Like most of you, i first watched the man in late night Hammer horror movies, and was instantly beguiled by his screen presence. Tense and gaunt, his face seemed sculpted for his roles as Dr. Frankenstein and Van Helsing. And as a kid, I was especially impressed how such a refined and small-framed actor could leap and fight with startling athletic agility.
But what i love him for, is how much nobility he gave to the horror genre.
He took it seriously - made you believe in it. He didn't have contempt for the material, even in some of his more shoddy films, he always performed with sincerity and dignity. And i was always convinced - he never broke the 'spell'.
And his eyes, one minute full of menace, next, tender, warm, and sad. Eyes that could belong to a devil or a saint. And he played both, meticulously.
Happy Birthday, Peter.