Biography of Peter Sellers

        

         Doctor Strangelove
        
(Doctor Strangelove -- 1964) 


President Merkin Muffley
(Doctor Strangelove -- 1964)



Inspector Jacques Clouseau
(The Pink Panther --  1963)


Dr. Fritz Fassbender
(What's  New, Pussy Cat? -- 1965)


Peter Sellers and Friends

   Lionel Meadows
  
(Never Let Go - 1960)

  
Sam
  
(The Optimists of Nine Elms -- 1974)

  
Hercules Grytpype-Thynne,

  
Major Dennis Bloodnok,

   Henry Crun,

   & Bluebottle
  
(The Telegoons -- 1963-1964, voice)

(click for larger image 44K)
Peter Sellers c. 1968, surrounded by some 
of the colorful film characters he played,
as drawn by artist Hunt Emerson
Drawing courtesy of Hunt Emerson

Born 8th September 1925, Southsea, Hampshire, UK, as Richard Henry Sellers.
Died 24th July 1980, London, UK (heart attack).
Father, with actress Anne Howe, of Michael and Sarah.
Father, with Britt Ekland, of actress Victoria Sellers.

General:
Peter Sellers performed on BBC Radio with Spike Milligan, and Harry Secombe as The Goon Show throughout the 1950's. Born into a showbiz family, Peter started in revue at the age of five. He was a drummer in a dance band, vaudeville comedian, actor (film and radio), and singer. Following the his rise to international stardom in the Pink Panther movies, Peter was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1966, and was recipient of the British Academy Best British Actor Award in 1959. He was co-recipient, with Richard Lester, of the San Francisco International Film Festival Golden Gate Award for Best Fiction Short in 1960; the San Sebastian Award for Best British Actor in 1962; the Teheran Film Festival Best Actor Award in 1973; and the Evening News Best Actor of the Year Award in 1975. Despite his great success as a film actor, Peter still said that the Goon Show years were the happiest time of his life. 

Personal
:
 
Peter was an avid photographer, hi-fi enthusiast, gadget freak extraordinaire, as well as Vice-President of London Judo Society, and friend of many famous people, including Prince Charles, The Beatles, Princess Margaret, Mel Brooks and Woody Allen.

Actor Filmography:

