Peter Sellers Biography

Peter Sellers
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Quick Facts

Birthday: September 8, 1925

Nationality: British

Died At Age: 54

Sun Sign: Virgo

Also Known As: Richard Henry Sellers

Born Country: England

Born in: Portsmouth, United Kingdom

Famous as: Film actor

Actors British Men

Height: 5'8" (173 cm), 5'8" Males

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Lynne Frederick (m 1977), Anne Howe (m. 1951–1963), Britt Ekland (1964–1968), Miranda Macmillan (1970–1974)

father: William Sellers

mother: Agnes Doreen

siblings: Peter Sellers

children: Michael Sellers, Sarah Sellers, Victoria Sellers

Died on: July 24, 1980

place of death: Middlesex Hospital, London

Diseases & Disabilities: Depression

More Facts

education: St Aloysius College

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Peter Sellers was an English actor, singer, and comedian. He is best remembered for playing the role of ‘Inspector Jacques Clouseau’ in ‘The Pink Panther’ film series. A versatile actor capable of portraying multiple characters, Sellers was considered “one of the most accomplished comic actors of the late 20th century.” He was also described as “the master of playing men who have no idea how ridiculous they are” by the famous biographer Ed Sikov. Technically, he was perfect, making almost all of his performance impeccable. He was admired for his ability to use different accents and guises. He would often play various roles with contrasting temperaments and styles within the same film. In a career spanning three decades, he evolved as an actor, delivering astounding performance almost every single time. Sadly, his life behind the screen was not great. He underwent bouts of depression and also suffered from borderline personality disorder. Three out of his four marriages were disastrous and therefore short-lived. However, he overcame his personal issues and succeeded in his professional life. He was honored with several prestigious awards, including ‘British Academy Film Award,’ ‘Golden Globe Award,’ and ‘London Film Critics Circle Award.’ He passed away unexpectedly at the age of 54, after succumbing to a massive heart attack.

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Childhood & Early Life

Peter Sellers was born Richard Henry Sellers on 8 September 1925, in Southsea, Hampshire, England, to William Sellers and Agnes Doreen. His parents were variety entertainers.

As a child, he learned dancing and was sent to ‘St. Aloysius’ Boarding and Day School for Boys.’ He also knew how to play drums and was part of some jazz bands as a teenager.

He was recruited by the ‘Royal Air Force’ at the age of 18 during the ‘Second World War.’ While serving the air force, he formed a small group in order to entertain the soldiers.

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Career

Sellers developed a passion for comedy early in his life. In 1948, he auditioned for the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). He made his debut on March 18 in the show ‘New To You.’

In 1951, Sellers, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe, and Michael Bentine worked for ‘The Goon Show.’ The show was loved by the audience and Sellers became famous.

A successful stint on radio helped him launch his career on the big screen. In 1952, he appeared in ‘Down Among the Z Men.’ He then landed a small role in the 1955 movie ‘The Ladykillers.’

He got a chance to display his true potential in the movies ‘I’m All Right, Jack’ and ‘The Mouse That Roared’ in 1959, both of which were well-received.

In 1963, he played the role of a police inspector in the blockbuster film ‘The Pink Panther.’ In 1964, he portrayed multiple characters in ‘Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.’

After a dry spell in the late-60s, he tasted success when he reprised his role as ‘Inspector Jacques Clouseau’ in ‘The Return of the Pink Panther’ in 1975. He gave one of his most memorable performances in the dark comedy film ‘Being There’ in 1979.

His last movie was ‘The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu.’ Released in 1980, he played multiple characters in the film.

Major Works

Sellers achieved popularity with ‘I'm All Right Jack,’ a parody based on the British industrial life. He played the role of ‘Fred Kite’ in the film, which became the most popular movie of the year.

He also appeared in ‘Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb’ or simply ‘Dr. Strangelove.’ His performance in the film, where he played three characters, was applauded.

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His most popular work came in ‘The Pink Panther’ film series where he played a French police detective named ‘Inspector Jacques Clouseau.’ ‘The Pink Panther’ is the most important film in Sellers’ career as the character that he played became so successful that the filmmakers came up with its sequels.

The 1979 American comedy-drama film ‘Being There’ took this actor-comedian to the heights of glory. It was also his last major work.

Awards & Achievements

For playing the roles of ‘Group Captain Lionel Mandrake,’ ‘President Merkin Muffley,’ and ‘Dr. Strangelove’ in ‘Dr. Strangelove,’ Sellers was nominated for the ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Actor.’

‘Being There’ won him nominations for the ‘British Academy Film Award’ for ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ and ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Actor.’ He won several other awards, including the ‘National Board of Review Award’ for ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Actor – Musical or Comedy.’

Personal Life & Legacy

The actor was married four times. His first wife was Anne Howe to whom he got married on 15 September 1951. He had two children with her, Michael (1954) and Sarah (1958).

After his marriage with Anne ended in 1963, he married Britt Ekland, a Swedish actress, on 19 February 1964. The couple had a daughter in 1965 before divorcing in 1968.

On 24 August 1970, he got married to a 23-year-old model named Miranda Quarry. Like his previous two marriages, this marriage too did not last long, and the two separated in 1974.

His fourth and final marriage was to Lynne Frederick on 18 February 1977. He died on 24 July 1980 after suffering a heart attack in ‘Middlesex Hospital,’ London

He is regarded as one of the greatest comedians. He was named the ‘41st Greatest Movie Star’ of all time by ‘Premiere’ magazine.

Trivia

This British actor/comedian, who garnered unprecedented fame with the movie ‘The Pink Panther,’ was the first man to appear on the cover page of ‘Playboy’ magazine in April 1964.

This legendary British actor-comedian was filmed for a ‘Barclays Bank’ commercial few days before his death. The commercial was never aired.

1. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

  (Comedy)

2. Insomnia Is Good for You (1957)

  (Short, Comedy)

3. Being There (1979)

  (Comedy, Drama)

4. The Ladykillers (1955)

  (Crime, Comedy)

5. A Shot in the Dark (1964)

  (Comedy, Mystery)

6. Lolita (1962)

  (Crime, Romance, Drama)

7. The Party (1968)

  (Comedy)

8. The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)

  (Crime, Comedy)

9. Murder by Death (1976)

  (Crime, Thriller, Comedy, Mystery)

10. The Pink Panther (1963)

  (Crime, Romance, Comedy)

Awards

Golden Globe Awards
1980 Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical Being There (1979)
BAFTA Awards
1960 Best British Actor I'm All Right Jack (1959)

See the events in life of Peter Sellers in Chronological Order

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Article Title
- Peter Sellers Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/peter-sellers-5244.php

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