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. Guy Rolfe, The Stranglers of Bombay, 1959.      Hammer goes to India - for the story, not the (UK) locations (and re-used Horror of Dracula sets), to follow the 1830s’ fight by the British Army, er, no, the army of the all-powerful East India Company, against the thieves and killers of the Thugee Cult of Kali. Apparently, this was fist planned as another Cushing v Christopher Lee battle, as Captain Lewis and the Kali sect’s high priest.
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

     


  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Alec Guinness, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, 1976.
  10. Anthony Sharp, House of Mortal Sin (US: The Confessional), 1976.       Cushing passed on being, as Time Out put it, a crazed old Catholic priest terrorising a young girl after hearing her confession… He was too busy and not, as rumours insisted, hating the scenario. UK schlocker Pete Walker then offered Father Xavier Meldrum to Harry Andrews, Stewart Granger, plus (said Steve Chinball’s Walker book), Lee J Cobb and Richard Greene.  PS: Cushing starred in Walker’s final film, The House of Long Shadows, 1982.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.”

  14. 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. 

  15. Trevor Howard, Meteor, 1979.      Also in the loop for Sir Michael Hughes in the last of the disaster movies (a $22m bummer) were: Howard, Cushing Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen Michael Hordern, Gordon Jackson, John Mills, Kenneth More, Anthony Quayle… and four UK knights: Sirs John Gielgud, Alec Guinness, John Mills and Ralph Richardson. (Hordern was knighted in 1983, and Quayle in 1985).
  16. John Fraser, Doctor Who #115: Logopolis, TV, 1981.       Age apparently, didn’t matter. The Monitor was 60 but producer John Nathan-Taylor’s usual suspects ranged from Harry Andrews at 77 to Hywel Bennett at…37! Plus Maurice Denham, 72; Marius Goring, 69; Peter Cushing, 68; Bernard Archard, Michael Gough, 65; Nigel  Stock, 62; Geoffrey Bayldon, 57; William Lucas, 56; Frank Finley, 55; Barry Foster, Frank Windsor, 54; John Fraser, 50; Peter Wyngarde, 48. This was the episode that Brian Epstein would not let The Beatles appear in. But he OKed Top of the Pops footage of Ticket To Ride.
  17. Nigel Stock, Doctor Who #122: Time-Flight, TV, 1982.        After several invites, Nigel Stock finally joined the Whoverse - when winning Professor Hayter from Cushing, Bernard Archard, Geoffrey Bayldon, John Carson, Maurice Denham, Michael Gough and William Lucas… in The Case of the Missing Concorde!
  18. Leonard Sachs, Doctor Who #123: Arc of Infinity, TV, 1983.      Cushing was chased for the third version of The Doctor’s mentor, finally named as Borusa and by now, President of the Time Lords Council. The Doc of the day was Doc5 Peter Davison.
  19. Patrick Stewart, Lifeforce, 1984.
  20. Aubrey Morris, Lifeforce, 1984.  

  21. Frank Finlay, Lifeforce, 1984.
  22. Terence Alexander, Doctor Who #139: The Mark of the Rani, 1984.        Cushing, Joss Ackland, Harry Andrews, Bernard Archard, Robin Bailey, George Baker, Ian Bannen, Geoffrey Bayldon, John Carson, Allan Cuthbertson, Frank Finlay, Robert Flemyng, Michael Gough, Dinsdale Landen, TP McKenna, Donald Pickering, Peter Sallis, John Standing, Patrick Stewart, Peter Vaughan… and the Z Cars cops James Ellis and Jeremy Kemp - were the 23 contenders for Lord Ravenworth. Phew! Standing was the most suitable, being the fourth baronet in his family’s line.
  23. Anton Diffring, Doctor Who #150: Silver Nemesis, TV, 1988.       Naturally Pinewood’s Nazi was on the list for the Nazi De Flores in the 25th anniversary episode. Along with: Harry Andrews, Bernard Archard, Frank Finlay Robert Flemyng, Michael Gough, Charles Gray, Christopher Lee, Herbert Lom, Donald Pleasence and Peter Vaughan. Although baffled by the script, and in poor health, Diffring accepted what proved his final rôle in order to be in London and able to watch the Wimbledon tennis. He then returned to his French home and was dead within a year.
  24. Wayne Pygram, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, 2003.

 

 





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