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Peter Cushing

Peter Cushing


5/26/1913, Kenley, Surrey, England, UK



Birth Name

Peter Wilton Cushing


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User Rating
21 votes


Peter Cushing was born in 1913 in Kenley, Surrey, in England. He and his older brother David were raised first in Dulwich Village, a south London suburb, and then later back in Surrey by his mother Nellie Marie and father George Edward, who was a Quantity Surveyor. At…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Peter played Van Helsing (Dracula (1958)), nemesis of the infamous Dracula, who was played by Peter's close friend Christopher Lee.

    • Peter spent the last 23 years of his life a bachelor after his wife passed away in 1971.

    • Peter's last ever on screen appearence before he died was on This Is Your Life.

    • Peter was offered the role of Tarkin because his friend Christopher Lee turned the role down and suggested Peter to director George Lucas.

    • It has been rumored that Grand Moff Tarkin, the character that Peter made famous, will live on in the upcoming Star Wars live action television series.

    • Both Peter and his close friend Christopher Lee played the role of Dracula during their careers.

    • Peter Cushing was and still is a horror movie icon.

    • When working for 'Hammer Films', Peter worked closely with Christopher Lee. Both Peter and Christopher would end up appearing in George Lucas's Star Wars saga.

    • After his death in 1994, Peter has lived on in video games making voice appearances in Star Wars: Battlefronts and Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy.

    • Peter made the whopping sum of $5,000 for his appearance in the film Shock Waves (1977). This is a mere pittance compared to what actors of his caliber receive today for a role.

    • Prior to being cast as Tarkin in Star Wars (1977), George Lucas considered using Peter as Obi-Wan Kenobi (which ultimately went to Sir Alec Guinness).

    • George Lucas originally planned to use archival footage of Peter from Star Wars, for insertion into Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. This would have made Episode III his final, albeit posthumous, collaboration with Christopher Lee. However, none of the footage was suitable to Lucas's needs. This may be because Tarkin only appears in a long shot, of which Cushing only appears in a handful, due to the pain associated with wearing his boots. Therefore, Wayne Pygram was cast, and made to wear prosthetic make-up so that he would resemble Cushing.

    • Carrie Fisher said in an interview that doing her scenes with Peter in the Star Wars (1977) were difficult for two reasons: she thought the lines were ridiculous and she found Peter to be so polite and charming off camera that it was hard to project the sense of disdain that her character, Princess Leia, held for his character, Tarkin.

    • Peter was good friends with Christopher Lee. After he died, Lee said in an interview that he never felt closer and more open to any of his other friends than he felt to Peter.

    • During a television interview Peter confessed that fellow actor Christopher Lee had telephoned him earlier that evening to "Wish me luck!"

    • Peter was preferred to original Doctor Who (1963) lead actor William Hartnell as star of Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) because he was more widely recognized by American audiences.

    • Peter's sketch of Sherlock Holmes became the official logo for the Northern Musgraves, a British Sherlock Holmes society group.

    • Peter was guest of honor at the Famous Monsters of Filmland Convention in New York City in 1975. After receiving a thunderous ovation from those in attendance, he looked at everyone and said, "Have you ever felt unloved?"

    • Peter withdrew from the film Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971) due to the death of his wife. His role was assumed by Andrew Keir.

    • As a young struggling actor, Peter supplemented his income by selling scarves that he hand-painted and later, as an established actor, had showings of his water colors.

    • Peter was an highly skilled artist, he specialised in drawing and painting.

    • The costume boots they gave Peter for Star Wars (1977) were too small and hurt his feet. Peter told George Lucas this, and asked if he could wear slippers instead. Lucas agreed, and shot Peter from the waist up for nearly all his scenes to compensate for Peter's slippers.

    • Peter considered The Blood Beast Terror (1968) to be the worst film he ever made.

    • It's an odd but true fact that Vincent Price and Christopher Lee were born on the same day (27th May) and Peter was born on the 26th.

    • Peter was 5'11½" (1.82 m) tall.

    • Peter wrote 2 autobiographies: Peter Cushing: An Autobiography, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, released in 1986, and Past Forgetting: Memoirs of the Hammer Years, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, released in 1988.

    • Peter was married to Violet Helen Beck (called Helen) from 1941 until her death in 1971; they never had any children.

    • Peter was the first choice to play "Dr. Sam Loomis" in Halloween, but turned down the role. Christopher Lee also rejected the role.

  • Quotes

    • Peter Cushing: Since Helen passed on I can't find anything; the heart, quite simply, has gone out of everything. Time is interminable, the loneliness is almost unbearable and the only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that my dear Helen and I will be united again some day. To join Helen is my only ambition. You have my permission to publish that... really, you know dear boy, it's all just killing time. Please say that.

