Peter Wilton Cushing, [[KnightFever OBE]] (May 26, 1913 -- August 11, 1994) was an English actor famous for his roles in horror films. He starred opposite Creator/ChristopherLee as Victor Frankenstein in the 1957 Film/HammerHorror film ''Film/TheCurseOfFrankenstein'' and as Van Helsing in 1958's ''Dracula'' (called ''Film/HorrorOfDracula'' in the US). The two would become lifelong friends and appear together in films throughout the years.

He is also recognisable for playing Grand Moff Tarkin in the first ''Franchise/StarWars'' film, ''Film/ANewHope'', and a digital recreation of his likeness was utilized in ''Film/RogueOne'' in 2016, with Guy Henry serving as the motion-capture actor giving the actual performance. He also played Series/DoctorWho[[note]]As in, for these movies, the character ''was'' [[IAmNotShazam actually called "Doctor Who", instead of the canon "The Doctor"]][[/note]] in [[TheFilmOfTheSeries two non-canon films]], ''Film/DrWhoAndTheDaleks'' and ''Film/DaleksInvasionEarth2150AD''.

Before he was launched by Hammer, Cushing appeared with Creator/LaurelAndHardy in ''A Chump at Oxford'' and played the small part of Osric in Creator/LaurenceOlivier's 1948 film of ''Film/{{Hamlet}}'', as well as several notable roles in television, including Winston Smith in the 1954 adaptation of ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' and Darcy in the 1952 adaptation of ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice''. He returned to television several times after his film career took off, starring as Lije Bailey in a 1964 adaptation of Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/TheCavesOfSteel'' and Franchise/SherlockHolmes in the 1968 TV series. He also appeared several times with Creator/MorecambeAndWise, complaining that he hadn't been paid for the first time.

He was made an officer of the [[UsefulNotes/KnightFever Order of the British Empire]] in 1989.

He died of prostate cancer on the 11th of August, 1994, aged 81. In an interview after his death Christopher Lee remarked: "I don't want to sound gloomy, but, at some point of your lives, every one of you will notice that you have in your life [[HeterosexualLifePartners 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".

Cushing was often a RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor, in that he often played characters who were either very driven or villanous, but Cushing in RealLife was a very kindly gentleman who was [[HappilyMarried devoted to his wife]] and friends. When she died, he was so distraught that he tried to kill himself by running up and down the stairs in a fit of depression, knowing that he had a heart condition. Near the end of his life, he was given a surprise by Creator/JimmySavile on his show ''Jim'll Fix It'' -- a breed of rose was named after his late wife. It caused him to burst into tears on camera. Creator/CarrieFisher recalled that she could not generate the level of hatred that Princess Leia would have been feeling towards Grand Moff Tarkin, because Fisher had to deliver those lines to Cushing, particularly the line about "recognizing [his] foul stench" when Cushing smelled pleasantly of lavender.