Born in Kenley, Surrey, England, on May 26, 1913, actor Peter Cushing grew up in Kenley and in London. After working as a property surveyor, he attended drama school and worked as a stage manager, and by the age of 22, he tackled acting roles on stage as well. His film career began in Hollywood in the late 1930s in the swashbuckler The Man in the Iron Mask (1939; with Joan Bennett), the RKO drama Laddie (1940; with Tim Holt), and the Hal Roach comedy A Chump at Oxford (1940; with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy). With the worsening of World War II in the early 1940s, Cushing returned to his native Britain to entertain the troops. In 1943, he married stage actress Helen Beck, who was eight years his senior. During the war, he became a member of the Old Vic company, then managed by Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson, where he trained as a Shakespearean actor. In 1948, Cushing returned to films in the big-budget interpretation of Hamlet (1948; with Laurence Olivier), which was directed by Olivier.

Peter Cushing

Cushing in one of his best-known roles as Professor Van Helsing. He also portrayed Baron Victor Frankenstein in a host of films

While Cushing was a busy actor in the 1950s, appearing in numerous dramas and costume flicks, he didn't act in a horror film until 1957, in Hammer's The Curse of Frankenstein (1957; with Christopher Lee). This film kicked off Cushing's long association with horror films, which provided the basis for the remainder of his acting career.

the films of peter cushing

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Peter Cushing and Christopher LeePeter Cushing and Hazel Court

LEFT: Christopher Lee portrays the monster and Peter Cushing is Baron Victor Frankenstein in Hammer's The Curse of Frankenstein. This film marked the beginning of Hammer's long association with horror films. RIGHT: With Hazel Court

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)

Peter Cushing

As Sherlock Holmes in the Hammer mystery The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Brides of Dracula (1960)

David Peel and Peter Cushing

With David Peel as the vampire in The Brides of Dracula

Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960)

Peter Cushing

Cushing portrays the Sheriff of Nottingham in Hammer's adventure Sword of Sherwood Forest

Night Creatures (1962)

Peter Cushing

Cushing as Reverend Dr. Blyss in the Hammer horror film Night Creatures, released by Universal

Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)

Peter Cushing

As Baron Frankenstein in the Hammer horror flick Frankenstein Created Woman

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)

Peter CushingPeter Cushing and Veronica Carlson

LEFT: Again as Baron Frankenstein in the Hammer horror film Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. RIGHT: With Veronica Carlson

The House That Dripped Blood (1971)

Peter Cushing

Cushing as the victim in the Waxworks segment of the excellent British horror release The House That Dripped Blood

I, Monster (1971)

Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee

With frequent costar Christopher Lee in the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde themed I,Monster. Cushing and Lee made more than 20 films together

Asylum (1972)

Peter Cushing

From the Amicus horror film Asylum

Horror Express (1972)

Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Telly Savalas

From the horror film Horror Express with Christopher Lee and Telly Savalas

Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)

Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing

With Christopher Lee in the Warner Bros. release Dracula A.D. 1972

The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)

Joanna Lumley, Michael Coles, and Peter Cushing

With Joanna Lumley and Michael Coles in the Warner Bros. horror flick The Satanic Rites of Dracula

And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973)

Peter Cushing

Cushing as Dr. Pope in the horror flick And Now the Screaming Starts!

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)

Peter Cushing

From Hammer's Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, released by Paramount

Madhouse (1974)

Peter Cushing

From American International's crime thriller Madhouse

Call Him Mr. Shatter (1974)

Peter Cushing and Stuart Whitman

Stuart Whitman holds a gun on Cushing in the Hammer action flick Call Him Mr. Shatter

At the Earth's Core (1976)

Doug McClure and Peter Cushing

From the American International science fiction release At the Earth's Core with Doug McClure

Land of the Minotaur (1976)

Peter Cushing

From the low-budget horror film Land of the Minotaur

later years

When Cushing's wife, stage actress Helen Beck, died in 1971 at the age of 66, her death sent him into a deep depression from which he never quite emerged. He kept busy acting in numerous films; for example, in 1972, he acted in eight features, including Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972; with Christopher Lee and Stephanie Beacham) and Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972; with Vincent Price and Robert Quarry). Cushing remained in high demand throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, finally retiring in 1986 at the age of 73. After a bout with prostate cancer, Peter Cushing passed away at the age of 81 on August 11, 1994. He left no immediate survivors.

