Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Happy 95th Birthday Herbert Lom

Herbert Charles Angelo Kuchacevich ze Schluderpacheru was wise to change his surname to Herbert Lom. It is one of many wise decisions he has made in his long life. Another was to immigrate to England, from his native Czechoslovakia, in January 1939. Two months later, Hitler ordered his troops into Prague, spelling disaster for Lom's Jewish girlfriend, Didi. She had accompanied him to England, by train and then boat, but was turned back at Dover because she didn't have the correct papers. She later starved to death in a concentration camp. "I'd had no idea she was Jewish," says Lom. "It didn't matter. All I was interested in was philosophy, and acting."

Lom, born on September 11, 1917 in Prague, Czechoslovakia, was 22 when he waved goodbye to Didi in Dover. He is 95 today, short and tubby with the high waistband and dicky knees of an old man, yet the lively brown eyes of the young idealist he used to be. In a career lasting more than 60 years he appeared in character roles, usually portraying villains early in his career and professional men in later years. He is best known for his role as (former) Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus in the Pink Panther film series. Lom appeared in two Euro-westerns: “The Treasure of Silver Lake” (1962) and “Villa Rides” (1968). Lom’s last appearance was in the TV film “Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage” (2004) as Professor Dufosse. Today we celebrate Herbert Lom’s 95th birthday.

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