DEAD: Peter Cushing

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Peter Cushing (aged 81)
British actor

Peter Wilton Cushing, OBE (26 May 1913 – 11 August 1994) was an English actor best known for his roles in the Hammer Productions horror films of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, as well as his performance as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars (1977). Spanning over six decades, his acting career included appearances in more than 100 films, as well as many television, stage and radio roles. Born in Kenley, Surrey, Cushing made his stage debut in 1935 and spent three years at a repertory theatre before moving to Hollywood to pursue a film career.

DEATH: In May 1982, Cushing was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was rushed to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital when his left eye had swollen to nearly three times its normal size, a side effect of the cancer. Doctors determined he had twelve to eighteen months to live, and that his left eye might be lost. To their surprise, however, Cushing recovered well enough to be released from the hospital, and although his health continued to gradually decline, Cushing lived another twelve years without any operative treatment or chemotherapy. During this period, he lived with Joyce Broughton and her family at their homes in Hartley, Kent. In August 1994 Cushing entered himself into Pilgrims Hospice in Canterbury, where he died on 11 August at eighty-one years old. In accordance with his wishes, Cushing had a low-key funeral with family and friends, although hundreds of fans and well-wishers came to Canterbury to pay their respects. In January 1995, a memorial service was held in The Actor’s Church in Covent Garden, with addresses given by Christopher Lee, Kevin Francis, Ron Moody and James Bree. In total, Cushing appeared in more than 100 films throughout his career.

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