Friday, September 28, 2012

Herbert Lom

courtesy of snapper31
from Flickr
Friday September 28, 9:16 p.m.

2012 is started to seem like the Year of Celebrity Deaths. Every year has its share of famous folks leaving this mortal coil, but it just feels like this year has had an especially big bumper crop. I mean, just a couple of days ago, it was crooner Andy Williams.
And now it's actor Herbert Lom. Unfortunately, I only came across a small rectangle of an obituary in today's Toronto Sun, although admittedly it's been a few decades since the heyday of "The Pink Panther"series, but I loved the first few entries. I've only known Lom almost only for that series (the only other movie I've seen him outside of it was "The Ladykillers"with Sir Alec Guinness). His harried portrayal of the increasingly insane Chief Inspector Dreyfus was one of the highlights of every movie. In the very first "Pink Panther", he, and Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers), played it both quite straight which reminded me of how the similar series "Get Smart"started off with Agent 86 and The Chief.
But then from "A Shot in the Dark"onwards, it was total mayhem between the two. A couple of my favourite highlights: in "A Shot in the Dark", after one near-meltdown by Dreyfus, he calmly asked his assistant to help find his nose. And then in a later entry at a sanitorium, Clouseau had to rescue his old boss from the pond and while he was administering mouth-to-mouth, a couple of old ladies physically remonstrated the pair for indecent activities. Just some classic comedy.

I heard he passed away at the age of 95. Hopefully, it was a good life as well as a long one.