October 1, 2014

Actors

Peter Cushing (1913-1994) b. Kenley, Surrey, England.

Peter Cushing

Born in Surrey, England, in 1913, the son of a quantity surveyor, Peter Cushing’s persistent ambition, from his early days at school, was to be an actor. After a desperate period of writing letters of application to repertory companies and drama principals, Cushing finally got a job at fifteen shillings a week with the repertory company at Worthing. He stayed there until he had saved £50, the one-way fare to Hollywood. After a varied two years in the United States, which included playing Louis Hayward’s stunt man and double in The Man in the Iron Mask and a part in Chumps at Oxford with Laurel and Hardy, he returned to England in 1941. A long-standing ear complaint prevented his admission into an active branch of the Services, and he began to work with ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association).

There were also various theatre appearances and an Old Vic tour of Australia and New Zealand. Then the first screen parts began to come, including that of Osric in the Olivier Hamlet (1948). Other small film roles followed and between 1951 and 1956 Cushing had parts in no less than twenty-three television plays. In 1956, when there was a slight lull in his television work, he was offered a role in the remake of Frankenstein. Since making the first Hammer Frankenstein (1958), Peter Cushing has starred in over fifty films. Many of those have come within the horror or fantasy category, like Twins of Evil (1971) and The Creeping Flesh (1972). His characterisations have assured him of a very distinguished place in the history of the horror genre.



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