Union Jack

     English Wordplay ~ Listen and Enjoy

   PETER SELLERS    1925-1980

If you take yourself too seriously,
you're missing the experience, and that experience is 
we are something more than what we appear to be.
Sellers on the Muppet Show

British comedian and actor best known for his roles in Dr. Strangelove, as Chief Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther, as Clare Quilty in the original 1962 version of Lolita and in comedy films such as The Millionairess.

Sellers on British accents

He rose to fame on the BBC Home Service radio series The Goon Show.  His ability to speak in different accents (e.g., French, Indian, American, British, German), along with his comic talent to portray a range of characters contributed to his international fame.

He was married four times.  His second wife was the Swedish actress Britt Ekland.

PETER You are known as a superb comic actor, but you were often depressed and anxious about failure.  You abused your wives, took drugs and drank heavily.  How much was this to do with your family background?
SELLERS A lot.  It was what I had come down to experience.  I wanted to take the immensity of what a person could put up with and yet create something original.
PETER You sought help from psychic healers.  Did they help?
SELLERS They were of assistance, when I allowed them to be.  It was like so many other things in my life: I tried to make somebody else responsible for what I was going through.  Now I know it was my own energy that dictated where I went.
PETER When you had a heart attack, did you have a near death experience?
SELLERS (LAUGHS) I had a near death experience, which I put immediately out of my mind, as being too ridiculous.
PETER During the war in the Royal Air Force, you met Michael Bentine, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe, and later you all created The Goon Show for the BBC.  Tell me about them.
SELLERS They were dear souls, who desired through laughter to let others open up the feelings within them.  Each had a particular talent and when we strung them together, we could reach even the most staid of individuals.
PETER How much do you now believe that films like Dr. Strangelove affect social consciousness?
SELLERS Carried upon the back of comedy, more people get the message, than from an orator on his soapbox; because they are getting it from the common man.

Toni comments: That dialogue felt like a merry-go-round, being bounced from one entertainment to another - getting the experience of the joke house, going through the tunnel of love, where you don't know what's round the next corner, whether it's going to be scary or loving.

Underneath was a sense of a lost boy searching for security and for a sense of who he was.

Peter comments: It is remarkable that like his fellow Goon, Spike Milligan, Peter was able to to turn inner pain into glorious and infinitely silly humour.

In Heavens Above! as the Reverend John Smallwod, he confounds the Church of England by taking the commandments of Jesus seriously and ends up as the Bishop of Outer Space.

Now at last we know that Peter got there safely and is enjoying the view.


Talking with Twentieth Century Men
The foregoing are excerpts from Talking with Twentieth Century Men.
If you wish to purchase this book please go to the Celestial Voices website.
If you wish to learn more please go to these websites Messages from the Masters and The Masters' Blog.

Return to Talking with Twentieth Century Men

Home Page


Please click below for information on the Goon Show, the dvds of Dr. Strangelove,  I'm All Right Jack,  Heavens Above,  The Lady Killers and The Millionairess