Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Vincent Price all share birthdays in May— Cushing on May 26, 1913, Lee on May 27, 1922, and Price on May 27, 1911.
To celebrate, here’s a column where we’ll look at their busiest years in the business, and they had a lot of them. According to IMDB, Peter Cushing had 131 screen credits, Vincent Price had 201, and Christopher Lee surpassed them both with a whopping 281 screen credits.
But which years did they appear on screen the most?
For Peter Cushing, he had three such years. In 1940—very, very early in his career— and in 1972, he made seven screen appearances. But he did one better in 1974, with eight screen appearances.
Here are his eight screen credits from 1974:
1. SHATTER – Rattwood
2. FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE – The Proprietor
3. FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL – Baron Frankenstein
4. THE BEAST MUST DIE – Dr. Lundgren
5. THE ZOO GANG (TV series) Episode: “The Counterfeit Trap” – Judge Gautier
6. MADHOUSE – Herbert Flay
7. THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES – Professor Van Helsing
8. TENDER DRACULA, OR CONFESSIONS OF A BLOOD DRINKER -MacGregor
There are a couple of “lasts” and a “first” in this list of credits for Peter Cushing during his busiest year in 1974. Both his role as Baron Frankenstein in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL and as Professor Van Helsing in THE LEGEND OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES marked the last time he would play these characters. He played Van Helsing five times in the movies, and Baron Frankenstein six times.
TENDER DRACULA, OR CONFESSIONS OF A BLOOD DRINKER, marked the first and only time that Peter Cushing played a vampire in a movie.
Also of note, Cushing co-starred with Vincent Price in MADHOUSE. And surprisingly, during his busiest year ever in terms of screen credits, Cushing did not star in any films with frequent co-star Christopher Lee that year.
Christopher Lee, with his 281 credits, seemed to be busy every year he was working, but his busiest year was very early in his career, in 1956, when he amassed 11 credits in that one single year.
Here they are:
1. CHEVRON HALL OF STARS (TV series), Episode: “Captain Kidd” – Governor
2. PRIVATE’S PROGRESS – Major Schultz
3.ALEXANDER THE GREAT – Nectenabus (voice)
4.THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (TV series) – Louis
5. PORT AFRIQUE – Franz Vermes
6.PURSUIT OF THE GRAF SPEE – Manolo
7. BEYOND MAMBASA – Gil Rossi
8. RHEINGOLD THEATER (TV Series) – Appearances in various episodes
9. AGGIE (TV series) – Inspector John Hollis
10. SAILOR OF FORTUNE (TV series) – Yusif/Carnot
11. THE ERROL FLYNN THEATER (TV series) – The Visitant/Compte de Merret/Maurice Gabet
And while 1956 may have been Christopher Lee’s busiest year in terms of screen credits, it would be the following year that all his hard work would come to fruition, for in 1957 Christopher Lee would achieve international stardom for his role as The Creature in Hammer Film’s megahit, THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957), the film that also launched Peter Cushing’s international career, for his starring performance as Baron Victor Frankenstein.
Vincent Price didn’t have just one, but three busiest years of his career. He made eight screen appearances in one year three times, in 1956, 1969, and 1970.
Here’s a look at those credits:
1.SERENADE – Charles Winthrop
2.WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS – Walter Kyne
3.LUX VIDEO THEATRE (TV series) – Joseph Bentley/Dr.Austin Sloper/Christoff
4.THE ALCOA HOUR (TV series) – Alvanley
5.THE VAGABOND KING – Narrator (voice)
6.SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE (TV series) -Sgt. Gary Williams/Dr. Philip Redmond
7.THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – Baka
8. CROSSROADS (TV series) – Reverend Alfred W. Price/Rabbi GershomSeixas/Rev. Robert Russell
1.MORE DEAD THAN ALIVE – Dan Ruffalo
2.DANIEL BOONE (TV series) – Dr. Thaddeus Morton
3. THE TROUBLE WITH GIRLS – Mr. Morality
4.THE OBLONG BOX – Julian
5. BBC PLAY OF THE MONTH (TV series) – Dr. Austin Sloper
6.THE GOOD GUYS (TV series) – Mr. Middleton
7. WORLD WIDE ADVENTURES: ANNABEL LEE (Short) – Narrator
8. GET SMART (TV series) – Dr. Jarvis Pym
1.SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN – Dr. Browning
2.AN EVENING OF EDGAR ALLAN POE – Narrator
3.CRY OF THE BANSHEE – Lord Edward Whitman
4.LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE (TV series)
5.HERE’S LUCY (TV series) – as Vincent Price
6. MOD SQUAD (TV series) – John Wells/Wentworth
7. HOLIDAY STARTIME SPECIAL (TV movie)
8.CUCUMBER CASTLE (TV movie) – Wicked Count Voxville
Some things of note regarding these credits: in THE OBLONG BOX, he co-starred with Christopher Lee, and in SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN he starred with both Lee and Peter Cushing, the first of only two times that all three of these actors appeared in the same movie together.
I hope you enjoyed this look at the busiest years in the careers of three of the busiest actors in horror film history.
Happy Birthday Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Vincent Price!
Thanks for reading, everybody!