Today marks the 100th birthday of the brilliant, and quite literally prolific actor, Peter Cushing. This week droves upon droves of bloggers around the world are taking part in the “Peter Cushing Centennial Blogathon.” This post is my humble contribution. It will certainly be of no surprise to my readers that I’ve chosen to share my thoughts and ramblings concerning his Sherlock Holmes related work. Cushing as Holmes, I feel, should not be overlooked or underestimated. Yet it can very easily be overshadowed by Cushing’s more, legendary, roles.
Cushing appeared in well over 100 films. He was Baron Frankenstein and Dracula’s arch enemy, Dr. Van Helsing. Speaking of ‘doctor‘ he was also Dr. Who, Dr. Terror, Dr. Blyss, Dr. Maitland and Dr. Perry. He fought The Mummy and he pursued The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas. He was the Sheriff of Nottingham, Sherlock Holmes AND Holmes’ creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. On television, he was Winston Smith in Orwell’s 1984 and he appeared in Space: 1999 as well as The New Avengers. Also, let us not forget that in the first Star Wars film, he was the cold Grand Moff Tarkin who ran the entire Death Star and one of the only people to ever tell Darth Vader what to do. Peter Cushing was P R O L I F I C to say the least!
Cushing didn’t trade quantity for quality either, his portrayals are captivating and enormously adored. He poured himself into each and every role and it shows. From his first film job in 1939 to his narration of a documentary about Hammer Films a week before his death in 1994, the man never stopped. But I digress, we’re here to take a look at his portrayal of the legendary consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes.