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Great British character actor.
Cushing dabbled in local amateur dramatics until moving to London to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama on scholarship. He then performed in repertory theatre, making his film debut in The Man in the Iron Mask in 1939. Other Hollywood films included A Chump at Oxford (1940) with Laurel and Hardy, Vigil in the Night (1940) and They Dare Not Love (1941).
After the war he had his big break appearing with Laurence Olivier in the film Hamlet (1948), in which Cushing's future partner-in-horror Christopher Lee also had a bit part. Both actors also appeared in Moulin Rouge (1952) but didn't meet until their later horror films.
Towards the end of the 1950s Cushing began his legendary association with Hammer Film Productions in its remakes of the 1930s Universal horror classics. His first Hammer roles included Dr. Frankenstein in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dr. Van Helsing in Dracula (1958) and Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959).
Cushing continued playing the roles of Drs. Frankenstein and Van Helsing, as well as taking on other horror characters, in Hammer films over the next 20 years. He also appeared in films for the other major horror producer of the time, Amicus Productions, including Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965) and its later horror anthologies, a couple of Dr. Who films (1965, 1966), I, Monster (1971), and others. Perhaps Cushing’s best-known appearance outside of horror films was as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars (1977).
This is a very fine vintage black and white photograph (5.5" x 3.25"), as Frankenstein, neatly signed and inscribed ("Best wishes to Ruby, Peter Cushing") in dark blue ink across the image. In excellent condition.