THINK ABOUT IT! This #THROWBACK THURSDAY post at the FACEBOOK PCASUK FAN PAGE today, has prompted some memories. Make up artist, the late STUART FREEBORN was responsible among many other excellent creations, like the appearnce #STARWARS YODA, made the prosthetic giant EYE for Cushing Book Store character in the 1984 film, 'Top Secret'. The practice of getting an actor to come into the workshop, and have his ENTIRE face in latex rubber or plaster, was common practice back in the day. Hammer make up artist, Roy Ashton had a whole collection of actors and actresses faces and heads, that he used to produce the latex attachments of some of the studios, best monsters and creatures!
I GUESS, Freeborn would never have guessed that HIS plaster face of Peter Cushing would go on to be quite central and MAJOR and contentious step in the creation of the CGI Grand Moff Tarkin in the film, 'ROGUE ONE'. FX creators Industrial Light and Magic, found there was little on file, of actual helpful and accurate reference material on Cushing's features and face. A mass of artwork, but only Freeborn's plaster head, could provide the measurements and dimensions that were needed, along with footage of Peter Cushing's performance on the big screen as Tarkin in 'Star Wars: A New Hope, from 1977, to make the CGI possible. The role of the Book Store Owner, was a small guest role and one that Cushing could have easily have passed on. A fact no doubt, that could have effected the potential of making Tarkin's return, along with Guy Henry's assistance . . a non starter!
TODAY WE ALSO MARK the birthday of Stephanie Beacham. Beacham has had a very full career on stage, screen and television. Star of tv's 'Tenko', 'The Colbys' 'Dynasty' 'Bad Girls' and 'SeaQuest'... she has also slipped in an episode of 'Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense'. Her Peter Cushing connection links to two films, 'Dracula AD 1972' playing Jessica Van Helsing, granddaughter to Peter Cushing. and 'And Now, The Screaming Starts'... Please join us in wishing her a Happy Birthday!
STEPHANIE BEACHAM: 'My mother Joan had chicken pox when she was pregnant so I was born with no nerve endings in my right ear. I’m totally deaf in that ear and I have just 80% hearing in my left ear. I’ve never heard in stereo and where most people’s hearing is three dimensional, mine is all on the same plane. Background and foreground sounds flatten, out so a car coming down the road is as loud as a person’s voice right next to me. I was taken to a specialist when I was four. They said, ‘She’s perfectly intelligent,’ and my mother said very snappily, ‘I realise that. I know she’s intelligent, she just can’t hear’.
'ONE OF THE BIGGEST problems was that deafness and stupidity were often linked together because a speech defect often accompanies the deafness. I’ve never had a speech defect but I still got called ‘Deaf Steph’ at school and because I often didn’t know people were talking to me I’d walk right past them and they assumed I was snooty. In my adult life I’ve always struggled with people sitting to my right at dinner parties as I can’t hear a word and I’ve had to avoid pop concerts or noisy clubs because of my lack of nerve endings. As for my future health, I fully intend to age naturally without cosmetic surgery and there’s nothing that can be done about my saggy neck, apart from a bulldog clip. I’m convinced mental and physical flexibility is the secret to staying young and yoga provides that for me. I’m also aware that you become what you eat so I’ll continue to steer clear of fizzy drinks and too much sugar or salt." - Daily Mirror Newspaper 2107