Wild About Harry: A Tribute to Sir Harry Secombe
(2000) (TV) (archive footage)
The Unforgettable Hattie Jacques (2000) (TV) (archive footage) ...himself
The 100 Greatest TV Ads
(2000) (TV) (archive footage) ...voice
The Unknown Peter Sellers (2000) (TV) (archive footage) ...various characters & himself
Spike (1996) (TV) (archive footage) ...himself & interviewee
The Trail of the Pink Panther
(1982) ...Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Posthumous release)
The Fiendish Plot of Doctor Fu Manchu (1980) ...Fu Manchu/Nyland Smith (Posthumous release)
Being There (1979) ...Chance the gardener (Chauncy Gardner)
The Prisoner of Zenda (1979) Rudolf IV/Rudolf V/Syd Frewin
The Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978) ...Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau
To See Such Fun (1977) ...himself
The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) ...Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau
Murder by Death (1976) ...Sidney Wang
The Great McGonagall (1974) ...Queen Victoria. Spike Milligan plays William McGonagall
The Return of the Pink Panther (1974) ...Inspector Jacques Clouseau
The Blockhouse (1973) ...Rouquet
Ghost in the Noonday Sun (1974) (Unreleased. Issued on home video in 1980s) ...Dick Scratcher
The Optimists of Nine Elms (1973) ...Sam
  ...aka The Optimist (1973)
Undercovers
Hero (1973) ...General Latour/Major Robinson/Herr Schroeder/Prince Kyoto/Adolf Hitler/The President/the narrator
  ...aka Soft Beds and Hard Battles (1973)
  ...aka Soft Beds, Hard Battles (1973)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1972) (William Sterling, director/writer) ...the March Hare
Where Does it Hurt? (1972) ...Albert T. Hopfnagel
The Last Goon Show of All (1972) (TV) ...himself/policeman/Hercules Grytpype-Thynne/Bluebottle/Major Dennis Bloodnok/Henry Crun
A Day at the Beach (1970) ...the Salesman
Hoffman
(1970) ...Benjamin Hoffman
Simon, Simon (1970) (Short) ...cameo appearance as himself
'Wiltons' - The Handsomest Hall in Town (1970)(TV) ...music hall performer
There's a Girl in My Soup (1970) ...Robert Danvers.
The Magic Christian (1969) ...Sir Guy Grand KG, KC, CBE. (Also features Spike Milligan and Ringo Star)
The Goon Show (1968) (TV) ...himself/Hercules Grytpype-Thynne/Bluebottle/Henry Crun
I Love You, Alice B. Toklas
(1968) ...Harold Fine
  ...aka Kiss My Butterfly (1968)
The Party (1968) ...Hrundi V. Bakshi
Sophia with Love (1967) (TV) ...guest
The Bobo (1967) ...Juan Bautista
Woman Times Seven (1967) ...guest appearance as Jean
  ...aka Sept fois femme (1967) (France)
  ...aka Sette volte donna (1967) (Italy).
Casino Royale (1967) ...Evelyn Tremble (James Bond-007)
  ...aka Charles K. Feldmans's Casino Royale (1967)
Alice in Wonderland (1967) (TV, Jonathan Miller producer/director/teleplay writer) ...King of Hearts
The Wrong Box
(1966) ...guest appearance as Doctor Pratt
After the Fox
(1966) ...Aldo Venucci/Fredrico Fabrizi
  ...aka Caccia alla volpe (1966) (Italy)
The Music of Lennon & McCartney (1965) (TV) ...Richard III
What's New, Pussycat? (1965) ...Doctor Fritz Fassbender
  ...aka Quoi de neuf, Pussycat? (1965) (France)
A Carol for Another Christmas (1964) (TV) ...Peter and Britt as themselves in a fund-raiser for the U.N. 
The World of Henry Orient (1964) ...Henry Orient
A Shot in the Dark (1964) ...Inspector Jacques Clouseau
Doctor Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) ...Group Captain Lionel Mandrake/President Merkin Muffley/Doctor Strangelove
  ...aka Dr. Strangelove (1964)
"The Telegoons" (1963) (
TV puppet series, 26 episodes, 15 min. B&W) ...(voice) Hercules Grytpype-Thynne/Major Dennis Bloodnok/Henry Crun/Bluebottle. With Harry Secombe (voice) and Spike Milligan (voice)
The Pink Panther (1963) ...Inspector Jacques Clouseau
Heavens Above! (1963) ...The Rev. John Smallwood
The Dock Brief (1962) ...Wilfred Morgenhall, Solicitor
  ...aka Trial and Error (1962) (USA)
The Wrong Arm of the Law (1962) ...Pearly Gates
Waltz of the Toreadors (1962) ...General Leo Fitzjohn
  ...aka The Amorous General (1962)
Lolita (1962) ...Clare Quilty
The Road to Hong Kong (1962) ...guest appearance as Indian Neurologist
Only Two Can Play (1962) ...John Lewis
Mister Topaze (1961) ...Auguste Topaze
  ...aka I Like Money (1961) (USA)
The Millionairess (1960) ...Dr. Ahmed el Kabir
Two-Way Stretch (1960) ...Dodger Lane
Never Let Go (1960) ...Lionel Meadows
The Battle of the Sexes (1960) ...Mr. Martin
Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (1959) ...Prime Minister Amphibulos
  ...aka Man in a Cocked Hat (1959) (USA)
I'm All Right Jack (1959) ...Fred Kite/Sir John Kennaway
The Mouse That Roared
(1959) ...Tully Bascombe/Grand Duchess Gloriana XII/Prime Minister Count Mountjoy
The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film (1959) (Short) ...Gamekeeper/frogman. (Also features Spike Milligan, Graham Stark, and others. See History and Bibliography pages for more information).
Up the Creek (1958) ...Chief Petty Officer Doherty
tom thumb (1958) ...Tony
The April 8th Show (Seven Days Early) (1958) (TV)
"Yes, It's the Cathode Ray Tube Show" (1957) (TV series) ...various roles
Dearth of a Salesman (1957) (Short) ...Hector Dimwittie/the narrator. (Screenplay co-written by Maurice Wiltshire)
Insomnia Is Good For You!
(1957) (Short, 26 min) ...Hector Dimwittie/the narrator
Cold Comfort (1957) (Short) ...Hector Dimwittie/the narrator. (Screenplay co-written by Maurice Wiltshire)
The Naked Truth (1958) ...Sonny MacGregor
  ...aka Your Past Is Showing (1957) (USA)
The Smallest Show On Earth (1957) ...Percy Quill
  ...aka Big Time Operators (1957) (USA)
"Idiot Weekly, Price 2d." (1956) (TV series) ...various roles
"A Show Called Fred" (1956) (TV series) ...various roles
"Son of Fred" (1956) (TV series) ...various roles
The Case of the Mukkinese Battle Horn (1956) (Short) ...
Superintendent Quilt/Henry Crun/Assistant Chief Commissioner Sir Jervis Fruit [Grytpype-Thynne voice]/1950s-style Hern documentary voice-overs. With Spike Milligan, Dick Emery, Pamela Thomas, and others. See History and Bibliography pages for more information.
The Man Who Never Was (1956) (voice) ...Winston Churchill
John and Julie (1955) ...Police Constable Diamond
The Ladykillers (1955) ...Harry Robinson
  ...aka The Lady Killers (1955)
Orders Are Orders (1954) ...Private Goffin
Our Girl Friday
(1954) ...(voice) Parrot (uncredited)
  ...aka The Adventures of Sadie (1954) (USA)
The Super Secret Service (1953) (Short) ...a sophisticated city gent. (Also features Dick Emery, Graham Stark, and the Ray Ellington Quartet. Screenplay by Spike Milligan).
Down Among the Z Men
(1952) ...Colonel Bloodnok. (Also features Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan, Michael Bentine, and Carol Carr. See F.A.Q.s and Bibliography pages for more information).
  ...aka The Goon Show Movie (1952) (video title)
  ...aka The Goon Movie (1953)
  ...aka Stand Easy (1953)
Let's Go Crazy (1951) (Short) ...Groucho/Giuseppe/Cedric/Izzy Gozzunk/Crystal Jollibottom
London Entertains (1951) (Short) ...himself. (Also features Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan, Michael Bentine, Dennis Main Wilson, and others. Screenplay by Jimmy Grafton).
Penny Points to Paradise
(1951, dir. Tony Young) ...the Major (a "pre" echo of Bloodnok)/Arnold Fringe. (Also features Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan, Alfred Marks, Bill Kerr, and Paddy O'Neil. See F.A.Q. page for more information).
The Black Rose (1950) ...voice of Alfonso Bedoya (uncredited)

