Cushing played the role in Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. His is most identified with the horror films of Hammer Pictures, often sharing the screen with Christopher Lee. Cushing had a variety of interests outside of acting, including collecting and battling with model soldiers, of which he owned over five thousand.  Make-up artist Roy Ashton designed the costume and make-up Cushing wore when he rose from the dead, but the actor helped Ashton develop the costume, and donned a pair of false teeth that he previously used in a disguise during the Sherlock Holmes television series. Although the idea was ultimately abandoned before filming began, Cushing and Prowse rehearsed those scenes in a set built by computer animation artist Larry Cuba. Helens health was never the best, with Olivier then invited both Peter and Helen Cushing to join his repertory company, the Old Vic, in an extensive tour of Australia.  However, Cushing was able to star in Twins of Evil (also 1971), a prequel of sorts to The Vampire Lovers, as Gustav Weil, the leader of a group of religious puritans trying to stamp out witchcraft and satanism. His mother was the daughter of a carpet merchant and considered of a lower class than her husband.  Screenwriter Jimmy Sangster wrote the protagonist as an ambitious, egotistical and coldly intellectual scientist who despised his contemporaries. Afterward, he was granted the scholarship and given odd jobs around the theatre, such as selling refreshments and working as an assistant stage manager. , He appeared in the biographical epic film John Paul Jones (1959), in which Robert Stack played the title role of the American naval fighter in the American Revolutionary War.  Although the series proved popular, Cushing felt he could not give his best performance under the hectic schedule, and he was not pleased with the final result.  A huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, Cushing was highly anxious to play the character, and reread the novels in anticipation of the role. " Donald F. Glut, a writer and filmmaker who wrote a book about the portrayals of Frankenstein, said the inner warmth of Cushing's off-screen personality was apparent on-screen even despite the horrific elements of Frankenstein, which helped add a layer of likability to the character. Cushing playe… After the end of the First World War, they returned to the county of his birth: to neighbouring Purley, Surrey, where his father, a quantity surveyor, built an art deco house on St James Road in 1926. Douglas Wilmer had previously played Holmes for the BBC, but he turned down the part in this series due to the extremely demanding filming schedule. Helen was born Violet Helene Beck on February the 8 th, 1905 in St. Petersburg, now Leningrad in the USSR. To learn how to add open license text to Wikipedia articles, please see this how-to page.  He spent the next three years in an apprenticeship at Southampton Rep., auditioning for character roles both there and in other surrounding theatres, eventually amassing almost 100 individual parts. system. , Around the same time, he portrayed the famous detective Sherlock Holmes in the Hammer production of The Hound of the Baskervilles (also 1959), an adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel of the same name.  Cushing wrote the books as what he called "a form of therapy to stop me going stark, raving mad" following the loss of his wife. inform his parents until after the fact.  The next year, Cushing starred as an Ebenezer Scrooge-like manager of a bank being robbed in the Hammer thriller film Cash on Demand (1961).  Cushing had previously stated Knox was one of his role models in developing his portrayal of Baron Frankenstein. Helen accompanied Peter to film locations O'Brien, John (20 April 2002). Cushing, Sherlock Holmes on the Screen login Violet Helene (Beck) Cushing (1905 - 1971)  Cushing also appeared in the horror film The Uncanny (1977). '", Unlike Frankenstein (1931) produced by Universal, the Hammer films revolved mainly around Victor Frankenstein, rather than his monster.  However, Cushing has claimed that Lucas originally approached him to play the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, and only decided to cast him as Tarkin instead after the two met each other.  Cushing appeared in the television film The Great Houdini (1976) as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Cushing considered this among the favourites of his films, and some critics believed it to be among his best performances, although it was one of the least seen films from his career. Later that year he was set to appear in Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971), an adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel The Jewel of Seven Stars. And then when that person is gone, there will be nothing like that in your life ever again.  