Timothy Carey

Timothy Agoglia Carey (March 11, 1929 – May 11, 1994) was an American film and television character actor.[1] Carey was best known for portraying manic or violent characters who are driven to extremes.

Timothy Carey
Timothy Carey (Portrait)
Timothy Agoglia Carey

(1929-03-11)March 11, 1929
Brooklyn, New York, United States
DiedMay 11, 1994(1994-05-11) (aged 65)
OccupationActor, film director
Years active1951–1990
Height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Spouse(s)Doris Carey; 6 children


He made his screen debut with a minor role in Billy Wilder's 1951 movie The Big Carnival (alternately titled Ace in the Hole). One of Carey's most recognized early roles was in the 1956 Stanley Kubrick film The Killing,[1] in which he portrayed a gunman hired to shoot a racehorse as a diversion from a racetrack robbery. Kubrick then cast him in his next film, the World War I drama Paths of Glory (1957),[1] as one of three soldiers accused of cowardice.

During the filming of Paths of Glory, Carey was reportedly disruptive and tried to draw more attention to his character. Due to this behavior, a scene in which Carey and the other actors were served a duck dinner as a final meal before execution took 57 takes to complete. Carey then faked his own kidnapping to generate personal publicity, which prompted Kubrick and producer James B. Harris to fire him. As a result, the film does not depict the three condemned soldiers during the battle scene, and a double was used during a scene in which a priest hears Carey's character's confession. The scene was filmed with the double's back to the camera.[2]

The 1957 film Bayou (later retitled Poor White Trash) featured one of Carey's few leading roles, as a demented Cajun shopkeeper named Ulysses. Carey had roles in East of Eden, The Wild One, One-Eyed Jacks,[1] The Boy and the Pirates, Bikini Beach, Beach Blanket Bingo[1] and in the John Cassavetes-directed films Minnie and Moskowitz and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie.[1]

He played a minor role as the Angel of Death in the comedy film D.C. Cab, and appeared in the Monkees self-parody musical comedy Head. His final appearance was in the 1986 movie Echo Park. Carey also did a select amount of acting on television from the 1950s through the 1980s.

According to director Quentin Tarantino, Carey auditioned for the role of Joe Cabot in Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. Although Carey did not get the role, the screenplay was dedicated to him, among others.[3]

Carey's face (from the movie The Killing) is positioned behind George Harrison on the cover of The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Although Carey's image is not seen on the commercially released version of the cover, it can be seen on outtake photos from the Sgt. Pepper session.[4]

The World's Greatest Sinner

Carey wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the 1962 feature The World's Greatest Sinner, whose music soundtrack was scored by a young, pre-Mothers of Invention Frank Zappa.[1] Although it did not have wide commercial release, the film achieved cult status through repeated screenings at the "midnight movies" in Los Angeles in the 1960s. During a 1963 appearance on The Steve Allen Show during which he generated musical sounds on bicycles, Zappa talked about scoring the soundtrack for The World's Greatest Sinner, which he called "the world's worst movie."[5]

The movie was featured as a midnight show at the TCM Festival in Hollywood in April 2018. His son Romeo Carey introduced the film.

Personal life

Carey was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to a family of Italian and Irish descent.[6] He was the nephew of Sylvester Agoglia and Fiore "Fury" Agoglia, associates of gangster Al Capone.

Carey and his wife Doris had six children: Romeo, Mario, Velencia, Silvana, Dagmar and Germain.

Carey died of a stroke in 1994 at the age of 65 in Los Angeles.[7] His body is interred at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California.

Partial filmography


  1. "Timothy Carey, 65, A Character Actor". The New York Times. May 17, 1994.
  2. Interview with Producer James B. Harris on the Criterion Collection home video release of Paths Of Glory'"
  3. "Quentin Tarantino". YouTube.
  4. "'The Sgt Pepper Album Cover Shoot Dissected'". Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  5. Zappa appearance on Steve Allen Show, 1963
  6. "THE WONDERFUL HORRIBLE LIFE OF TIMOTHY CAREY". Uno Mas Magazine. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  7. "Timothy Carey, 65, A Character Actor," obituary, The New York Times, May 17,1994
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