Known for movies

Short Info

DiedMay 18, 1980, Macclesfield, United Kingdom
SpouseDeborah Curtis
MarkBaritone singing voice
FactIs portrayed by Sean Harris in 24 Hour Party People (2002).

Ian Kevin Curtis (15 July 1956 – 18 May 1980) was an English singer-songwriter and musician. He is best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Joy Division.

Curtis was born in Stretford, Lancashire, and grew up in Macclesfield, Cheshire. He was educated at King’s School, Macclesfield, and later attended the University of Manchester. He married Deborah Woodruff in 1975 and they had a daughter, Natalie, born the following year.

Curtis began experiencing epileptic seizures in 1979, and these increased in frequency over the next year. On the evening of 18 May 1980, Curtis committed suicide at his home in Macclesfield. His body was discovered by his wife.

Curtis’s suicide resulted in Joy Division’s album Closer (1980) being released posthumously. The album and the single “Love Will Tear Us Apart” became international hits.

Early Life

Ian Curtis was born on 15 July 1956, in Stretford, Lancashire, England, to Kevin and Doreen Curtis. He grew up in Macclesfield, Cheshire. His father worked as a civil servant for the Ministry of Defence, while his mother worked as a secretary at a local solicitors’ office. He had two younger sisters, Karen and Julie.

Curtis was a shy and introverted child, and he found it difficult to make friends. He was interested in music from an early age, and he began playing the guitar when he was 12. He later joined a local band called the Stretford End, who played covers of songs by the Beatles and Rolling Stones.

In 1975, Curtis met Deborah Woodruff, a student at the University of Manchester. They married the following year, and their daughter Natalie was born in 1977.


In 1976, Curtis joined a band called Warsaw, who later became Joy Division. The band were influenced by punk rock, but they developed their own unique sound, which was influenced by bands such as Kraftwerk and Can.

Joy Division released their debut album, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979. The album was well-received by critics, but it was not a commercial success. The following year, the band released their second album, Closer.

On 18 May 1980, Curtis committed suicide at his home in Macclesfield. He was just 23 years old. His body was discovered by his wife.

The album Closer was released posthumously in July 1980, and it became a commercial success. The single “Love Will Tear Us Apart” also became a worldwide hit.

Physical Characteristics

Curtis was 1.73 metres (5 feet 8 inches) tall and he had brown hair and blue eyes.

General Info

Full NameIan Curtis
DiedMay 18, 1980, Macclesfield, United Kingdom
Height1.85 m
ProfessionSinger-songwriter, Songwriter


SpouseDeborah Curtis
ChildrenNatalie Curtis
ParentsDoreen Curtis, Kevin Curtis
SiblingsCarole Curtis


Music GroupsJoy Division
NominationsNME Award for Best Book

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Baritone singing voice


1All my lyrics are open to interpretation by the individual and imply many different meanings, therefore their relevance is purely subjective.


1Is portrayed by Sam Riley in Control (2007).
2Is portrayed by Sean Harris in 24 Hour Party People (2002).
3A list of Joy Division fans reads like a who's who of alternative rock: Thom Yorke, Trent Reznor, Perry Farrell, Kurt Cobain, Maynard James Keenan, Billy Corgan, Moby, Martin Gore, Bono, and Robert Smith, just to name a few die-hards.
4On 7 January, 2005, it was announced that the film based on Deborah Curtis's memoir, "Touching from a Distance", will commence production this year in Manchester; backed by US-based Claraflora, the film, with a working title of "Control", will be written by Matt Greenhalgh and directed by renowned photographer Anton Corbijn, and co-produced by Deborah Curtis and Factory Records founder Tony Wilson.
5Ian's widow, Deborah, penned a biography of her late husband in 1995 titled 'Touching from a Distance.' The movie rights were bought by Double A Films in 2001, and Michael Stock was brought on to write to direct the film.
6His second (and final) album with Joy Division - 'Closer' - is considered one of the darkest and most haunting albums in music history. The lyrics largely document Curtis's emotional turmoil leading up to his suicide.
7Hanged himself in his kitchen.
8Father of Natalie Curtis (b. 1979).
9Attempted suicide on April 8, 1980, but was released from a psychiatric hospital the following day so he could perform at a Joy Division gig. The show was cancelled due to his fragile state, and riots broke out. His distress over the rioting and guilt over an affair he had with a woman named Annick Honore contributed to his deteriorating mental state.
10Suffered from epilepsy and depression. Several times in his life he had to be carried offstage due to epileptic seizures he suffered during concerts.



