Peter Sellers became famous through blagging and trickery, and throughout his career remained hidden from almost everyone.
Unemployed after returning from WWII in 1948, Sellers, eking out a living as a standup, rang up a BBC producer pretending to be Kenneth Horne. His amazing verbal abilities were hallmarks from that point.
In The Goons he cemented his reputation for quickfire comedy, improvisation and verbal sparring as he gave us Hercules Grytpype-Thynne and the rest.
Sellers then accelerated into film work, with The Ladykillers, Two Way Stretch and other British comedies making him an international star.
The films he made from this point are our memory of him: his triple role in Dr Strangelove as the eponymous mad scientist, US President and a forlorn RAF Major, and most iconic of all, Inspector Jacques Clouseau, the most incompetent yet deadly detective in movies.
Married four times, with a troubled personal life, penchant for cruelty and whirlwind, almost psychotic lifestyle, Sellers was a tortured but genuine genius, with matchless timing which belief the withdrawn man behind the many masks.
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