Peter Sellers

(1925—1980) comedian

Quick Reference


British comedy actor, whose gift of impersonation made him one of the best known faces of the 1960s.

Born in Southsea, Sellers appeared in his parents' theatre, with ENSA, at the famous London Windmill Theatre, and ultimately in the popular radio series of the 1950s, The Goon Show. He then went on to make such British comedy films as The Lady Killers (1955) and The Smallest Show on Earth (1957). With the Boulting Brothers' I'm All Right Jack (1959) he attained stardom, which was reinforced by The Millionairess (1960), in which he played an Indian doctor. In the ‘Pink Panther’ series of the 1960s and 1970s, he created the part of the French Inspector Clouseau. Lolita (1962), What's New Pussycat? (1965), and There's a Girl in my Soup (1970) were among the many other films that helped to make him an international superstar. One of his last films, Being There (1979), earned him an Oscar nomination as best actor.

An early heart attack left him vulnerable and he died, prematurely, in his prime. His children by his first wife, Anne Howe, whom he married in 1951, wrote a biography of him, PS, I Love You (1981). He also married the actresses Britt Ekland (1964) and Lynne Frederick (1977).

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

Reference entries