Timothy Agoglia Carey (March 11, 1929 – May 11, 1994) was an American film and television character actor.[2] He was born in Brooklyn, New York. Carey was best known for portraying manic or violent characters who are driven to extremes.


One of his most recognized early roles was in the Stanley Kubrick film The Killing (1956),[2] in which he portrayed a gunman hired to shoot a racehorse as a diversion from a racetrack robbery-in-progress. Because of the impression Carey made in this small part, Kubrick cast him in the World War I drama Paths of Glory (1957),[2] 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 during the filming. Due to this behavior, a scene in which Carey and the other actors were served a duck dinner as a final meal before execution required 57 takes to complete. Carey then faked his own kidnapping to reap personal publicity, which prompted Kubrick and producer James B. Harris to fire him. As a result of this incident, 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.

The 1957 film Bayou (retitled Poor White Trash) featured one of Carey's few leading roles, as a Cajun shopkeeper named Ulysses.

He had roles in East of Eden, The Wild One, One-Eyed Jacks,[2] The Boy and the Pirates, Beach Blanket Bingo.[2] and in the John Cassavetes-directed films Minnie and Moskowitz and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie.[2] He played a minor role as the Angel of Death in the comedy film D.C. Cab, and appeared in the Monkees vehicle Head. His final appearance was in the 1986 movie Echo Park. Carey also did a select amount of acting on TV 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.[2] 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. This movie established Carey as a pioneering figure in independent film. During a 1963 appearance on the Steve Allen TV 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," even though the general public wouldn't have the opportunity to see the film he was talking about for another 50 years.[5]

Carey died of a stroke in 1994 at the age of 65 in Los Angeles, and was buried at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California.

Partial filmography