Payday Loans
Peter Cushing (1913-1994)

  1. Anton Diffring, The Man Who Could Cheat Death, 1959.     One of the few Hammer Films rejected by  the Hammer-made star.
  2. Jeffrey Hunter, King of Kings, 1961.   Feisty director Nicholas Ray  worked his way through Cushing, Richard Burton, Keith Michell and  Christopher Plummer before voting  Hunter. Despite being,  at 35, closer to Christ’s age than per usual in Schmollywood epics, Jeff was soon dubbed “I Was a Teenage Jesus.”
  3. Kerwin Matthews, Maniac, 1962. Not often Hammer made such mistakes. This was a biggie. Using the paper-thin talent of Matthews instead of Cushing as the painter with a French mistress who has a homicidal husband. Director (and Hammer boss) James Carreras even wasted his locations.  Difficult to do that in Provence.
  4. Ralph Bates, Lust For A Vampire, 1970.    One half of The Face of Hammer Films - Christopher Lee was the other half - had to withdraw due to the ill-health of his cherished wife.  (Jimmy Sangster had to replace the ill director Terence Fisher).  Bates took over  the headmaster of “the finishing school where they really do finish you.”  And, ironically, Cushing was a headmaster in Bates’ next Hammer trip, Fear in the Night.
  5. Andrew Keir, Blood From The Mummy's Tomb, 1970.    A terrible first day’s shoot for Hammer Films…   Director Seth Holt was dying and Cushing’s wife became gravely ill with emphysema. His secretary, Joyce Broughton, called him home: Helen Cushing needed constant care. He immediately quit the film after a day’s work. Keith took over - almost a Hammer rep player from his first featured role in The Lady Craved Excitement, 1950, to being the best (and only British) Professor Quatermass in the movies. Helen Cushing died on January 14, 1971. Distraught and impatient to join her in the afterlife (it was almost all he could talk about for the next 23 years), Peter returned to film-making later in ’71 in Hammer’s Twins of Evil, looking gaunt and frail. “He looked much more gaunt and frail,” noted his US biographer Christopher Gullo. “But he delivered a powerful performance as the witch hunter Gustav Weil.”

      Valerie Leon and Peter Cushing in Blood from the Mummy's Tomb  
     

    Peter Cushing and Valerie Leon - Egyptologist father and possessed daughter - during the first day’s takes before he quit when his beloved wife became fatally ill. © Hammer Films/EMI Films 1971.

     


  6. Richard Greene, Tales From The Crypt, 1970.    The veteran horror star was due to play Ralph Jason, but said he was tragically better suited to Mr Grimsdyke... who “talked” to his dead wife via a ouija board.
  7. Joseph Cotten, The Abominable Dr Phibes, 1971.     Still too down over the  death of his wife to play Dr Vesalius - particularly as the titular Vincent Price was taking vengeance on doctors who contributed to the death of his wife. Price and Christopher Lee were born on May 27, Cushing on May 26.
  8. Alec Guinness, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, 1976.
  9. Anthony Sharp, The Confessional, 1976.    Packed schedules caused Cushing to reject the role of Father Xavier. Director Peter Walker thought Cushing had loathed his script - until Cushing explained all while making Walker’s final film, The House of Long Shadows, 1982.

  10. Philip Madoc, Doctor Who  #84: The Brain of Morbius, TV, 1976.  
    Forgiven!  Eight years after his two Doctor Who cinema movies, Cushing was contacted by Aunty for the series…  Well, there was a definite touch of Frankenstein in the script which led director Christopher Barry to seek Cushing or Vincent Price to play Solon.  No thank you! Cushing was the Hammer Films star of Dracula and Frankenstein  (“If I played Hamlet, they'd call it a horror film”) who made two terrible  Doctor cinema movies: Dr Who and the Daleks, 1964, and  Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150, 1965. (So ultra-bad that the planned third never happened). Doc1 William Hartnell was predictably miffed at being passed over for the big screen. Until seeing the first with Cushing as…  not a Time Lord but “an eccentric inventor” in moustache and glasses - and, of course, colour. Not enough to entice folks to pay for what they’d seen for free at home.Donald Pleasence, Halloween, 1978.     Fearlessly displaying his roots, director John Carpenter offered the shrink Dr Sam Loomis (named after John Gavin in Psycho) to both Hammer horror kings, Cushing and Christopher Lee.

  11. Donald Pleasence, Halloween, 1978.   Hitchcock fan and auteur John Carpenter Carpenter searched high and low for his shrink, Dr Sam Loomis: Like the Hammer horror kings, Cushing nd Christopher Lee versus Charles Napier, Lawrence Tierney, Abe Vigoda. The $300,00 shoestring budget couldn’t afford any of them! Same for the kinda obvious Lloyd Bridges, David Carradine, Kirk Douglas, Steven Hill, Walter Matthau… and such off-the-wall surprises as John Belushi, Mel Brooks, Yul Brynner, Edward Bunker, Sterling Hayden, Dennis Hopper, Kris Kristofferson, Peter O’Toole… and Dick’s brother, Jerry Van Dyke. Loomis, incidentally was named after John Gavin’s character in Pyscho; his screen lover was Janet Leigh, mother of Carpenter’s heroine, Jamie Lee Curtis. So it flows.

  12. Daniel Massey, Warlords of Atlantis,  l978.    Freddie Francis said of Cushing in 1992: “There’s not an actor in this world who can speak rubbish like Peter and make it sound real.”

  13. Leonard Sachs, Doctor Who #123: Act of Infinity: Part One, TV, 1983. Suggested for the third appearance of The Doctor’s mentor - Borusa, President of the Council Time Lords. The 20th season opener was Sachs’ first TV drama since 1975. And it showed. He kept forgetting his lines  and  Doc5, Peter Davison (and several suits) suggested substituting him with Bernard Archard. Producer John Nathan-Turner kept the faith.   Cushing was the Hammer Films star of Dracula and Frankenstein  (“If I played Hamlet, they'd call it a horror film”) who made two bad, but ultra-bad Doctor movies in the 60s; a third was cancelled. 
  14. Wayne Pygram, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, 2003.

 

 





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