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Hammer’s greatest star: Michael Ripper

1 February 2011 5:41 PM, PST | Shadowlocked | See recent Shadowlocked news »

Forget Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee! There was one actor who truly epitomised classic Hammer horror, and that was the irreplaceable Michael Ripper. With a whopping 23 films to his name, he was to Hammer what Desmond Llewellyn was to James Bond.

Michael Ripper was born in Portsmouth on 27 January 1913. His father Harold was a civil servant who ran a local amateur dramatic company and taught elocution and speech therapy, his mother Edith worked as a teacher. Ripper had a very unhappy Victorian childhood; his dominant father was very much a stern disciplinarian.

A pupil of Portsmouth Grammar School, which he hated, Ripper was more or less pushed into acting by his father, who entered him in various poetry competitions. A close family friend and regular visitor to their Southsea home was the brilliant comic actor Alastair Sim.

Though he initially Ripper never wanted to be an actor, Ripper was eventually »

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