He appeared alongside actor John Mills as Watson, and the two were noted by critics for their strong chemistry and camaraderie. There is the familiar saying of true love never dies. When the revolution began, Helen and As both actors were in their seventies, screenwriter N.J. REMEMBERING MICHAEL REDGRAVE who was of the generation of English actors that gave the … After a brief Although one of her lines referred to Tarkin's "foul stench," she said the actual actor smelled like "linen and lavender," something Cushing attributed to his tendency to wash and brush his teeth thoroughly before filming because of his self-consciousness about bad breath.  Nevertheless, he continued to appear in several small roles in radio, theatre and film.  Cushing prepared extensively for the role, studying the novel and taking notes in his script. , During a brief quiet period following Cushing's television work, he read in trade publications about Hammer, a low-budget production company seeking to adapt Mary Shelley's horror novel Frankenstein into a new film. I  His first audition was before the actor Allan Aynesworth, who was so unimpressed with Cushing's manner of speech that he rejected him outright and insisted he not return until he improved his diction. Cushing read Thorndike to prepare for the role, and made suggestions to make-up artist Roy Ashton about Blyss' costume and hairstyle.  Cushing and director Peter Graham Scott did not get along well during filming and at one point, when the two were having a disagreement on set, Cushing turned to cameraman Len Harris and said, "Take no notice Len.  Hammer decided to heighten the source novel's horror elements, which upset the estate of Conan Doyle, but Cushing himself voiced no objection to the creative licence because he felt the character of Holmes himself remained intact. upon the air. You have my permission to publish that ... really, you know, dear boy, it's all just killing time. Helen, being multilingual,  Around the same time, he appeared in the film Alexander the Great (1956) as the Athenian General Memnon of Rhodes.  During rehearsals, Lucas originally planned for Tarkin and Vader to use a giant screen filled with computerised architectural representations of hallways to monitor the whereabouts of Skywalker, Solo and Organa. "How Jim fixed it for horror actor Cushing" (8 May 2004). She was the daughter of a wealthy cotton mill owner and lived a life of luxury with her three sisters and two brothers. In exchange, Hammer's James Carreras thanked Cushing by paying for extensive roofing repair work that had recently been done on Cushing's recently purchased Whitstable home. He played Dr. Who in Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966) and gained the highest amount of visibility in his career with his part in the original Star Wars film. exercises. She was the daughter of a wealthy cotton mill owner and lived a life of luxury Olivier then invited both Peter and Helen Cushing to join his repertory company, the Old Vic, in an extensive tour of Australia. by these publications: Peter Cushing: An Autobiography and , Cushing struggled greatly to find work over the next few years, and became so stressed that he felt he was suffering from an extended nervous breakdown.  Picturegoer writer Margaret Hinxman, who was not complimentary of Lee's performance, praised Cushing and wrote of the film: "Although this shocker may not have created much of a monster, it may well have created something more lasting: a star! So, while I was  As with the Frankenstein film, critics largely disliked Dracula because of its violence and sexual content, deeming it inferior to the 1931 Universal version.  Cushing played Robert Knox in The Flesh and the Fiends (1960), based on the true story of the doctor who purchased human corpses for research from the serial killer duo Burke and Hare. No tragic He earned particular acclaim for his lead performance in a BBC Television adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954). The effects of his wife's death proved to be as much physical as mental. He and his older brother David were raised first in Dulwich Village, a south London suburb, and then later back in Surrey. Cushing often appeared alongside actor Christopher Lee, who became one of his closest friends, and occasionally with the American horror star Vincent Price. Fisher said she liked Cushing so much that it was difficult to act as though she hated Tarkin, and she had to substitute somebody else in her mind to muster the feelings. Peter Cushing was fiercely dedicated to his wife Helen, to whom he was married for twenty-eight years until her death in 1971. Cushing had recently undergone dental surgery and he was trying not to open his mouth widely for fear of spitting.  Unlike the character from the novel and past film versions, Cushing's Baron Frankenstein commits vicious crimes to attain his goals, including the murder of a colleague to obtain a brain for his creature.  