Truly one of the greats, actor Timothy Carey
was unparalleled in his career in his portrayals of creepy, scary,
dirty, slimy swarthy bastards. No one did it better -- no one ever will.
In addition to a very eclectic filmography as an actor,
he also directed at least one bonafide classic. (ITEM: I
just spell-checked "Bonafide, and got "Bonaire!"
Sadly, Timothy Carey Carey died on May 11, 1994 as a result of his
fourth stroke in less than six years, right before THE INSECT TRAINER
went on stage.
IMO, he was both "The World’s Greatest Sinner," and
"The World’s Greatest Actor." Certainly the former for his
brilliant film of the same name, and certainly the latter in the categories
of "Cult Actor" and "Villain!"
First about his being typecast as a "villain." If you’re
not familiar with the man’s work, just take a look at that mug of his.
He was born to play the no good, the swarthy nasty who always
gets the girl (although frequently, she doesn’t want him and
the downright evil -- and he loved every minute of it. And it
wouldn’t be too surprising if you were not familiar with his work.
That’s part of what makes him a "Cult Actor" – you’ve
got to work to find him. But the funny part is, you’ve probably seen
him before because he was one of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite actors
(but even Stanley probably couldn’t find roles for him in 2001
or Barry Lyndon.
NOTE: Sorry, but I need a break here.
Eventually, I'll probably write many pages on this unique actor. In the
meantime, don't miss his performance as the sleazy, racist "Horse
Sniper" in Kubrick's early classic, The Killing. Also,
check-out Kubrick's following film, the one even most all critics agree
is a classic, Paths of Glory, where Carey is one of three
soldiers sentenced to die (along with another fave, Ralph Meeker, who
can see in just about the best example of film noir, Kiss Me Deadly),
and his slow, measured breakdown into a whiny wease' begging for his
life. And, you get Kirk Douglas, too. Finally, don't miss his wild,
uninhibited dance in Poor White Trash (aka Bayou), where
Cajun-Carey out-Ziggys Bowie! I'm not kiddin'. In fact, the filmakers
liked it so much, the edited in/repeated the dance about four or five
times in the film
watch this space and hopefully someday I'll have the time to finish. In
the meantime, keep yourself busy with all these links...
ITEM: Probably the best piece I have ever read on Mr. Carey, ran
in Psychotronic magazine back in 1990. Psychotronic Video magazine
is the best magazine out there for film fans. Period. I have
gotten every issue since I found #2 at the newsstand on Hollywood &
Cahuenga back ion the 1980s. If you don’t subscribe, you should.
Michael Weldon, the man behind both the magazine and the two Psychotronic
Film/Video books (which you also HAVE to own – no question), is an
acquaintance of mine and I hope he doesn’t mind my reprinting this
here ( Psychotronic Timothy Carey
Timothy Carey Links
Essay -- hopefully -- soon come...