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R.I.P. Herbert Lom

By Garth Franklin Thursday September 27th 2012 11:42AM

Czech-born actor Herbert Lom has passed away in London at the age of 95 reports The New York Times.

Over five decades he appeared in more than 100 movies and television shows playing suave leading men, interesting character parts and villains alike.

He'll most be remembered for his role as Chief Inspector Dreyfus, Inspector Clouseau's twitchy and long-suffering superior, in the "Pink Panther" film series. First appearing in "A Shot in the Dark", the character is driven insane on more than one occasion by Clouseau's bungling.

The varied roles in his career included a gangster in the original "The Ladykillers", a pirate in "Spartacus", a psychiatrist in "The Seventh Veil", a harbor master in "Fire Down Below", a neurologist in Cronenberg's "The Dead Zone", a doctor in 1979's "The Lady Vanishes", a German colonel in the 1985 take on "King Solomon’s Mines", a Muslim leader in "El Cid", and a witch hunter in “Mark of the Devil".

He also played Captain Nemo in "Mysterious Island", Napoleon Bonaparte in both "The Young Mr. Pitt" and "War and Peace", Van Helsing in 1970's "Count Dracula", The Phantom in a 1962 take on "The Phantom of the Opera", and the King of Siam in the original London stage production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical "The King and I".

His last on screen role was the 2004 TV adaptation of Agatha Christie's "Murder at the Vicarage". It was hardly his first brush with Christie as he starred in two different film adaptations of Christie's "And Then There Were None" - the 1975 Iranian Hotel-set version and the 1989 African savannah-set version.

Lom also wrote two historical novels, was married and divorced three times, and leaves behind two sons and a daughter. He will be greatly missed, but he leaves behind an amazing legacy of cinema which many will be able to enjoy for decades to come.

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