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Peter Arne
Born Peter Arne Albrecht
29 September 1920(1920-09-29)
Kuala Lumpur, British Malaya
Died 1 August 1983 (aged 62)
Knightsbridge, London, England
Years active 1944–1984

Peter Arne (29 September 1920 – 1 August 1983), born Peter Arne Albrecht, was a British character actor best known for various performances in British film and television, including supporting roles in the television series The Avengers, Danger Man, as well as villains in Blake Edwards' Pink Panther series. He was murdered in 1983.

Contents

Career

Arne was born in Kuala Lumpur, British Malaya, to a Swiss-French mother and American father, and gained his early acting experience in British provincial repertory. In 1953, the New Lindsey Theatre Club performed his play No Stranger.[1] From the mid-1950s onward, he developed a successful career playing a broad range of supporting roles in both film and television,. Often with a specialisation in playing unsmiling villains such as German officers. In addition to acting, he ran his own antiques business.[2]

In 1968 he played the dual roles of The Duke and Dr. Sanson Carrasco in the London stage production of Man of La Mancha.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Arne was a busy character actor on television. He appeared in numerous ITC adventure series, playing various roles, including four episodes of The Avengers as different characters each time. He appeared in the last two episodes of Secret Army for the BBC in 1979, and as a regular in series two of Triangle in 1982.

Murder

On 1 August 1983, Arne attended a costume fitting in Clerkenwell, for his upcoming role as the character "Range" in the BBC Doctor Who television serial Frontios (a role which would eventually be played by William Lucas).

Shortly after Arne returned to his Knightsbridge home, neighbours reported hearing a violent argument coming from his apartment. Arne's body was found inside his flat, beaten to death with a stool and a log from his fireplace, which was found in the communal hall.

Police issued an image after eyewitnesses reported seeing a young man loitering nearby eating a jar of honey. Four days later, a body matching this description was found in the Thames at Wandsworth. Bloodstained clothes were later found upstream at Putney.[3] Police identified the body as that of Guiseppi Perusi, a schoolteacher from Verona, who had been living rough in a local park. Inquiries revealed Arne had been giving food to the Italian man.

An inquest at Westminster Coroner's Court in October 1983 recorded a verdict of unlawful killing for Arne and suicide for Perusi. Police concluded that Perusi had beaten the actor to death then killed himself rather than enduring the ensuing publicity (the blood found on his clothing matched Arne's). The hearing was also told that Arne habitually solicited vagrant men for sex. However the reason for the violent argument remains unknown.[4]

Partial filmography

Television

References

  1. ^ Reviews, The Times, Wednesday, 21 Oct 1953
  2. ^ Obituary, The Times, Wednesday, 3 Aug 1983
  3. ^ Photofit man in Arne murder case is dead, The Times, Thursday, 11 Aug 1983
  4. ^ Italian's suicide after killing actor, The Times, Thursday, 20 Oct 1983

External links

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