Herbert Lom – MovieActors.com
Lom in REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER.
About Herbert Lom (1917 – 2012)
Herbert Lom was born on September 11th, 1917, in Prague, Czechoslovakia, into an aristocratic family that had lost most of their wealth. He birth name was Herbert Charles Angelo Kuchacevich ze Schluderpacheru. Herbert learned the value of money growing up, and knew how to earn it; values instilled by his family. Herbert did welll in school, and went to the University of Prague, as a Philosophy Major, but had a heart for acting. Herbert started a student theatre.
Herbert immigrated to England in 1939; a hop, skip and a jump before Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia. His Jewish girl friend tried to come with him, but was sent back because her papers were not in order. She died in a concentration camp, courtesy of the Germans. Herbert was haunted by this awful fact for the rest of his life.
Because he spoke many languages, Herbert worked for the BBC European Services. He also started his career as a thespian in Englsh films, typecast as the smooth villain, or as people of dubious character, like Napoleon Bonaparte, who he portrayed in his first British film, in 1941;THE YOUNG MISTER PITT. Herbert was cast as Napoleon Bonaparte again in the 1956 version of WAR AND PEACE.
Lom reflected on his typecasting, that limited the roles he would've liked to play, though he had a very lucrative career. In an interview, Herbert Lom shared, "When you are tempted to say no, they offer you so much money it would be irresponsible to one's family, to one's children, to refuse."
Besides villains and men of dubious character, filmmakers also cast Herbert to be from the medical profession. Characteristics of having deep voice, impassive brown eyes and a foreign accent meshed well with this talented actor; a package of talent and characteristics that made a dandy psychiatrist in the 1945 film, THE SEVENTH VEIL. Another example, would be the 1983 film, THE DEAD ZONE, where Lom portrayed a therapist, helping Christopher Walken deal with his new ability to see the future as a result of an accident.
According to a 1999 interview with the Australia's Daily Telegraph, Lom shared that in the early 1950s', he was offered a seven year contract with 20th Century Fox, but was denied a visa during the 50s' MacCarthy witch hunt era.
In 1953, Lom was offered the role of the King of Siam, in London's WEST END Theatre's stage production of THE KING AND I. He received rave reviews, and played the part for two years.
In 1960, Herbert was an ensemble member of the cast of SPARTACUS, playing Tigranes Levantus. Herbert Lom played characters in several more classics, EL CID in 1961, Captain Nemo in MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, 1961 and the Phantom in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in 1962.
In 1975, the role of Chief Commissioner Charles LaRousse Dreyfus came to life, created by Herbert Lom in the Blake Edwards' Pink Panther movies. His delightfully over-the-top depiction of the French police chief, bedeviled and deranged by Peter Seller's bumbling Inspector Clouseau is the role he is best known for. Lom amused audiences with his performances in THE RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER (1975), THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN (1976), REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER (1978), TRAIL OF THE PINK PANTHER (1982) and CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER (1983).
Lom was grateful to Blake Edwards for giving him a foot in the door to acting in more comedic films. "I owe Blake the fact that I've been doing comedy," Lom remarked. "When he called me for the first time, he said, 'You've been the heavy so often, but I think you're a funny man.'"
Before Edwards had cast him in his comedies, Lom seldom had the change to act in such films. One opportunity that he did have was in the 1955 heist comedy, THE LADY KILLERS, Herbert played one of a gang of dopes who pose as classical musicians in order to rob a wealthy lady, with Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers.
Of his colleague in the Pink Panther movies, Herbert said, "Peter Sellers was always a mixed-up guy, a childish fellow. But if you're fond of children, you're also fond of childish men. He was always very helpful to me. After he was famous and when I was still in trouble with the US embassy, he wrote a letter in support of me which was magnificent. "
Hebert wrote two "entertaining and scholarly" books. In 1978, he penned ENTER A SPY: THE DOUBLE LIFE OF CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE. In 1993, he was at it again, and wrote DR. GUILLOTINE: THE ECCENTRIC EXPLOITS OF AN EARLY SCIENTIST. This book told the story of the man who invented what he thought was a humane method of execution. At the time, it was probably better than hanging; slowly strangling to death.
Herbert Lom died at the age of 95, on September 27th, 2012, in London, England. He is survived by his two sons, Alec and Nick; (by his first wife, Diana Scheu;1948-1971), and one daughter, Josephine; (by his second wife, Brigitta Appleby); and seven grandchildren.
"You know, I always do my best, no matter the quality of the film."
Herbert Lom's notable movie credits include...
SON OF THE PINK PANTHER (1993)
TEN LITTLE INDIANS (1989)
WHOOPS APOCALYPSE (1988)
MASTER OF DRAGONARD HILL (1987)
KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1985)
MEMED MY HAWK (1984)
THE DEAD ZONE (1983)
CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER (1983)
TRAIL OF THE PINK PANTHER (1982)
THE MAN WITH BOGART'S FACE (1980)
THE LADY VANISHES (1979)
REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER (1978)
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN (1976)
THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN (1976)
THE RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER (1975)
DARK PLACES (1973)
MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1971)
COUNT DARCULA (1970)
JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN (1969)
THE GAMBIT (1966)
A SHOT IN THE DARK (1964)
MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (1961)
WAR AND PEACE (1956)
THE LADY KILLERS (1955)
NIGHT AND THE CITY (1950)
THE SEVENTH VEIL (1945)
THE YOUNG MR. PITT (1941)
ZENZ POD KRIZEM (1937)
Herbert Lom in MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.