Stranger Things2016TV Series writer - 1 episode
Punk's Dead: SLC Punk 22016writer: "Ceremony", "Atmosphere"
Music for Misfits: The Story of Indie2015TV Mini-Series documentary writer - 1 episode
Califórnia2015writer: "Transmission", "Ceremony"
American Horror Story2015TV Series writer - 1 episode
Halt and Catch Fire2015TV Series writer - 1 episode
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love2015Short writer: "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - as Curtis
Gotham2015TV Series writer - 1 episode
The Equalizer2014writer: "New Dawn Fades"
The Face of an Angel2014writer: "Atmosphere"
Styria2014writer: "Means to an End" - as Ian Kevin Curtis
Eshche odin god2014writer: "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - as Curtis I. K.
Parenthood2014TV Series writer - 1 episode
Trap for Cinderella2013writer: "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - as Curtis
Reason to Kill2013Short writer: "New Dawn Fades"
Girls Against Boys2012writer: "She's Lost Control"
Anton Corbijn Inside Out2012Documentary writer: "Atmosphere", "Disorder" - as Curtis
ACAB - All Cops Are Bastards2012writer: "New Dawn Fades"
No me la puc treure del cap2012TV Series writer - 1 episode
EastEnders2011TV Series writer - 2 episodes
Les géants2011writer: "No Love Lost"
Misfits2010TV Series writer - 1 episode
One Night Stand2010TV Series short writer - 1 episode
The Trip2010/Iwriter: "Atmosphere" - as Curtis
Happiness Runs2010writer: "Atmosphere" - as Ian Kevin Curtis
Criminal Minds2009TV Series writer - 1 episode
The Time Traveler's Wife2009writer: "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight2009TV Movie documentary writer: "Atmosphere" - as Ian Kevin Curtis
Skins2009TV Series writer - 1 episode
Awaydays2009writer: "Insight", "24 Hours", "Decades" uncredited
American Dad!2008TV Series writer - 1 episode
While She Was Out2008writer: "Day Of The Lords"
They Came from Manchester: Five Decades of Mancunian Pop2008TV Movie writer: "She's Lost Control"
Pigerne mod drengene2008TV Series writer: "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
Joy Division2007Documentary writer: "Decades", "Exercise One", "You're No Good For Me", "At a Later Date", "No Love Lost", "Digital", "Shadowplay", "Interlude", "Interzone", "Insight", "New Dawn Fades", "Disorder", "I Remember Nothing", "She's Lost Control", "Transmission", "Wilderness", "These Days", "Dead Souls", "Atmosphere", "Autosuggestion", "Day of the Lords", "Love Will Tear Us Apart", "Atrocity Exhibition", "Heart and Soul", "Eternal", "Isolation" - as Curtis
Control2007"No Love Lost", "Leaders of Men", "Digital", "Transmission", "Insight", "She's Lost Control", "Candidate", "Love Will Tear Us Apart", "Isolation", "Dead Souls", "Disorder", "Atmosphere", "Shadowplay"
The Signal2007writer: "Atmosphere" - as Ian Kevin Curtis
Grey's Anatomy2007TV Series writer - 1 episode
Reprise2006writer: "New Dawn Fades"
Marie Antoinette2006writer: "Ceremony"
Red Road2006writer: "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - as Curtis
Wristcutters: A Love Story2006writer: "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
NotNa2005Documentary short writer: "Atmosphere"
The Work of Director Anton Corbijn2005Video documentary writer: "Atmosphere"
House of Wax2005writer: "New Dawn Fades"
Tony Hawk's Underground 22004Video Game writer: "Warsaw"
Nathalie...2003writer: "Atmosphere" - as I.K Curtis
24 Hour Party People2002writer: "Digital", "She's Lost Control", "Love Will Tear Us Apart", "Transmission", "Atmosphere"
Lawless Heart2001writer: "Love Will Tear Us Apart" 1980
Series 7: The Contenders2001writer: "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
Donnie Darko2001writer: "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
With or Without You1999writer: "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
The Crow: City of Angels1996writer: "In a Lonely Place" - as I. Curtis
Heat1995writer: "New Dawn Fades"
The Crow1994writer: "Dead Souls"
Screen Two1984TV Series writer - 1 episode
The Uppercrust1982writer: "Love Will Tear Us Apart"

Archive Footage

Joy Division2007DocumentaryHimself
Joy Division: Under Review2006Video documentaryHimself
NotNa2005Documentary shortHimself
New Order Story1993Video documentaryHimself

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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