along etc made it the cult classic it is. Cinema owners saw the movie tanking and realized that it was the same group of people seeing it over and over again. Midnight movies were a big thing in the late 70s and well into the 80s, thus was born the classic Friday and Saturday night showings with costumed performances, sing alongs, and recited riffs to the film.
bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
Does anyone know who played
Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Picture Show?
Will Svengoolie ever show:
1 The Rocky Horror Picture Show
2 Beatlejuice
2 My Demon Lover
4 Ten Little Indians
5 Clue
Shock Treatment 6
7 Earth Girls Are Easy
8 Fiend Without A Face
9 Gremlins
10 House of Usher
My favorite character on
Beatlejuice was Otho and
Riff Raff on RHPS.
Moverfan bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
I'm in for Ten Little Indians, Earth Girls Are Easy (love Jeff Goldblum--and Jim Carrey's in it too) and Clue with all three endings. As for the rest--no, thank you, do NOT like to be scared. (Hell, why not throw in Jeff Goldblum and Ed Begley, Jr. In Transylvania 6-5000? Wonderfully funny movie!)
Most of these movies are owned by studios who prefer the streaming services! Also Svengoolie does horror and sci-fi but not mysteries!
KeithJ bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
Riff was played by the autho/creator of the Rocky Horror Show play Richard O'Brian who also made a (kinda) sequel called Shock Treatment.
Moverfan 30 months ago
Just watched Transylvania 6-5000. Entertaining!
Michael Moverfan 30 months ago
I'd love to see the "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" from 1980. Jeff Goldblum plays Ichabod Crane. I watched it when it was new, I remember it but no details.

It was made for tv, I thiught by Classics Illustrated when they were trying to move from comics to tv.think

Svengoolie seems to play older and sometimes lesser films, a lot of that list wouldn't fit, even if he could get the rights
Barry22 30 months ago
I went to several midnight screenings of RHPS, they were pretty funny. Maybe that's what inspired MST3K? The soundtrack is great, I had the record and have it on CD. He also put out several albums in the 70's and 80's, that were pretty good. Wasn't he the bad guy in that terrible McHale's Navy movie, the one from the 90's?
bnichols23 Barry22 29 months ago
"We stole Vladikov's vodka! SURPRISE!"
bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
2 Movies for.Svengoolie:
The.Rocky Horror Picture Show

I like the TIME WARP song
From The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Shake
Shake Shake Senora from
There was a remake of
The Rocky Horror Picture Show on ABC a while back
with a woman taking the
place of Tim Curry .
Who played Riff Raff in the
Tim Curry version of TRHPS?Also I've heard rumors for a couple of years about Beatlejuice 2
But it still has not happened.
Snickers bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
Don't you think Beatlejuice gets enough air time during Halloween? It's on just about every cable channel and it's not even scary.
JimmyD bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
Riff Raff was played by Richard O'Brien, he wrote the original play and all the music for the movie.
Michael Snickers 30 months ago
I got Beetlejuice last year on DVD, it was about ten dollars, actually blu-ray.
BobInBG78 30 months ago
He was perfectly cast as the butler in the star-studded snd hilarious CLUE movie. "One plus two plus two"
LynCarceo BobInBG78 30 months ago
How I 1st knew him. Never seen Rocky Horror.
OldTVfanatic 30 months ago
You’ve got to see this to believe it
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denny cperrynaples 29 months ago
Look below for video. I didn't know about the stroke either but came across this a couple weeks ago.
gracie200 denny 29 months ago
wow, this made my heart hurt. Always loved Tim Curry and just seeing him like this made me kinda sad. I hope he has a bunch of really good days ahead of him. Thanks for sharing this video Denny.
gracie200 cperrynaples 29 months ago
I'm assuming since you're a masked singer fan you will have watched last week - but just in case you missed it the Jester was unmasked....and as you can see it was not Tim Curry, and my guesses didn't even come close to being right about the star - i was waay off, lol.
cperrynaples gracie200 29 months ago
I did see it and I know it was Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols!
CaptainDunsel 30 months ago
Tim Curry played the *creepiest* villain ever on a two part episode of Criminal Minds. And man did that show have some creepy bad guys.
LynCarceo CaptainDunsel 30 months ago
I had to look several times to realize it was him. Seriously creepy.
gracie200 CaptainDunsel 29 months ago
oh yes, i am a criminal minds fan and remember that episode.....hated it so much. one of the few reruns that i will absolutely not watch - i'll change the channel. he plays a great bad guy in many many parts (my fave was cardinal richeleiu on the 3 musketeers with keifer sutherland and chris o'donnell) but i just cannot watch this CM ep.
CaptainDunsel gracie200 29 months ago
Made me want to take a shower just from watching him.
Sway 30 months ago
Tim Curry in the TV show Wiseguy for a few episodes in the late 80's. Good show.
LoveMETV22 30 months ago
He was Hilarious in his concierge role in Home Alone 2.
cperrynaples MrsPhilHarris 30 months ago
Not so for a certain real estate guy who talks to Kevin! Whatever happened to him...LOL!
Moverfan cperrynaples 29 months ago
You mean that fat orange guy? He DID just kind of vanish from the face of the Earth, didn't he? (We can hope, anyway...)
WordsmithWorks 30 months ago
So the relevance to MeTV is Curry's one-off guest role on "Monk?" A bit of a stretch, no?
😂 I didn’t even notice. I think my mind is geared to skip over any mention of Monk.
Snickers MrsPhilHarris 30 months ago
I agree when I hear Monk I go into brain freeze.
Michael WordsmithWorks 30 months ago
No, it's probably the scene in Home Alone 2 where he finds the credit card is stolen, and the light over his head goes on. It's such a reference to The Grinch that I have to think twice to remember that Tim Curry is not in The Grinch.
Michael 30 months ago
I don't get this story. People weren't pretending to be Tim Curry, they were dressing like his character.

He shows up as Tim Curry, he's just some guy. How would he even be recognized? But it was the people dressing up.that bothered the theatre, not people who looked like Tim Curry. Why wouod they even notice him as more than any ticket buyer?
WordsmithWorks Michael 30 months ago
Yeah, I thought that was odd.
KJExpress Michael 30 months ago
I agree. That made no sense.
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