Known to legions of obsessed fans for writing, directing, and playing hunchbacked butler Riff Raff in the legendary cult movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show, British-born Richard O'Brien grew up in New Zealand. His father, an accountant, decided to switch career paths and become a sheep farmer when O'Brien was just nine, possibly planting in the young tyke the idea to make a movie about square people shaking off the strictures of modern life.
He became interested in science fiction movies and rock & roll at a young age, and in 1964, he moved back to England to pursue a singing and acting career. Working in the theater, he met director Jim Sharman while appearing in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar. He would come to work with Sharman on his own musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which opened on-stage in 1973. By 1975, O'Brien was adapting the play for the screen, unknowingly creating a massive cultural phenomenon.