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Biggles: Adventures in Time (1986) with Neil Dickson
Sherlock Holmes and the Masks of Death (1984) with John Mills, Anne Baxter, Ray Milland, and Anton Diffring
Sword of the Valiant (1984) with Miles O'Keeffe, Leigh Lawson, and Sean Connery
Top Secret! (1984) with Val Kilmer
Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues (1984) with Blythe Danner, Mare Winningham, Perry King, Vera Miles, and Jack Warden
House of the Long Shadows (1983) with Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Desi Arnaz Jr., John Carradine, and Richard Todd
Black Jack (1981) with Claudine Auger
Mystery on Monster Island (1981) with Terence Stamp
A Tale of Two Cities (1980) with Chris Sarandon, Kenneth More, Barry Morse, and Flora Robson
Arabian Adventure (1979) with Christopher Lee, Milo O'Shea, Oliver Tobias, Emma Samms, Capucine, Mickey Rooney, and John Ratzenberger
A Touch of the Sun (1979) with Oliver Reed and Keenan Wynn
Son of Hitler (1978) with Bud Cort, Leo Gordon, and Anton Diffring
The Standard (1977) with Simon Ward
The Uncanny (1977) with Samantha Eggar, Ray Milland, Donald Pleasence, John Vernon, and Jean LeClerc
Shock Waves (1977) with Brooke Adams, Luke Halpin, and John Carradine
Star Wars (1977) with Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Alec Guinness
The Great Houdini (1976) with Paul Michael Glaser, Sally Struthers, Ruth Gordon, Vivian Vance, Adrienne Barbeau, Bill Bixby, Jack Carter, and Nina Foch
Land of the Minotaur (1976) with Donald Pleasence
At the Earth's Core (1976) with Doug McClure and Caroline Munro
A Dirty Knight's Work (1976) with John Mills, Donald Pleasence, Barbara Hershey, David Birney, and Margaret Leighton
The Ghoul (1975) with John Hurt and Veronica Carlson
Legend of the Werewolf (1975) with Ron Moody and Hugh Griffith
Tender Dracula, or Confessions of a Blood Drinker (1974)
The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula (1974) with Julie Ege
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974) with David Prowse
The Beast Must Die (1974) with Charles Gray and Anton Diffring
Madhouse (1974) with Vincent Price and Robert Quarry
Call Him Mr. Shatter (1974) with Stuart Whitman and Anton Diffring
Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride (1973) with Christopher Lee and Joanna Lumley
And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973) with Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beacham, and Guy Rolfe
The Creeping Flesh (1973) with Christopher Lee
Nothing But the Night (1973) with Christopher Lee, Diana Dors, and Georgia Brown
From Beyond the Grave (1973) with Diana Dors, Margaret Leighton, Donald Pleasence, David Warner, Angela Pleasence, and Lesley-Anne Down
Horror Express (1972) with Christopher Lee, Telly Savalas, and Helga Line
Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972) with Vincent Price, Robert Quarry, Fiona Lewis, Hugh Griffith, Beryl Reid, and Terry-Thomas
Asylum (1972) with Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee, Barry Morse, Barbara Parkins, Charlotte Rampling, Sylvia Syms, and Richard Todd
Fear in the Night (1972) with Judy Geeson, Joan Collins, and Ralph Bates
Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) with Christopher Lee, Stephanie Beacham, and Caroline Munro
Tales from the Crypt (1972) with Joan Collins, Richard Greene, Ian Hendry, Patrick Magee, Nigel Patrick, and Ralph Richardson
Bloodsuckers (1972) with Patrick Macnee, Alexander Davion, and Edward Woodward
I, Monster (1971) with Christopher Lee
Twins of Evil (1971) with Dennis Price
The House That Dripped Blood (1971) with Christopher Lee and Denholm Elliott
The Vampire Lovers (1970) with Dawn Addams
Scream and Scream Again (1970) with Vincent Price and Christopher Lee
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) with Veronica Carlson
Corruption (1968) with Sue Lloyd
The Blood Beast Terror (1968)
Torture Garden (1967) with Jack Palance, Burgess Meredith, Beverly Adams, and Robert Hutton
Island of the Burning Damned (1967) with Christopher Lee
Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) with Susan Denberg
Some May Live (1967) with Joseph Cotten and Martha Hyer
Dr. Who: Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.. (1966) with Andrew Keir
Island of Terror (1966) with Edward Judd
Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) with Roy Castle
The Skull (1965) with Nigel Green and Patrick Magee
She (1965) with Ursula Andress, Bernard Cribbins, John Richardson, and Christopher Lee
Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965) with Christopher Lee, Max Adrian, Jennifer Jayne, Neil McCallum, Bernard Lee, and Donald Sutherland
The Gorgon (1964) with Christopher Lee and Barbara Shelley
The Evil of Frankenstein (1964) with Katy Wild
The Man Who Finally Died (1963) with Stanley Baker, Mai Zetterling, and Nigel Green
Night Creatures (1962) with Yvonne Romain and Oliver Reed
The Naked Edge (1961) with Gary Cooper, Deborah Kerr, Diane Cilento, Hermione Gingold, and Michael Wilding
Fury at Smugglers' Bay (1961) with Bernard Lee and Michele Mercier
The Hellfire Club (1961) with Peter Arne
Cash on Demand (1961) with Richard Vernon
Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960) with Richard Greene, Nigel Green, and Oliver Reed
The Risk (1960) with Donald Pleasence
The Brides of Dracula (1960) with David Peel
Trouble in the Sky (1960) with Bernard Lee and George Sanders
Mania (1960) with Donald Pleasence
The Mummy (1959) with Christopher Lee and Yvonne Furneaux
John Paul Jones (1959) with Robert Stack, Marisa Pavan, Charles Coburn, Erin O'Brien, Bette Davis, Macdonald Carey, Jean-Pierre Aumont, and Bruce Cabot
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) with Christopher Lee
The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) with Lionel Jeffries
Horror of Dracula (1958) with Christopher Lee
Uncle Harry (1958)
The Winslow Boy (1958)
Violent Playground (1958) with Stanley Baker, Anne Heywood, and David McCallum
The Abominable Snowman (1957) with Forrest Tucker
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) with Hazel Court and Christopher Lee
Time Without Pity (1957) with Michael Redgrave, Ann Todd, and Lois Maxwell
Alexander the Great (1956) with Richard Burton, Fredric March, Claire Bloom, and Danielle Darrieux
Richard of Bordeaux (1955)
Magic Fire (1955) with Yvonne De Carlo, Carlos Thompson, and Rita Gam
The End of the Affair (1955) with Deborah Kerr, Van Johnson, and John Mills
The Browning Version (1955)
The Face of Love (1954) with Donald Pleasence
The Black Knight (1954) with Alan Ladd and Patricia Medina
The Silver Swan (1952)
Moulin Rouge (1952) with Jose Ferrer and Zsa Zsa Gabor
Asmodee (1952)
When We Are Married (1951)
Hamlet (1948) with Anthony Quayle
Vigil in the Night (1940) with Carole Lombard, Brian Aherne, and Anne Shirley
A Chump at Oxford (1940) with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
Laddie (1940) with Tim Holt, Spring Byington, and Joan Leslie
The Man in the Iron Mask (1939) with Louis Hayward, Joan Bennett, Montagu Love, Doris Kenyon, and Albert Dekker

