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Peter Cushing obituary

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1994-08-15 Variety.jpg


Peter Cushing, British actor who was trained in the classics but became best known for his work in the Hammer horror films of the 1950s through the 1970s, died of cancer Aug. 11 in a hospice in Canterbury. He was 81.

He made his film debut in the 1939 U.S. pic "The Man in the Iron Mask" and appeared in Laurel & Hardy's "A Chump at Oxford" that same year. Other films followed in the next two decades, including Laurence Olivier's 1948 "Hamlet" (in which he played Osric), but Cushing really came into his own in 1957 with "The Curse of Frankenstein."

Though he played a variety of roles, including Sherlock Holmes, the well-spoken actor, with gaunt, sharp features, found a niche in horror pix. He frequently was cast as doctors and mad scientists, often appearing with Christopher Lee, in such films as "Dracula," "Brides of Dracula," "The Gorgon" and "Dr. Terror's House of Horrors."

Cushing was born May 26, 1913, in Kenley, England, and worked as a surveyor before he won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.

He made his stage debut in 1935, then set off for Hollywood. He returned to England in 1942 to help entertain the troops, and married actress Helen Beck (who died in 1971).

On stage, his work included stints as a star in Olivier's Old Vic company, and he made numerous appearances on British TV, in films such as "Pride and Prejudice," "The Winslow Boy," "Beau Brummell" and "1984," in which he starred as Winston Smith. From 1954-56, he won three successive British awards as best TV actor.

In all, he made more than 90 film appearances, including "Moulin Rouge," the bigscreen "Dr. Who and the Daleks," as the evil commander Grand Moff Tarkin in "Star Wars," and a professor in the comedy "Top Secret!"

But the vast majority of his films were in the horror genre. Titles included "The Hound of the Baskervilles," "She," "Frankenstein Created Woman," "The Torture Gar den," "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed," "Scream and Scream Again," "Twins of Evil," "Dracula AD 1972," "Dr. Phibes Rises Again," the 1972 "Tales From the Crypt," "The Beast Must Die," "Madhouse" and "At the Earth's Core."

"I don't have any regrets," Cushing once said. "Things like Frankenstein and Dracula were such big successes and they obviously led to a lot of sequels."

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1994-08-15). Peter Cushing obituary. Variety p. 46.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Peter Cushing obituary." Variety [add city] 1994-08-15, 46. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Peter Cushing obituary." Variety, edition, sec., 1994-08-15
  • Turabian: "Peter Cushing obituary." Variety, 1994-08-15, section, 46 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Peter Cushing obituary | url= | work=Variety | pages=46 | date=1994-08-15 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=30 May 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Peter Cushing obituary | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=30 May 2024}}</ref>