Saturday, 9 March 2013

Peter Sellers

I was lucky enough to find this 4 LP set of Peter Sellers called The Voice Behind The Mask the other day in a charity shop. I think I have most of the tracks on various other CD's and records but I just couldnt resist as it was in a nice presentation box. The book that was originally enclosed wasn't inside alas but that hardly matters.  Two sides to give you a taste of the whole thing  - the wonderful Goon Show which has been a favourite from childhood and still makes me chuckle - that great Irene Handl sketch "Shadows In The Grass", his version of a Hard Day's Night done in mock Shakespeare style  and other delights.

Wikipedia says -  "Peter Sellers, CBE (born Richard Henry Sellers; 8 September 1925 – 24 July 1980), was a British film actor, comedian and singer. He appeared in the BBC Radio comedy series The Goon Show, featured on a number of hit comic songs and became known to a world-wide audience through his many film characterisations, among them Chief Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther series of films.
Born in Portsmouth, Sellers made his stage debut at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, when he was two weeks old. He began accompanying his parents in a variety act that toured the provincial theatres. He first worked as a drummer and toured around England as a member of the Entertainments National Service Association. He developed his mimicry and improvisational skills during a spell in Ralph Reader's wartime Gang Show entertainment troupe, which toured Britain and the Far East. After the war, Sellers made his radio debut in ShowTime, and eventually became a regular performer on various BBC radio shows. During the early 1950s, Sellers, along with Spike MilliganHarry Secombe and Michael Bentine, took part in the successful radio series The Goon Show, which ended in 1960.
Sellers began as a film actor in the 1950s. Although the bulk of his work was comedic-based, often parodying characters of authority such as military officers or policemen, he also performed in other film genres and roles. Notable films demonstrating his artistic range include I'm All Right Jack(1959); Stanley Kubrick's Lolita (1962) and Dr. Strangelove (1964); What's New, Pussycat? (1965); Casino Royale (1967); The Party (1968); Being There (1979) and the five films of the Pink Panther series (1963–1978). Sellers's versatility enabled him to portray a wide range of comic characters using different accents and guises, and he would often assume multiple roles within the same film, frequently with contrasting temperaments and styles. Satire and black humour were major features of many of his films, and his performances had a strong influence on a number of later comedians. Sellers garnered much critical acclaim for his work; he was nominated three times for an Academy Award, twice for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performances in Dr. Strangelove and Being There, and once for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film (1960). He won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role twice, for I'm All Right Jack and for the original Pink Panther film, The Pink Panther (1963) and was nominated as Best Actor three times. In 1980 he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role in Being There, and also earned three other Golden Globe nominations in the same category.Turner Classic Movies calls Sellers, "one of the most accomplished comic actors of the late 20th century."

Peter Sellers  -  The Goon Show  " The Man Who Never Was" 1958

Peter Sellers  -  A Hard Days Night/ The Critics/ Shadows On The Grass/ Why Worry

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