Thursday, 18 April 2013


PETER CUSHING AND HIS LOVE FOR LADY TOBACCO: It's no secret that Peter Cushing was quite a smoker. Both on and off screen, he could give those 'coffin nails' quite a hammering! Of course, Peter came from a time when the awareness of smoking and health related illnesses was not what it is today.

Along with bits and bobs, props and business, he managed to work puffing into an art form. He played a whole string of characters, who too, were no strangers to a pack of twenty unfiltered tipped. Though pipe smoking was never his thing, as Sherlock Holmes on both film and television, Cushing gagged with the strength of the tobacco, always keeping a glass of milk just out of shot to keep the wrenching at bay. In some ways this is strange because Peter's personal preference for many years was John Player unfiltered cigarettes, in packs of twenty. Real blow your socks off puffers! 

Nicolas Gadd, in his book, 'Spending Time With Frankenstein', tells of various visits to Peter's home in Whitstable, where after many months of having given up smoking, there were still tens of unopened cartons of twenty packets in drawers and cupboards.

Smoking was something that Peter enjoyed. During interviews, many journalistswould comment on the use of his 'trademark' white glove... Peter would tell them, 'I use these gloves, so that I do not stain my fingers. You can't play period roles with stained fingers!' From 'End of the Affair', Night of the Big Heat, Nothing But The Night', 'Dracula AD 1972' right up to 'The Silent Scream in 1980, Peter and his unfiltered friends often shared the screen...

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