Tuesday 13 November 2018

Blue plaque honour for Star Wars actor Peter Cushing

The actor is best known for playing Grand Moff Tarkin.

Actor Peter Cushing and his wife Helen, as it was revealed the Star Wars actor is to be honoured with a blue plaque (PA)
Actor Peter Cushing and his wife Helen, as it was revealed the Star Wars actor is to be honoured with a blue plaque (PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Star Wars actor Peter Cushing will be honoured with a blue plaque at his childhood home, English Heritage has announced.

The actor, who died in 1994, is best known for playing Grand Moff Tarkin in the ground-breaking 1977 film but also starred in numerous fantasy and horror films, including 23 Hammer Film Productions.

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His Star Wars character was brought back to life in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, when Tarkin was digitally revived using visual effects.

The plaque, announced on Star Wars Day, will be unveiled in July at his former home in Croydon.

Howard Spencer, senior historian for English Heritage blue plaques, said: “Described as never having given a bad performance, Peter Cushing was an incredibly accomplished actor with a varied career ranging from Shakespearean theatre to blood-curdling horror, or ‘fantasy’ as he preferred it to be called.

“His early portrayal of Baron Frankenstein in Hammer Film Productions’ The Curse of Frankenstein took his career to another level with a legion of films to follow, but it was the epic Star Wars for which he gained international fame.

“The London Blue Plaques scheme prides itself on celebrating extraordinary people at the places where they lived and worked, so it’s brilliant to be able to announce Cushing’s forthcoming plaque on Star Wars Day. May the Fourth be with you!”

Cushing, who was born in 1913, initially worked as a surveyor’s assistant whilst studying as a part-time evening student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

He then worked in various theatres before pursuing a film career in Hollywood but returned to England after the Second World War broke out, when he travelled the country performing at Army, Navy and Air Force camps.

After the war he appeared in Laurence Olivier’s Oscar-winning film adaptation of Hamlet, as well as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, one of the BBC’s first drama series to be filmed in colour.

His successful run in Hammer films included The Curse of Frankenstein, The Abominable Snowman, Dracula and The Mummy and Cushing frequently starred opposite his friend Christopher Lee and his appearances as Doctor Who, in two feature films,  as well as in Star Wars, made him a household name.

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Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing – Pinewood Studios

The plaque will be erected at the home in Croydon, where he lived with his family during his school years.

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