Thursday, September 27, 2012

Memoriam: Herbert Lom

Actor Herbert Lom – the last of the lady killers – has died. He was 95.

A native of Prague, his first picture was a very early Czech film, Zena Pod Krizem (1937), that he participated in before migrating to England to continue his career. His roles flourished throughout the next four decades including The Seventh Veil (1945), War and Peace (1956), El Cid (1961), and The Phantom of the Opera (1962).

In 1955 Lom appeared in the The Ladykillers as Louis, one of the thugs rounded up by Professor Marcus (Alec Guinness); after their crime, they hide out in Mrs. Wilberforce’s house until she discovers their dirty little secret. The subsequent story is too priceless to detail here but stands as one of the best examples of black comedies. Al Myers recounted to us that he and Bellairs saw the picture during their undergraduate days at Notre Dame, and Bellairs later said in a 1985 article the movie was his all-time favorite (with Guinness his favorite actor).

Lom is probably best known and remembered for his role as the long-suffering Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus in the Pink Panther film series staring Peter Sellers. He also wrote the historical novel, Enter a Spy: The Double Life of Christopher Marlowe (1971), about noted Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe.


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