Peter Cushing

Peter Cushing

George Lucas originally planned to use archival footage of Cushing from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) for insertion into Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005). This would have made Episode III Cushing's final, albeit posthumous, collaboration with Christopher Lee. However, none of the footage was suitable to Lucas' needs. This may be because Grand Moff Tarkin only appears in long shots, due to the pain associated with wearing the boots Cushing was wearing. Therefore, Wayne Pygram was cast, and made to wear prosthetic make-up so that he would resemble Cushing.

Carrie Fisher said in an interview that doing her scenes with him in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) were difficult for two reasons: she thought the lines were ridiculous and she found Peter to be so polite and charming off camera that it was hard to project the sense of disdain that her character, Princess Leia Organa, held for his character, Grand Moff Tarkin.

Appeared in Hamlet (1948) as Osric. This was also his first film with Christopher Lee. Alec Guinness also played Osric in John Gielgud's 1934 theatrical production. Cushing, Lee and Guinness all later appeared in the Star Wars films.

Considered The Blood Beast Terror (1968) to be the worst film he ever made.

Cushing reprised his role, with dialog, from his last film Biggles: Adventures in Time (1986) in the video for the movie's theme song "No Turning Back" by The Immortals. He appears at the end to tell the camera: "I'm a restless sort of guy." Technically, this makes it his last performance and his last line of dialog.

Described by many presenters as the best interviewee they had.

During a television interview, he confessed that fellow actor Christopher Lee had telephoned him earlier that evening to "Wish me luck!".

He bought a seafront home in 1959 in Whitstable, Kent, England, upon retiring. There is a pub there today, 'The Peter Cushing', dedicated to his memory.

He was an artist, skilled in drawing and painting; as a young struggling actor, he supplemented his income by selling scarves that he hand-painted and later, as an established actor, had showings of his water colors.

He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1989 Queen's Honours List for his services to drama.

He was preferred to original "Doctor Who" (1963) lead actor William Hartnell as star of Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) because he was more widely recognized by American audiences.

He was so ubiquitous on live television in Britain in the early 1950s that one popular comedian joked: "You know what television is, don't you? It's Peter Cushing with knobs.".

His sketch of Sherlock Holmes became the official logo for the Northern Musgraves, a British Sherlock Holmes society.

In his later years, he and Joyce DeWitt of "Three's Company" (1976) fame became trans-Atlantic pen pals, when the two became part of the voice-over ensemble for the animated film "Walpurgis Night". Peter recorded his role in England, while Joyce later commenced recording in California, alongside his old friend Ferdy Mayne. It was during this time that Joyce, being a fan of both classic films and Shakespeare's works, and Peter, an admirer of the American West, enjoyed their friendship by post.

Only one of the main characters from Star Wars not to appear in the sequels (for the obvious reason).

Originally cast as Dr. Vesalius in The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), but declined as his wife was in poor health at the time.

Prior to casting Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), George Lucas considered using him as Obi-Wan Kenobi (a role that ultimately went to Alec Guinness).

The costume boots they gave Cushing for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) were too small and hurt his feet. Cushing told George Lucas this, and asked if he could wear slippers instead. Lucas agreed, and shot Cushing from the waist up for nearly all his scenes to compensate for Cushing's slippers.

Turned down the role of Dr. Sam Loomis in Halloween (1978).

Was good friends with Christopher Lee. After he died, Lee said in an interview that he never felt closer and more open to any of his other friends than he felt to Peter.