Date of Birth : Mar 25th 1942
English writer, actor, television presenter and theatre performer. He is perhaps best known for writing the cult musical The Rocky Horror Show and for his role in presenting the popular TV show The Crystal Maze. In addition to writing The Rocky Horror Show O’Brien also starred in its 1975 film adaptation The Rocky Horror Picture Show as the character Riff Raff. The stage show has been in almost continuous production since, and the cinematic version is one of the best known and most ardently followed cult films of all time.
O’Brien joined several stage productions as an actor. In 1972, he met director Jim Sharman who would help make his draft of a gothic-themed, schlock-horror comic-book fantasy romp into a reality. The script took O’Brien 6 months to write. Sharman suggested changing the working title from They Came from Denton High, and The Rocky Horror Show opened in June 1973.
O’Brien tried to repeat the success and cult status that The Rocky Horror Picture Show gained, with a follow-up movie, 1981’s Shock Treatment. Four other members of the original film-cast appeared with O’Brien in the new film, which continued the story of Brad and Janet (played by Cliff de Young and Jessica Harper). Over the years it has achieved minor cult status, mostly thanks to the Rocky Horror phenomenon. Fans of Rocky Horror were disappointed by the absence of both the Dr. Frank-N-Furter character, and Tim Curry, who played him. Curry had been offered the role of Farley Flavors, but turned it down over concerns about the required American accent. O’Brien wrote new songs for the film, which also features a rare film appearance by Australian actor Barry Humphries (famous for his character Dame Edna Everage).