The House of Horrors Salutes Peter Cushing


 

Few actors have had such a strong affect on my viewing habits, but Peter Cushing is one such actor.  It's difficult to put into words what an actor the caliber of Cushing had in my viewing habits, but it goes without saying that simply seeing his name in the credits of a film is enough to make me want to see it.

Peter Cushing was one of those actors who took great pride in the work he did and it shows with each performance.  His mere presence in a film was enough to guarantee it being an enjoyable experience on some level.  Best known for his association with Hammer Studios from the late 1950's through the mid 1970's, he helped bring the horror genre back from the brink of being considered almost passe` to a force to be reckoned with, again.  He's probably best known to the younger generation as the evil, Grand Moff Tarkin, in the fist Star Wars film, but in a career that spanned well over fifty years, his characterizations will not soon be forgotten, from; the irrepressible Baron Frankenstein, the tireless Van Helsing, the quick-witted Sherlcok Holmes and the sympathetic Arthur Grimsdyke, any fan is sure to find some character that they can identify with and enjoy the exploits of.

When asked which role is my favorite of Cushing's, I'd be hard-pressed to narrow it down to one, as each role showcased so many talents of this actor, but two characters that I certainly love is, oddly enough, not from Hammer roles,  they would be; Dr. Brian Stanley in the 1966 film, "Island of Terror".  and Arthur Grimsdyke in the 1972 film, "Tales From the Crypt".   These two roles not only showcase his talent as an established actor in horror films, but may also give fans a glimpse into what the real Peter Cushing was like.  These two roles give us an opportunity to see the comic side to Cushing as well as the deeply passionate and mourning side of this gentleman.  Cushing filmed, "Tales From the Crypt" not long after the loss of his beloved wife, Helen and in fact, it's her photo we see him talking to in the film. 

 August 11th, 1994 was indeed a sad day for this fan, it was a passing that had been expected for some time, given the frail state of health Cushing was in, but it goes without saying that the sadness felt with his passing that day was all-consuming.  Here was a man who had entertained me for years, kept me always wanting to see more of his films and on a day when nothing went right, settling back to watch one of his films was like visiting an old friend, it felt comforting and right.  Peter Cushing is at times overshadowed by the other greats of this genre; Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price and his co-star in many films as well as good friend, Christopher Lee, but Cushing will always hold a special place in this fan's heart for the simple fact that he had the ability to entertain and make this viewer feel good at the same time!

                                                                             ~ Hammerfantic 
                                                                                                                                  (Resident Hammer Expert)

                     To find out more about Peter Cushing, pick up either of these fine publications.

 


Checkout our coverage of these great Cushing films 

Peter Cushing's Bio                                                Peter Cushing's Filmography 

             

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