Happy Birthday, Peter Cushing (Sherlock Holmes)

Cushing_PeterHoundPeter Cushing was born on this date (May 26) in 1913. THE star of Hammer Films’ horror franchise, alongside friend and fellow Holmes Christopher Lee, the two appeared in Hammer’s 1959 The Hound of the Baskervilles. Cushing played Holmes while Lee was Sir Henry Baskerville.

Cushing also starred as the great detective in a BBC television series (succeeding Douglas Wilmer) and in a tv movie, The Masks of Death (his second-to-last film).

Cushing was approached for a sequel to Masks, but his failing health (he looked painfully fragile in the movie) prevented that from happening. He was also asked to play Reverend Merridew in Granada’s The Last Vampyre. While certainly not one of the best in the series, it would have been something to see the Holmes of the sixties opposite the Holmes of the eighties.

I think that Cushing rates the upper echelon among Holmes impersonators.

Here’s a link to an essay I wrote last year on his Hammer Hound.

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