Here at Nigeness, we can't let the day pass without celebrating what would have been the 98th birthday of that fine actor and, by all accounts, lovely man, Peter Cushing. From boyhood I always had a soft spot for him, and rather wanted to be like him (that didn't work out). I especially loved his Sherlock Holmes, a part he was made for, as he was for Baron Frankenstein and Dr Van Helsing, not to mention Doctor Who (before the characterisation went wacky). He was a memorable Winston Smith in an early TV version of 1984 - and he even had the honour of appearing with Laurel and Hardy, in A Chump At Oxford (Cushing played a student), and, much later, with Morecambe and Wise on several of their TV shows. A great face, a great voice, one of a great generation of British film actors.
Sadly, his last years were overshadowed by grief after he lost his wife, the actress Helen Beck. After his death, his friend Christopher Lee, in an interview, paid him this moving tribute: 'At some point of your lives, every one of you will notice that you have in your life one person, one friend whom you love and care for very much. That person is so close to you that you are able to share some things only with him. For example, you can call that friend, and from the very first maniacal laugh or some other joke you will know who is at the other end of that line. We used to do that with him so often. And then, when that person is gone, there will be nothing like that in your life ever again.'