Television Appearances: (This information was scoured from various sources, including Darla's Peter Sellers website)
British TV:
"Heroes of Comedy" (1997, episode "The Goons")
It'll be Alright on the Night
(1980)
"Don Lane Show" (1980)
Clapperboard (1978)
Face Your Image (Spike Milligan) (1975)
End of the Pier Show (1976/07)
Sing a Song of Secombe (1974/12)
"Parkinson" (1974)
This is Your Life (Spike Milligan) (1973)
Michael Parkinson Meets the Goons (1972)
The Last Goon Show of All (10/28/1972)
Will the Real Peter Sellers (Stand Up) (1969)
Film Night (1969)
"Sykes" (1972) as Little Tommy Grando
A Tale of Men's Shirts (1968. Goons)
The Heart of Show Business (1967)
The Arena Programme (1966. 3 part documentary)
"Secombe and Friends" (1966/10/16)
The Braden Beat (1966)
The Music of Lennon and McCartney (1965/12)
"Not Only, But Also..." (1965)
This is Your Life (Kenneth More) (1960)
"Arthur Ploughshare Show" (1959)
This is Your Life (Harry Secombe) (1958)
"Dickie Valentine Show" (1958)
World's Our Stage (1958)
"Tonight" (1958)
"Six Five Special" (1958)
"April 8th Show" (1958/04/01)
"Yes, It's the Cathode Ray Tube Show" (1957. 6 episodes)
Salute to Show Business (1957/09/20)
"Billy Cotton's Band Show" (1957)
Off the Record (1956/12/12)
"Chrysler Show" (1956/11)
"Son of Fred" (1956. 8 episodes)
"A Show Called Fred" (1956. 5 episodes)
"Idiot's Weekly" (1956. 6 episodes)
Secombe Here! (1955/03/09)
"And So To Bentley" (1954. 13 episodes)
"Alfred Marks Time" (1954)
Goonreel - A Television News Reel (1952)
Don't Spare the Horses (1952/11/01)
Trial Gallop (1952)
Top Hat Rendezvous (1952)
New To You (1948)

US TV:
A&E Biography: The Peter Sellers Story (1996)
"Good Morning America" (1979)
"That's Panthertainment" (1978)
"The Muppet Show" (1976) ...himself and Inspector Clouseau/Gypsy Violinist/German Masseur/Salvation Army Preacher.
"Today Show" (1974)
"Flip Wilson Show" (early 70s)
"Dean Martin Show" (late 60s/early 70s)
"Laugh-In" (1971)
Julie Andrews: My Favorite Things special (1969?)
"It Takes a Thief" (1969.  Episode "Who'll Bid Two Million Dollars?") Man in harbour records office.
"Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (1968) ...himself
"Ed Sullivan Show" (1966)
"The Campbell's Are Coming" (Glenn Campbell show, episode 1974/12/06)
"Steve Allen Show" (1964/05/04)
Tempo (1959)

Writer Filmography:
The Magic Christian (1969) (additional material) 
Casino Royale
(1967) (uncredited) 
 
...
aka Charles K. Feldman's Casino Royale (1967)
The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film
(1959) 
The Case of the Mukkinese Battle Horn (1956) (Additional material) 
Let's Go Crazy
(1951)

Director Filmography:
The Fiendish Plot of Doctor Fu Manchu (1980) (uncredited)
Mister Topaze (1961) 
  ...aka I Like Money (1961) (USA)
The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film (1959) 

Editor Filmography:
The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film (1959) 

Producer Filmography:
The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film (1959) 

Stage:
Brouhaha (1958) (A play by George Tabori, starring Peter Sellers, John Wood, Lionel Jeffries, Leo McKern. Aldwych Theatre, West End, London) ...no further details known

 


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