MovieChat Forums > Peter Cushing Discussion > I know he was married but

I know he was married but


Was he actually gay? I always thought he was until I read his bio. Bearing in mind he could have been sent to prison in the 60s and earlier may be he just kept it secret.

Don't think I ever saw a film of his I didn't like .

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With how seriously distraught he was when his wife died, I seriously doubt it. He was a wreck, so they say, once she was gone. They were married for 28 years, and if you read his quotes about her dying...it sounds like it was the real deal. So, I highly doubt this was a cover for homosexuality. Or, if it does, it was played so to the hilt as to be farcical - a parody of grief stretching into the grotesque. I seem to recall a Christopher Lee interview where he discussed Cushing's being destroyed over the death of his spouse.

He was a wonderful actor and a real, immense talent.

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Ahhh I forgot all about that. Thank you.

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Cushing returned to England during the Second World War. Although some childhood injuries prevented him from serving on active duty, a friend suggested he entertain the troops by performing as part of the Entertainments National Service Association. In 1942, the Noël Coward play Private Lives was touring the military stations and hospitals in the British Isles, and the actor playing the lead role of Elyot Chase was called to service. Cushing agreed to take his place with very little notice or time to prepare, and earned a salary of ten pounds a week for the job. During this tour he met Helen Beck, a former dancer who was starring in the lead female role of Amanda Prynne. They fell in love and were married on 10 April 1943.

In 1971 Cushing's wife died; they had been married since 1943. Cushing often said he felt his life had ended when hers did, and he was so crushed that when his first autobiography was published in 1986, it made no mention of his life after her death. In 1972, he was quoted in the Radio Times as having said, "Since Helen passed on I can't find anything; the heart, quite simply, has gone out of everything. Time is interminable, the loneliness is almost unbearable and the only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that my dear Helen and I will be reunited again some day. To join Helen is my only ambition. You have my permission to publish that ... really, you know, dear boy, it's all just killing time. Please say that."

In his autobiography, Cushing implies that he attempted suicide on the night of his wife's death by running up and down stairs in the vain hope that it would induce a heart attack. He later stated that this had simply been a hysterical response borne out of grief, and that he had not purposely attempted to end his life; a poem left by Helen had implored him not to die until he had lived his life to the full, and he had resolved that to commit suicide would have meant letting her down. Cushing's colleagues of that period commented on his faith and his conviction that his separation from his wife was only temporary.

The effects of his wife's death proved to be as much physical as mental. For his role in Dracula A.D. 1972, Cushing (who was 58) had originally been cast as the father of Stephanie Beacham's character, but had aged so visibly and lost so much weight that the script was hastily rewritten to make him her grandfather: it was done again in the last Dracula film from Hammer, The Satanic Rites of Dracula. In a silent tribute to Helen, a shot of Van Helsing's desk includes a photograph of her. He repeated the role of the man who lost family in other horror films, including Asylum (1972), The Creeping Flesh (1973), and The Ghoul (1975).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Cushing

The details of their meeting and marriage don't sound much like it was arranged by the studio as he wasn't under contract at that point. He certainly did love her and there is no evidence that he was bisexual that we know of.

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That's heartbreaking 😥

I remember reading that not long after his wife died he filmed, 🤔 tales from the crypt i think - anyway, the story is of him talking to his dead wife via a planchet. He is being ostracised by his neighbours who think he's too scruffy. He helps out stray dogs and upcycles toys for the local kids. The neighbours get the dogs taken away and make out he's a child molestor to try and get rid of him. They make him so sad that in the end he hangs himself.
You can tell that he's truly feeling the sadness and not just acting.

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I don’t think so.

Peter Cushing missed his late wife so much that he wrote to Jim'll Fix It (Oops) requesting a new rose be named in honour of his wife, Jim fixed it for him and so became the Helen Cushing rose.

I remember watching that on TV as a kid, and always remembered it.

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Really?! How random!

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I'll have to re-read it, but I recall in his autobiography a description that stood out to me, it seemed like someone describing being bisexual if they didn't have the vocabulary. It was "I fall for minds, not necessarily bodies," or something to that effect. Seeing as his best friend Vincent Price turned out to be bi, it wouldn't surprise me at all. It may not be relevant but he was actually engaged before Helen, but it was broken off by the woman because apparently "he was too sensitive, and she didn't want to tie the knot with another girl, or someone like Cushing who cried like one."
I would even venture he could have been asexual; after his wife was confirmed to be infertile, he had waved it off saying that he and Helen weren't much for it, along with instances in his youth where his older brother tried to teach him about the birds and the bees, and it flew completely over his head and seemingly vaguely frightened him.

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Ahh very interesting, thank you.

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