Peter Cushing Peter Cushing, OBE, (26 May 1913-11 August 1994) was an English actor, best known for playing Baron Frankenstein and Professor van Helsing in Hammer films, often appearing opposite his close friend Christopher Lee (a typical example being Horror Express, 1973).
Cushing was born in Kenley in Surrey on 26 May 1913. He was raised in Kenley and Dulwich, South London. He left his first job as a surveyor's assistant to take up a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After working in repertory theatre, he left for Hollywood in 1939, but returned in 1941 after roles in several films. His first major film part was as Osric in Hamlet (1948) with Laurence Olivier.
In the 1950s he worked in television, most notably as Winston Smith in the BBC's 1954 adaptation of the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, scripted by Nigel Kneale. Cushing drew much praise for his performance in this production, although he always felt that his performance in the existing version of the play - it was performed twice in one week and only the second version survives in the archives - was inferior to the first. During many of his small screen performances, Cushing also starred as Fitzwilliam Darcy in the BBC's 1952 production of Pride and Prejudice.