    • Peter Cushing: You cannot make a film like this without integrity. To make the audiences believe in you, you must believe utterly in what you are doing.

    • Peter Cushing: My criterion for accepting a role isn't based on what I would like to do. I try to consider what the audience would like to see me do and I thought kids would adore Star Wars.

    • Peter Cushing: Strangely enough, I don't like horror pictures at all. I love to make them because they give pleasure to people, but my favourite types of films are much more subtle than horror. I like to watch films like Bridge Over the River Kawi, The Apartment or lovely musicals.

    • Peter Cushing: As far back as I can remember, I had a passion for "dressing up" and playing games of "let's pretend", which are, of course, the basic principals of acting, and if you are lucky enough, you get paid for so doing, hard work though it may be.

    • Peter Cushing: There is little chance for a person to exercise the imagination today in this complex, programmed society we have.

    • Peter Cushing: People look at me as if I were some sort of monster, but I can't think why. In my macabre pictures, I have either been a monster-maker or a monster-destroyer, but never a monster. Actually, I'm a gentle fellow. Never harmed a fly. I love animals, and when I'm in the country I'm a keen bird-watcher.

    • Peter Cushing: You have to have a sense of humor, darling, to be alive. Even a bit mad. It helps to be mad.

    • Peter Cushing: (on the wig he had to wear for Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell) It made me look like Helen Hayes.

    • Peter Cushing: I hate the word "hate."

    • Peter Cushing: Teeth are a vitally important part of an actor's equipment. I have over 30 toothbrushes at home and always keep a good supply at the studio.

    • Peter Cushing: If I played Hamlet, they'd call it a horror film.

    • Peter Cushing: Who wants to see me as Hamlet? Very few. But millions want to see me as Frankenstein so that's the one I do.

    • Peter Cushing: When Helen passed on six years ago I lost the only joy in life that I ever wanted. She was my whole life and without her there is no meaning. I am simply killing time, so to speak, until that wonderful day when we are together again.

    • Peter Cushing: You see I don't like to be really too commercial about things but in this business you've just got to be commercial otherwise the films don't make money and you don't make films and as a long as a commodity is selling it's silly to kill it dead.

    • Peter Cushing: Today's youth cannot miss something they have never known, but I fear that there are no current fictional characters whose impact and influence will last with such abiding affection into their 'sore and yellow' as this splendid man's creations have in mine!

    • Peter Cushing: There are all sorts of reasons why I don't do much work in the theatre, the main one being that after two performances I feel I've given all I can. I hate repetition, I really do. It's like asking a painter to paint the same picture every day of his life.

    • Peter Cushing: Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers.

    • Peter Cushing: Since the purpose of all actors is to entertain I appear frequently in the films that do just that --entertain.

    • Peter Cushing: My hero was Tom Merry, and I tried to mould my way of life according to his tenets.

    • Peter Cushing: I'm always glad to be offered roles, but wouldn't take any role as this could do you more harm than good, but I've been at what they call 'on the top' as far as being known for twenty years.

    • Peter Cushing: I hope this doesn't sound pompous but I don't think of myself as famous, whatever fame I've got has come through what I've done and associations of things I've done.

    • Peter Cushing: I don't think there is really a favorite, I'm very fond of film making as a whole and as a medium and of course, there are some that I've enjoyed making more than others but I've enjoyed making all of them.

    • Peter Cushing: I do hope it won't sound insufferably smug, but I can honestly say that The Gem did keep me on 'the straight and narrow' when I was at school.

    • Peter Cushing: I didn't set out to make this kind of picture. It just came my way. But its been going on for me for 16 years now and its wonderful for an actor to work consistently. There seems to be an insatiable audience for this type of film.

  • He Along With Christopher Lee Made Hammer Horror Films Awesome

    Peter Cushing is one of the biggest names in the Hammer Horror films, playing roles such as Baron von Frankenstein and Dracula's archenemy, Van Helsing. Either as a hero or a villain, Peter Cushing made his roles believable.

    Of course sci-fi fans also remember him as Grand Moff Tarkin of Star Wars Episode 4, the man who ordered the destruction of Alderaan, Leia's home planet.
  • Peter Cushing: A shadow that should have stepped out of the mist!

    Peter Cushing always seemed to me to be aa actor that was overshadowed by the great Christopher Lee. Cushing had immense talent. I oft wondered why he didn't do more theatre. I can just see him as " Richard III. Perhaps he played this part and I didn't know, but he would have been perfect in the role. Peter Cushing had the ultimate relationship with his wife. He often commented after her death that he was just biding time until he could be with her again. Now that is the kind of love that all of us strive for. Peter Cushing was a gentleman, something missing in society today!moreless