Peter Sellers was born 90 years ago today. In a coincidence that Sellers must have relished, one of his partners in “The Goon Show,” Harry Secombe, shared the September 8 birthday with him. Sir Harry was born 94 years ago today.
Here is a piece I wrote last year about Peter Sellers and some of his otherwordly influences. Wherever you are, happy birthday, Peter Sellers, and thanks.
Contemporary accounts make it sound like watching the man perform on stage was like watching a man possessed: Fascinating and frightening, but a genius. He became world-famous and theaters billed him as the “Funniest Man on Earth.”
A later performer became an international superstar and said many times of himself, to interviewer after interviewer, “If you ask me to play myself, I will not know what to do. I do not know who or what I am.” Watching him was like watching a man possessed by the accents and mannerisms of any character. He also said, “There used to be a me, but I had it surgically removed.” His questioner in this particular case was Kermit the Frog.
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