Herbert Lom

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Herbert Lom

Herbert Lom biography, Biography of Herbert Lom, career, films, awards

life of Herbert Lom, know all about Herbert Lom

    Anirban Sengupta
    Anirban Senguptawrote on 09 Nov 2011

    Born 11 September 1917, Herbert Lom made his film debut in the Czech film Zena pod krízem (1937) and played supporting and, occasionally, lead roles. His career picked up in the 1940s and he played, among other roles, "Napoleon Bonaparte" in The Young Mr. Pitt (1942) (and, again, in War and Peace (1956)). In a rare starring role, Lom played twin trapeze artists in Dual Alibi (1948). He continued into the 1950s with roles opposite Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers in The Ladykillers (1955) and Robert Mitchum, Jack Lemmon and Rita Hayworth in Fire Down Below (1957). His career really took off in the 1960s and he got the title role in Hammer Films' production of The Phantom of the Opera (1962). He also played "Captain Nemo" in Mysterious Island (1961) and landed supporting parts in El Cid (1961) and an especially showy role in Spartacus (1960) as a pirate chieftain contracted to transport Spartacus' army away from Italy. The 1960s was also the decade in which Lom secured the role for which he will always be remembered: Peter Sellers' long-suffering boss, "Commissioner Charles Dreyfus", in the "Pink Panther" films, in which he pulled off the not-inconsiderable feat of stealing scenes from a veteran scene-stealer like Sellers. Lom didn't concentrate solely on a film career, however. He had become a familiar face to British TV viewers when he starred as "Dr. Roger Corder" in the series, "The Human Jungle" (1963). He moved into horror movies in the 1970s, with parts in Asylum (1972/I) and -- And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973). He played "Prof. Abraham Van Helsing", opposite Christopher Lee in Count Dracula (1970) (aka "Count Dracula"), matching wits against the sinister vampire himself. He secured his place in film history, however, as "Commissioner Charles Dreyfus" in the series of "Pink Panther" sequels, managing the not-inconsequential feat of stealing almost every scene he was in, even those with Peter Sellers, himself. Lom appeared as one of the ten victims in Ten Little Indians (1974) (aka "Ten Little Indians"), playing the drunken "Dr. Edward Armstrong". His career continued into the 1980s, a standout role being that of Christopher Walken's sympathetic doctor in The Dead Zone (1983). He also played opposite Walter Matthau in Hopscotch (1980) and returned to the murder mystery Ten Little Indians (1989), this time playing "the General". Lom has been taking it easy since then, though he returned to his familiar role of "Commissioner Charles Dreyfus" in Son of the Pink Panther (1993). He has always been a reliable and eminently watchable actor, unfortunately not receiving the stardom he probably should have. Here's to Herbert Lom, long may he twitch.