Sherlock Holmes, 1964-1968 BBC TV series. Cushing portrayed Sherlock Holmes during the 1968 season
The Spread of the Eagle, 1963 BBC miniseries. Cushing portrayed Cassius
Epitaph for a Spy, 1953 BBC miniseries. Cushing portrayed Josef Vadassey
Pride and Prejudice, 1952 BBC miniseries. Cushing portrayed Mr. Darcy

Tales of the Unexpected, episode The Vorpal Blade, originally aired May 28, 1983
Hammer House of Horror, episode The Silent Scream, originally aired October 25, 1980
The New Avengers, episode The Eagle's Nest, originally aired October 17, 1976
Space: 1999, episode Missing Link, originally aired February 27, 1976
The Zoo Gang, episode The Counterfeit Trap, originally aired May 3, 1974
Great Mysteries, episode La Grande Breteche, originally aired September 22, 1973
The Avengers, episode Return of the Cybernauts, originally aired September 30, 1967
Thirty-Minute Theatre, episode Monica, originally aired November 4, 1965
Story Parade, episode The Caves of Steel, originally aired June 5, 1964
Comedy Playhouse, episode The Plan, originally aired November 2, 1963
ITV Television Playhouse, episode Peace with Terror, originally aired September 21, 1962
Drama '62, episode Peace with Terror, originally aired June 3, 1962

peter cushing film now showing

Watch Peter Cushing's 1968 horror film Corruption
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