His final acting job was narrating, along with Christopher Lee, the Hammer Films documentary Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror (1994), which was recorded only a few weeks before Cushing's death. eyes: on his head an old gray velvet hat, with a hole between the dents of At times, this put him at odds with writers and producers; Hammer Studios producer Anthony Hinds once declared him a "fusspot [and] terrible fusser about his wardrobe and everything, but never a difficult man.  Cushing continued to appear in several Amicus Productions films during this period, including Tales from the Crypt (1972), From Beyond the Grave (1973), And Now the Screaming Starts!  Along with Alec Guinness, who was ultimately cast as Kenobi, Cushing was among the best known actors at the time to appear in Star Wars, as the rest of the cast were then relatively unknown. His hands told me he was either a musician or an artist-they He had played his last for the big screen, but as time would show, he had little intention of leaving us, just yet.  In 1986, he appeared on the British television show Jim'll Fix It, hosted by Jimmy Savile, in which it was arranged for the wishes of guests to be granted. Although some childhood injuries prevented him from serving on active duty, a friend suggested he entertain the troops by performing as part of the Entertainments National Service Association.  Cushing also appeared in non-Amicus horror films like Island of Terror (1966) and The Blood Beast Terror (1968), in both of which he investigates a series of mysterious deaths. Peter Cushing, Actor: Star Wars. He left his first job as a surveyor's assistant to take up a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Cushing was born in Kenly, Surrey, the second son of George Edward Cushing and Nellie Maria Cushing. Both he and his wife feared Cushing would become typecast into horror roles, but he continued to take them because they guaranteed regular work. When this hindered the post-synching process, Olivier leaned in close to Cushing's face and said, "Now drown me. This marked his professional stage debut, although he had no lines and did little more than stand on stage behind other actors. ", British Academy Television Award for Best Actor, Coulsdon and Purley Urban District Council, Entertainments National Service Association, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Officer of the Order of the British Empire, Lawrence Van Helsing and Lorrimer Van Helsing, Medalla Sitges en Plata de Ley Award for Best Actor, License statement/permission on Wikimedia Commons, "Horror actor Peter Cushing dead at age 81", Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Haeritage of Horror, Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror, "The effect was achieved by drawing on preexisting footage of the actor, particularly his work in A New Hope...", "the CGI used to repurpose the footage may not age well...", "Rogue One VFX head: 'We didn't do anything Peter Cushing would've objected to, "CGI resurrection of Peter Cushing is thrilling – but is it right? He moved to New York City in anticipation of his eventual return home, during which time he voiced a few radio commercials and joined a summer stock theatre company to raise money for his voyage back to England.  During filming, Cushing himself suggested the staging for the final confrontation scene, in which Van Helsing leaps onto a large dining room table, opens window curtains to weaken Dracula with sunlight, then uses two candlesticks as a makeshift crucifix to drive the vampire into the sunlight. , Although best known for his Hammer performances from the 1950s to the 1970s, Cushing worked in a variety of other roles during this time, and actively sought roles outside the horror genre to diversify his work.  Among them was the John Huston film Moulin Rouge (1952) in which he played a racing spectator named Marcel de la Voisier appearing with José Ferrer, who played the artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. "Talking to...Peter Cushing". I smile and feel very glad I could remember her in They went on to make two other films together, Legend of the Werewolf (1975) and The Masks of Death (1984) with the actor playing Sherlock Holmes once more.  Cushing used the emotions from the recent loss of his wife to add authenticity to the widower character's grieving.  In the autumn of 1946, after the war ended, Cushing unsuccessfully auditioned for the part of Paul Verrall in a stage production of the play Born Yesterday that was being staged by famed actor and director Laurence Olivier. They first met on the set of the film, where Lee was still wearing the monster make-up prepared by Phil Leakey. , During this period, Cushing was honoured by the British Film Institute, which invited him in 1986 to give a lecture at the National Film Theatre. Cushing played one part against Hayward in one scene, then the opposite part in another, and ultimately the scenes were spliced together in a split screen process that featured Hayward in both parts and left Cushing's work cut from the film altogether.