The Life and Death of Peter Sellers

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Arrow, 1995 - Actors - 1108 pages
Sellers has been acknowledged as one of the screen's greatest comedians and the greatest British comic since Charlie Chaplin. Roger Lewis shows how Sellers succeeded, and why it was at such terrible cost to himself. Working from interviews with his family, wives, girlfriends and co-stars, Roger Lewis tells the story of this only son of Jewish parents, who began his career by working backstage at his uncle's theatre in Ilfracombe. Conscripted into the airforce, he began performing in Ralph Reader's gang shows, then after the war he met Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan and created the Goon Show. From this grew Peter Sellers's career in the cinema. Shadowing this success was a history of increasingly bizzare behaviour, from the almost psychotic violence he inflicted on his first wife, to his compulsive promiscuity in the early Sixties, to the drug abuse which brought on a massive heart attack during his honeymoon with Britt Eckland, to his humiliating and ultimately self-destructive obsession with Lynne Fredericks. Roger Lewis looks for the truth about the man and the performer, sees what secrets emerge from his films, and examines the extent of Seller's insanity and its effect on his work.

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Blimey! An author who quotes from his own work as reference; not to be recommended Mr L, no matter how impressive your opinions. Mr monstrous ego Sellers dissected by Mr monstrous ego Lewis. Worryingly, found myself preferring Sellers. Dear oh dear.

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About the author (1995)

Roger Lewis was raised in Bedwas, South Wales, and educated at Oxford, where he was made a Fellow of Wolfson College at 24. He is the author of Anthony Burgess- A Life (Faber & Faber, 2002).

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