TV Cream

Hall of Fame


sellersOkay, so there are two contenders for the crown of greatest ever film star if we whittle it down to a straight fight: Jimmy Cagney – sponsor, Orson Welles – and Pe’er Sellers – sponsor, Creamguide(Films). There isn’t time or space in any format shorter than the magnificent tome that is The Life and Death of Peter Sellers by loony Roger Lewis to cogitate on the subject as a whole. So instead we’ll just say that if any of the usual suspects (except anyone in The Usual Suspects of course, who hardly rate on the lowest star equivalent Cumbria-bothering reaches of the Richter Scale) have given any better performances than the fun, subtely, nuance, slapstick, pathos, tragedy, proper laugh out loud comedy on show in roles loke Wee Sonny MacGregor, Rev John Smallwood, Clouseau, The March Hare, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, Pearly Gates, John Lewis or Count Mountjoy – and that’s hardly even scraping the surface – then it’s entirely passed us by. But it hasn’t and he’s the best.

FINEST HOUR: How to choose? But despite what snobs might purport to be the contrarywise case, attempting to pull Herbert Lom’s tooth while whacked out on nitrus oxide as his nose drops off runs everything pretty close. “There is the naughty one!”



  1. Sidney Balmoral James

    December 22, 2022 at 12:23 am

    Talking Pictures TV now showing The Blockhouse, which may be first showing ever in UK in cinemas or telly (I believe trade-shown in 78, but never released) unless another channel has shown? It’s a harrowing film, with Sellers superb and very self-effacing in an entirely straight role of a French school teacher, perhaps a bit overshadowed by Jeremy Kemp (for such a supposedly egotistical star, Sellers is often surprisingly tolerant of other actors getting a lot of screen time, and laughs – e.g. George C. Scott in Dr. Strangelove, Lionel Jeffries in Long Arm of the Law, and Two Way Stretch, Herbert Lom in the Pink Panther films, ).

  2. Droogie

    December 22, 2022 at 3:31 am

    Regarding Strangelove, Sterling Hayden as demented US General Jack D Ripper dominates Sellers in the scenes they have together and steals the movie too IMHO. Hayden was a fascinating actor and also first choice to play Quint in Jaws over Robert Shaw . Unfortunately he also shared Sellers tendencies for madness and self destruction too.

  3. Sidney Balmoral James

    December 22, 2022 at 9:04 am

    I think Hayden in his later years preferred sailing, and only worked when he needed the money, so appears in as odd an assortment of films as you can find: 9 to 5, Venom, The Final Programme (a TV Cream favourite), 1900 etc. Not massively different however from many faded Hollywood character heavys, from Ernest Borgnine to Broderick Crawford; even Lee Marvin (a rather sad filmography from 1974 to the end of his life).

  4. Glenn Aylett

    December 23, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Sellers had his faults, but you can’t fault his portrayal of Inspector Clouseau, which was comic genius and hasn’t dated at all. As well, he appeared in the best ever Sykes episode ever, where he played an escaped prisoner who decides to shack up with Eric and Hattie.

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